Saturday, February 27, 2010

Today's Egg-speriment

Lately we've been going through so many eggs that I have started getting them in boxes of 5 dozen. Between The Brat scrambling his eggs in sausage, omelets and frittati they don't really last all that long. This was today's effort.

My favorite bell peppers are the orange and yellow ones, but feel free to use whatever you like.  Some sausage would be pretty good in this, too.

Frittata with Mushroom, Tomato and Bell Peppers

1 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs butter
1 smallish onion, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, minced
4 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, diced
1 large or 2 small Roma tomatoes, cored and chopped
8 eggs
splash of milk or cream
1\2 c grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
couple tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

Heat oven to 400. Heat a cast iron frying pan and add oil and butter. When the butter has melted add onions and season with salt and pepper. Cook over low heat until onions become translucent. Add garlic and stir a bit. Add mushroom and add another tablespoon or so of butter if the pan looks dry. When the mushrooms are soft add the peppers and tomatoes. Continue to cook gently until all the vegetables are warmed through..

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl whisk eggs and milk. Blend in the cheese. Pour on  top of the vegetables in the pan. Cook without stirring under low heat until it seems that the bottom is mostly set (top will still be runny). Place into the pre-heated oven and bake for 15 minutes or so, until the top is set. Sprinkle more grated Parmesan and parsley on top. Cut into wedges and serve immediately.

6 servings

OMG I'm Mortified!

I just discovered that I spelled "frittata" wrong in my blog title.

*hanging head in shame*

Friday, February 26, 2010

How food television is changing America

How food television is changing America

Why in the name of bleeding Jesus do we need yet another food channel from Scripps, the people responsible for running Food Network into the ground? They have so little content as it is that shows are shown over and over and over.

My primary gripe with FN these days is that they have long since stopped being about information and became much more interested in "big personalities" and cleavage than actually imparting any knowledge. Their choice of on air "talent" (and I use the term ironically) tells the story. Look what they've done to Guy Fieri (nee Ferry), Paula Deen and so on. They no longer are themselves, they are overdrawn ridiculous cartoons of themselves.

One thing the data does not show is how many people are watching purely for the snark factor. I'll watch Sandra Lee occasionally because she's always good for an (unintentional) laugh. I'm never quite sure how ludicrous her next concoction will be. Let us never forget, though, that "cocktail time is the best time of the day!" It isn't for nothing that she is often referred to as "Aunt Drunky."

And Rachael Ray -- how many burgers does the world need? How many permutations of mac and cheese? How many classic deli sandwiches thrown into a pot of chicken stock for a "stoup?"

I've been so alienated by FN clearly  setting their sights on people who have yet to complete a middle school Home Ec lass that I doubt they could ever get me back for anything other than an occasional laugh at the misinformation and unsafe food handling they are modeling.

FN has one consideration for selecting their hosts and it has to do with marketing or endorsing products of which they will get a cut. They don't care in the slightest about imparting any actualy knowledge to their veiwers.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Spring is on the Way!

Yeah, yeah, I know. Record amounts of snowfall in the unlikeliest of places. So how do I know?

That's easy -- Safeway had asparagus on sale for $1.49 a pound yesterday. I love asparagus but don't usually buy it because it's one of those pesky green foods that no one but me will eat and out of season it's just too damned expensive. Anyway, I grabbed a bundle and began salivating as I pondered how best to cook my bounty.

I started with a recipe from the Italian Parmagiano-Reggiano  Commission and tweaked it a bit. I think that the earthiness of the mushrooms complements the asparagus very well, and the lemon contributes a tangy brightness that makes for a pleasant contrast. I offered Daniele a bite and he was careful to avoid any hint of green on the fork. Ha.

Here's what I did:

Asparagus with Mushrooms, Pine Nuts and Parmesan

2 Tbs unsalted butter
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
1 bundle fresh asparagus
8 oz Cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/4 c pine nuts
1/4 c chopped parsley
bread crumbs from 2 slices of bread (didn't measure but I'm guessing it was around 1/3 to 1/2 c)
shaved Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
juice and zest of 1 lemon

Melt butter in a skillet over low heat and add the onions. Season with some salt and pepper and cook until soft and transparent, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. While the onions are sweating, snap asparagus to determine where to cut off the stalk. Discard the bottom parts of the stalk and cut the rest into 1 1/2 inch pieces. Add the mushrooms, asparagus and pine nuts and continue cooking about 5 more minutes.

Stir in the lemon juice and parsley. Place on a serving dish and top with bread crumbs and shaved cheese.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Angel Hair Pasta with Sausage, Shallot and Shroom

It gets a little tiring to constantly look for new and inventive ways to feed my men food that is good for them. They don't like onions, they don't like green things, they don't like seafood. Well, The Brat likes fish sticks, but that isn't really seafood, is it?

This is the pasta dish I made last night for dinner. The kid didn't touch it (he opted to nuke some Banquet frozen chicken), but Daniele had seconds.

Note regarding Parmagiano-Reggiano:
Many chefs specify Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese in their recipes. They claim that nothing else can come close to its nutty flavor. I'm not so sure about that. Call me a philistine but I've had the real P-R and I don't see that the taste really warrants the $35 per pound price tag -- not when there are many acceptable  alternatives that are far cheaper. My local Safeway has begun to carry a domestic parmesan cheese for $3.99 per pound. Since the mystyique of Parmagiano-Reggiano is essentially a marketing ploy developed by the Consorzio del Formaggio Parmigiano-Reggiano, I don't feel any particular need to buy into it.

Angel Hair Pasta with Sausage, Shallot and Shroom

1 pound angel hair pasta (preferably whole wheat, but don't sweat if you can't find it)
8 ounces Italian sausage
6 shallots, peeled and sliced thinly
2 Tbs butter, divided
3 cloves minced garlic
8 ounces cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
1/2 c flat leaf parsley, chopped
grated Parmesan cheese
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Remove sausage from casings and brown in a cast iron frying pan. Remove from pan and add half the butter and the shallots. Season with salt and pepper. Cook over medium low heat until soft, then add the garlic and shrooms. Add the other Tbs of butter if the pan seems dry. Continue to cook until golden and carmelized.

While the shallot mixture is carmelizing, put on a pot of salted water and allow it to come to a boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente, about 5-6 minutes. Drain pasta reserving a cup or so of the water. Return pasta to the pot and stir in the sausage and shallots. Sprinkle the parsley and cheese over the top and toss to combine.

I am unsure how many servings this makes. I've had 3 so far and Daniele had 2. The Kid's friends had probably 3 more and we still have about half of it left.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

But it sounded good...

Really it did. There it was on the back of a box of kosher salt -- Rocco DiSpirito's recipe for chicken breasts with a pomegranate vinaigrette. I don't know, maybe the pomegranate reduction was just a bit too tart. Maybe my olive oil a little too fruity. But overall I have to say the the sauce, which was not cheap to make, BTW, did not add anything to the dish.

I think I may rework it at some point down the road. Perhaps with something citrusy.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Sorry Forbes

But when you compile a list of the top 10 influential women chefs, and many of them are NOT chefs, let alone actual humans, you lose some credibility.