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Frittata – 101 Ways

I have breakfast on the brain. Or rather, I have brunch on the brain. We’re having a group of friends over for a holiday brunch this weekend and I have been trying to decide what to make. Well, actually I have been trying to decide what not to make. I am one of those people who invites friends over for a pot-luck style gathering and then worries that there might not be enough food so I end up making enough dishes to feed an army! I’ve gotten better though- I really have. This time I am only making two dishes, well maybe three. Okay, maybe four if you count the Pomegranate Mimosas. A drink doesn’t count as a dish though…right?

Anyway, I narrowed down the options and my beloved frittata didn’t make the cut. I couldn’t let this marvelous dish feel left out though, so I decided to make it for dinner instead. Actually, frittata is one of those dishes that we normally have for dinner. In fact, any breakfast food that requires more than popping it in the toaster or pouring it in the bowl is usually a dinner food around here. Most weeks we have ‘breakfast for dinner’ at least once, and the frittata has become my favorite breakfast-dinner dishI used to make quiche but let’s be honest, any dish that wraps itself in pastry crust is not the healthiest option – for breakfast or dinner. Delicious, but not healthy. Many years ago a fell upon a recipe for frittata and since then the quiche has gone out the window. I love how with a frittata you still get that irresistible combination of egg and veggies, but without the guilt of feeling like you’re eating a pie as a meal. The other thing I love about frittata is how you can put almost anything in it. It’s great for using up leftover veggies or little bits of herbs and cheeses that you might have laying around. Some time ago I discovered a guide to making a frittata in a Fine Cooking magazine. Since then it’s pretty rare that I make a recipe without consulting this guide first. It’s quite simple. You choose your ingredients from the lists of veggies & meats, herbs, aromatics and cheese. Then you make the basic recipe, add in your choices, cook on the stove top and finish in the oven. Simple, yummy, and versatile- my kind of dish! Frittata
Vegetables & Meats

Up to 3 in any combination for a total of 3 cups
(the quantities given below each yield about 1 cup)
½ to 2/3- pound Asparagus – steamed and cut into 1 ½ – inch pieces
2 large Sweet bell peppers – roasted, peeled and cut into 1/4 – inch strips, or cut into strips and sautéed
1 medium Potato – peeled, boiled and cut into ¼-inch thick slices
½ -pound Fresh Mushrooms – cut into ¼- inch slices, sautéed
1/2 – pound Hearty greens such as Kale or Collards – trimmed, cooked until tender, drained and squeezed to remove excess liquid, coarsely chopped
2 medium Leeks – white & light green parts, thinly sliced and sautéed
1 large Onion – thinly sliced and sautéed
1 pound Spinach or Swiss Chard – trimmed, sautéed, drained and squeezed to remove excess liquid, coarsely chopped
6 to 7 ounces of Zucchini – cut into ¼ -inch slices, sautéed
½ -pound Italian Sausage – casings removed, crumbled and browned
½ – pound Chorizo – cut into small dice and browned
¼ – pound Pancetta or Bacon – cut into ¼ – inch dice and sautéed
¼ – pound cooked Ham – cut into ¼ – inch dice

Fresh Herbs (optional)
Choose 1 or 2 for a total of ¼ cup
Basil – cut into thin strips
Chives – thinly sliced
Parsley – chopped
Thyme – stripped off stems (1 tablespoon maximum)
Marjoram – chopped (1 tablespoon maximum)

Aromatics & Spices (optional)
Choose 1 or 2
1 medium clove Garlic – minced & sautéed
½ – teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper Flakes
1 teaspoon Lemon Zest – finely grated
A pinch of Nutmeg – finely grated or ground
¼ – cup Scallions – thinly sliced and sautéed

Cheese (optional)
Choose 1 0r 2 for a total of ½ cup
Feta – crumbled
Fontina – shredded
Goat cheese – crumbled
Cheddar or Monterey Jack – shredded
Parmigiano-Reggiano– grated
Fresh Ricotta – in dollops

Below is one of my favorite combinations:

