Eggs in a Skillet Italian Style 2

Now that we know the difference between a frittata and an omelet, lets make a more Italian variation of the frittata. We’ll swap that asparagus for some tomatoes and swap the ham with some Italian pancetta. Just before transferring the frittata from the stove to the broiler, sprinkle the top with some oregano. The fresher the better!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1-ounce Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes
  • ¼ pound of sliced pancetta
  • 1 tablespoon oregano leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting so that we can set the top of the frittata.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt.

Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add pancetta and tomatoes to pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Let this cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with oregano.

Place pan into the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

frittata

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Eggs in a Skillet Italian Style

Yeah it’s a frittata, not an omelet. There are a couple of things that separate the omelet from the frittata. Frittatas are not folded like and omelet would be. Also, the ingredients are added to the beaten egg mixture, not folded in side, and the eggs are often beaten more than the omelet it incorporate more air, making frittatas fluffier than omelets. As to serving them, the frittata is usually cut into pie shaped slices where as omelets are often served whole. So let’s make a simple frittata.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1-ounce Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped roasted asparagus
  • 1/2 cup chopped country ham
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves

Preheat oven to broil setting so that we can set the top of the frittata.

In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Heat 12-inch non-stick, oven safe saute pan over medium high heat. Add butter to pan and melt. Add asparagus and ham to pan and saute for 2 to 3 minutes. Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Let this cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top. Sprinkle with parsley.

Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from pan and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

frittata

the Soft Boiled Challenge

Try something different for breakfast, and get your English on at the same time. For some reason I associate spring with soft-boiled eggs for breakfast and I’m sure its some latent ‘British’ thing. But how do you get the perfect soft boiled egg? The same way you get to Carnegie Hall… practice, practice, practice. Yeah, it all sounds quite simple, put an egg into water with some heat, but with all the conflicting advice on how to soft boil eggs out there I firmly commit to adding my voice to the chorus… here’s what works for me….

So, without further ado…

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 large chicken eggs
  • 1 pot
  • Water

Bring a pot of water to a boil.

With a large spoon place eggs in pot of boiling water.

Set a timer for 5 minutes.

While your egg is cooking prepare your toast

When time is up bring the pan to the sink and immediately begin running cold water in it.

Place your eggs in the egg cups and just tap the top of the egg with your spoon to crack it.

Boiled Egg

Spring Little Necks

Spring is a great time to go down to the docks and pick up a couple of dozen clams. The smaller littleneck clams work very well in pasta dishes where they are tossed in and served whole, being steamed in the sauce. This method also works well with mussels. I find the smaller clams to be the sweeter ones

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 dozen littleneck clams
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
  • 1 (28- to 32-ounce) can whole tomatoes in juice, coarsely chopped, reserving juice
  • 1 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 pound spaghetti

Heat oil in a 12- to 14-inch heavy skillet over medium heat until it shimmers, then cook garlic with red-pepper flakes, stirring, until pale golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add tomatoes with their juice, sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon salt and briskly simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally, until thickened, 7 to 10 minutes.

Cook spaghetti in a pasta pot of boiling salted water until al dente.

Meanwhile, add whole clams to sauce and cook, covered, shaking skillet occasionally, until clams open wide, 6 to 10 minutes (discard any clams that remain unopened after 10 minutes). Transfer clams in shells to a large shallow bowl. If sauce is too watery, boil until slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.

Drain spaghetti. Return clams to sauce and add pasta, tossing

Spaghetti with Red Clam Sauce

Spring Potato Salad

For this potato salad I like to use the new potatoes. These are the small potatoes with the thin skin. I use them for salads because they have a high moister to starch content. These low starch potatoes work well with a quick boil because you don’t have a lot of starch to break down. This also means that you need to keep an eye on them as they do boil quickly.

 

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 pounds small potatoes
  • 5 eggs
  • 4 slices bacon
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard, or to taste
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 3 stalks celery, minced
  • 1 medium red onion finely diced
  • salt and pepper to taste

Place the potatoes in a pot with enough water to cover, and bring to a boil. Cook for about 20 minutes, or until tender. Drain and cool.

