On the Frittata Fence?

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I know how you feel! Frittatas were never my thing. In fact, until recently, I had never even made one at home. If you don’t believe me, you can read more about my egg adventures by clicking here. But that has all changed. I have broadened my horizons, and become a frittata lover. And not just because they taste so good. They also happen to be a perfect meal-on-the-cheap. And while their main gig is brunch, they can stand in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! More…

I know how you feel!

Frittatas were never my thing. In fact, until recently, I had never even made one at home. If you don’t believe me, you can read more about my egg adventures by clicking here. But that has all changed. I have broadened my horizons, and become a frittata lover. And not just because they taste so good. They also happen to be a perfect meal-on-the-cheap. And while their main gig is brunch, they can stand in for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

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Yes, the humble frittata is extremely versatile–even in what you pair with it. You see, frittatas are the Garanimals of the food world. For every five or six eggs in your frittata, you simply mix and match about one cup of fillings and a handful of grated cheese–all based on your taste and what’s available in the fridge. Leftovers and eggs make for a really inexpensive culinary adventure. Every time I think I have found my favorite, I am surprised by a new combination and gobble it up with the excitement of a 1-year-old eating cake for the first time. I am not normally a second helping type of girl–just ask my husbandbut I now break that rule for frittatas (and Indian food, if I am being completely truthful)!

My favorite combo had been smoked ham with sauteed leeks and smoked Gruyere. But then a  few days ago, I made warm bacon, fennel, and Brussels sprouts over tagliatelle pasta with chicken liver alfredo sauce, which had leftover braised fennel and Brussels sprouts. I knew immediately that these veggies would play well with pancetta and, of course, smoked Gruyere. As luck would have it, our girls egg production has increased with the longer days, so six eggs was a drop in the basket.

Putting this light supper together was a snap. I simply cracked and whisked the eggs, added the accouterments, poured into a buttered fry pan, cooked over low heat until slightly giggly, and then popped in the oven until set. In the off chance you would like a more formal recipe, here it is:

Pancetta, Fennel, & Brussels Sprouts Frittata

INGREDIENTS

  • 5 or 6 free range eggs (depending on the size provided by your egg source)
  • 113 grams (4oz) of pancetta, precooked and crumbled
  • 1/2 cup (by volume) braised fennel & Brussels sprouts
  • 1/2 cup(by volume) of grated smoked Gruyere
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • knob of butter

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Get leftover veg braise out to bring to room temp.
  3. Cook pancetta.
  4. Crack and whisk eggs.
  5. Grate cheese.
  6. Get out butter, and make sure salt and pepper are within reach.

STEP ONE
Heat 8″ non-stick fry pan over low to medium-low heat. Add butter. Once butter is melted, add veg to reheat.

STEP TWO
Add whisked eggs, most of the meat and cheese, salt, and pepper. Slowly cook the mixture; gently but constantly stirring, making sure to scrap sides of pan as you go. Continue to stir until slightly giggly.

STEP THREE
Once slightly giggly, pop in oven until just set; approximately 5 minutes, but really dependent on your oven and how well done you like your eggs. Do keep in mind that they will continue to cook from residual heat after being removed from the oven.

STEP FOUR
Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes. At that point, you can run a spatula around the side of the pan and slip the frittata on to a cutting board to cut/portion. To serve, sprinkle a bit of the leftover pancetta and grated cheese on top of each slice.

Cook’s Notes
The addition of crusty grilled bread would be a nice complement at breakfast, while the grilled bread and a green salad would be satisfying lunch or dinner. I would also recommend that you try cooking for slightly less time than you think is appropriate. When the eggs are cooked to perfection, they are creamy; without being runny. But if you take the frittata out of the oven too late, the texture will become rubbery and lack the rich, velvety texture that makes this meal stand out.

Makes 4 servings.

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Po’ Boy with a Twist

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Recently, I decided to introduce liver into my meal repertoire. And the first dish I made was a surprising success. I had decided the best way to present it for all to enjoy was to…well…disguise it. I made a medley of warm bacon, fennel, and Brussels sprouts over tagliatelle pasta with chicken liver alfredo sauce. It worked; the disguise, that is. But no one was saying that they now loved liver–they didn’t even know liver was in the sauce until I told them. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to push it a bit farther. I still had half a pound of liver to play with, so I decided it was time to hit the kitchen and find my inspiration. More…

Recently, I decided to introduce liver into my meal repertoire. And the first dish I made was a surprising success. I had decided the best way to present it for all to enjoy was to…well…disguise it. I made a medley of warm bacon, fennel, and Brussels sprouts over tagliatelle pasta with chicken liver alfredo sauce. It worked; the disguise, that is. But no one was saying that they now loved liver–they didn’t even know liver was in the sauce until I told them. It was at this point that I realized that I needed to push it a bit farther. I still had half a pound of liver to play with, so I decided it was time to hit the kitchen and find my inspiration.

As luck would have it, we had a few things in the cupboard that were screaming to be made, and from my earlier research seemed a match made in heaven. I pulled out some rocket rolls and an onion. I then turned to the fridge and pulled out some mushrooms and spinach. At this point, my vision was clear: a Liver Po’ Boy. I set about making it happen.

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But before I spring the recipe on you, I have to tell you something in the spirit of full disclosure. This was the most painful meal I have ever made! No joke. Yes, the sauteed onions were perfectly caramelized, and the mushrooms plump and savory, with vibrant and perfectly-wilted spinach in addition to the main attraction having a delicate yet crispy crust with velvety interior. But the fact is, I burned the heck out of myself making the liver, and realized that I am not an expert on shallow pan frying. So be fair-warned, use a grease guard on this one! And maybe a glove. The grease spats like it’s pop rocks on the 4th of July–from beginning to end. So, if that didn’t put you off, here is the tasty, all-be-it dangerous, recipe in all its glory…

Liver Po’ Boy

INGREDIENTS

Filling

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 170 grams (6oz) of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 medium onion, sliced
  • 2 handfuls of spinach
  • salt & pepper to taste

Liver

  • 227 grams (8oz) of liver
  • 1/2 cup of all-purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper

Extras

  • enough oil to shallow fry livers
  • 4 rocket rolls
  • salad greens, if desired

MISE EN PLACE

  1. Clean, remove stems, and slice mushrooms. Peel and slice onions. Grab two handfuls of pre-washed spinach. Make sure salt and pepper are within reach.
  2. Prep liver by removing sinew and odd bits, and chopping into similar-sized pieces, no more than an inch in size.
  3. Measure out the flour, paprika, salt, and pepper. Mix together in medium-sized bowl.
  4. Get out a large fry pan to cook filling in, and deep fry pan to cook liver in, and slice rocket rolls. Remove excess bread so that there is enough room for mushrooms, onion, spinach, and liver.

STEP ONE
Place little liver pieces in bowl of flour dredge.

STEP TWO
Heat large fry pan over medium heat and add oil. Add mushrooms and onions. Add a pinch of salt and some pepper. Cook until soft. Add spinach, turn down to low, and cook until wilted.

STEP THREE
Gently drop dredged liver pieces into oil and fry, turning over if needed. Cook until crisp on both sides; approximately 4 minutes total. To confirm that the liver is cooked, simply take one piece out and cut into.

STEP FOUR
Assemble the po’ boys by adding filling, the liver pieces, and them more filling into each rocket roll. Place over bed of greens. Serve and enjoy!

Makes 4 generous servings.

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