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Chicken or Turkey Pot Pie

Pot Pie
What’s the best part of the day after Thanksgiving? The memories of a day filled with good food and even better company? The black Friday deals that you slogged out at midnight to score? How about the LEFTOVERS? No matter how much you stuffed yourself yesterday, and even if you had to unbutton your pants at the table and swore you would never eat again, come Friday morning you will inevitably be dreaming of turkey sandwiches smothered in leftover mashed potatoes and dripping with gravy. Or pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream, or Aunt Sally’s fluffy homemade biscuits smeared with cranberry sauce. Oh yum, I am getting hungry all over again! In my opinion though, the ultimate leftover meal has got to be pot pie. You can use leftover turkey, throw in whatever vegetables you have, and maybe even top it with leftover rolls. I know, I know, you spent all day yesterday cooking and the last thing you want to do is make an elaborate pot pie. But wait…making a pot pie doesn’t have to be a complicated affair. I’ve been making variations of this recipe for years and it’s rare that it takes much more than an hour to make, cooking time included. The beauty of the pot pie is just how versatile it is. The basic ingredients are chicken or turkey and vegetables. That’s it. While I am partial to potatoes, carrots, celery and peas, I have been known to add sweet potatoes, parsnip, turnip, various kinds of squash, broccoli, or green beans. Basically, use what you have or what you like, even if it’s just a bag of frozen mixed vegetables. I hate to brag, but I am a bit famous for my pot pie. It could be because I make a mean pot pie superior to all others, but I think the real reason is because I actually make pot pie. Well, I am here to tell you right now that you too can make a pot pie. Slice up some of that leftover turkey, mix in some veggies and whip up a biscuit topping. You will be pleasantly surprised by just how easy it is. Happy leftover day everyone.TAW71907


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Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Roasted Beets
As far as I am concerned roasted beets are the only beets worth eating. Sure, you could argue that this same recipe would be just as good with boiled beets and take less than half the amount of time…but you would be wrong! Boiled beets are fine, but roasted beets are DELICIOUS. The long, slow roasting process brings out the earthy sweetness of the beets and causes the natural sugars to caramelize into all sorts of irresistible flavors. Boiled beets only wish they could be that good! Then there’s the glaze. This sweet yet tangy, super simple balsamic glaze adds an extra layer of yumminess to the already mouthwatering beets. I swear, this recipe might just win over even the most skeptical beet eater.

But wait…there’s more. I have been wanting to share an TAW31757
entire meal here for awhile now. Not just a one dish meal, but a few simple recipes that together create a complete meal. Since beets are really just a side dish (no matter how good they are) I thought this would be a great opportunity to create an entire meal post with three separate recipes. Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze, Chicken Thighs with Honey and Spice, and Roasted Cauliflower with Garlic. By the time you’re done reading this you will know exactly what’s for dinner tonight. Well, maybe tomorrow night. Since the beets take such a long time to roast I would suggest that if you’re making this meal on a week night you might want to roast the beets the night before. While the chicken and cauliflower are in the oven you can then make the glaze and pop the pre-roasted beets in the microwave for a few minutes until they’re warm. Make sure that you peel the beets while they are still warm though, because the skins are much harder to get off once the beets are cold. That reminds me,cold beets are great on salads. Slice or grate them over a spinach salad with citrus and toasted sunflower seeds. Maybe add some chick peas for protein and you have another delicious meal
that can’t be beet! I couldn’t resist – I had to include at least one beet pun.
Roasted Beets 


TAW11680-1 The next recipes are for Roasted Cauliflower and Chicken Thighs with Honey and Spice. They can both go in the oven at the same time because they have similar cooking times, but depending on your oven and the size of the chicken thighs they may not be done at exactly the same time. No problem. Just take out whatever dish is done first, cover with foil and place on your cooktop to keep warm.

Originally, I had planned on roasting the cauliflower and mashing it with a bit of roasted garlic and olive oil, sort of a rustic version of mashed potatoes. That plan all fell apart though when I pulled the roasted cauliflower out of the oven and popped a piece in my mouth. The browned edges and deep nutty flavor were so mouth-watering that I knew then we would eat it as it. Go ahead and mash it if you want, but in the end all I did was toss in a few cloves of roasted garlic and some grated parmesan and oh man was it good. Sometimes the most simple recipes are the best. Roasted Cauliflower

The roasted garlic can go in the oven along with the cauliflower and chicken. Roasted Garlic

The chicken can also go in the oven along with the cauliflower and garlic. This recipe is one of my favorites because its easy and flavorful. The spice level can be adjusted by varying the amount of red pepper that you add. This is a recipe that I make year round. In the summer on the grill, and this time of year in the oven. You really could make this dish with any chicken parts that you like, but in my opinion chicken thighs are the most flavorful and don’t dry out in the oven like chicken breasts tend to. I also like to use the thighs with bones in them because they tend to stay more moist than the boneless version. Sometimes I can’t find skinless bone-in chicken thighs so I just buy the ones with skin and remove it. Yes, I know the skin is oh so tasty, but also oh so unhealthy. I promise that with the spice rub and honey vinegar glaze you will never miss the skin.TAW31719

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