While doing that, place eggs in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover, and let eggs stand in hot water for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from hot water, and place in a bowl of cold water to cool.

And while doing that, cook bacon slices until crisp.

Peel the eggs, and place 3 of them into a large bowl. Reserve the rest for later. Mash the eggs in the bowl with a fork. Stir in the mustard, mayonnaise, celery, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Crumble 2 of the bacon slices into the mayonnaise mixture. Reserve the rest for garnish.

Peel and chop the potatoes, and stir into the bowl until evenly coated. Slice the 2 remaining eggs, and place on top of the salad. Crumble the remaining bacon over the eggs.

SpringPotatoSalad

Spicy Spinach Mussels

One of the signs of spring around here seems to be the big bags of spinach that the produce guy is throwing at me. I don’t know what makes him so mad… spinach makes a wonderful ingredient in salads and stuffing, as well as a stand-alone side. So lets put those bags of spinach to good use.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 40 Prince Edward Island mussels or other high-quality mussels
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 baguette, sliced on the diagonal into eight ¼-inch-thick pieces
  • 2 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 2 cups canned tomatoes with their juice, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
  • Sea salt
  • 1 cup Duck Walk white wine
  • ½ bunch fresh spinach, plus more for garnish
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, for garnish

Preheat the oven to 425°F.

Clean the mussels by scrubbing well under cold running water and removing any beards. Drain well, transfer to a large bowl, and refrigerate.

Pour 1/2 cup of the olive oil into a shallow baking dish. Lay the bread slices in the oil and turn once to coat both sides. Toast the bread for 10 to 15 minutes, turning once or twice, or until golden brown and crisp. Transfer the croutons to a plate to cool.

Pour the remaining 1/2 cup of olive oil into a large sauté pan and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the mussels, tomatoes, and pepper flakes and season with salt to taste. Stir well and cook for about 15 minutes.

Add the wine and spinach, cover, and cook for about 3 minutes, or until all the mussels open. Discard any that do not open! Really, no joking here… bad mussels go bad in a bad bad way.

Pour the mussels and the sauce into a large serving bowl. Garnish with spinach leaves and drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil. Stud the bowl with the croutons and serve.

spinach-mussles

Hasenpfeffer

Just in time for Easter… is a braised rabbit stew. I get my rabbits frozen over at H-mart, but occasionally there is fresh rabbit at the organic market @ Union Square. But whether you use fresh of frozen rabbit this hearty stew makes a nice alternative to the large ham or leg of lamb prepared for this holiday, especially if you are not cooking for a crowd. The recipe here uses three pounds of rabbit and serves about four people.

Here’s what you’ll need:

For the Stew

  • 3 pounds rabbit meat, cleaned and cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose
  • 1/2 pound bacon,
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 cup Duck Walk red
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon chicken bouillon
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay
  • 1/4 teaspoon rosemary

For the Gravy

  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon dried thyme, crushed

Place the bacon in a large, deep skillet and cook over medium high heat until evenly browned. Drain on paper towels and set aside. Sprinkle the rabbit with salt and coat with 1/3 cup flour, shaking off excess. Now, here’s my little secret; brown the rabbit in the remaining bacon fat. Remove the meat from the skillet, along with all but 2 tablespoons of the fat, and reserve.

Saute shallots and garlic in skillet for about 4 minutes, until tender. Stir in wine, 1 cup water and bouillon. Then heat the liquid to boiling, then stir in the peppercorns, bay leaf, and rosemary. Return rabbit and bacon to skillet. Heat to boiling, then reduce the heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 1 1/2 hours or until rabbit is tender.

Remove bay leaf and discard. Place rabbit on a warm platter and keep warm while preparing gravy.

To Make Gravy: Stir lemon juice into skillet with cooking liquid. Combine 3 tablespoons water with 2 tablespoons flour and mix together; stir mixture into skillet over low heat. Finally, stir in thyme. Pour gravy over stew and serve, or pour into a gravy boat and serve on the side.

What goes well with rabbit stew? Why potatoes.. and carrots! And Duck Walk wines!

hassenpfeffer