Think of a frittata as a quiche but without the crust. Perfect for breakfast, brunch, or dinner.
I like to make frittatas when I need to clean out the fridge. You know, when you have vegetables hanging around in the crisper that have seen better days but you know you can still use. Soups, are also a good way to use up vegetables but sometimes you want something a little more satisfying. Or perhaps you really want eggs. Lots of eggs. Who knows.
At any rate, frittatas can be made with any combination of eggs, vegetables, cheese, and meat (if desired). There isn't a rule for these, just use your imagination and whatever you have laying around. Well, ok, within reason. I'm not sure raisins or chocolate belong in frittatas.
This recipe is for a southwest style frittata. I sometimes make them using eggs, bacon, veggies, and goat cheese (delicious, too!), but today I had chorizo hanging around ready to be cooked along with onions and peppers begging to be used up. So, what I'm saying is, you can use this recipe as basic template -- keep the egg and half and half ratio the same but vary up the meat, veggies, and cheese.
And use a cast iron skillet. Best non-stick pan around, especially the more you use it.
Yield: 1 (10-inch) frittata
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet (or other oven proof skillet -- one that eggs won't stick to), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chorizo and sauté until cooked through, about 5-10 minutes. Break up the sausage into smaller pieces as it cooks. Add the onions, peppers, and garlic; sauté for 2-3 minutes. Add the chard and sauté until it starts to wilt down, about 1 minute. Season lightly with salt and pepper.
In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, half and half, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Pour the mixture into the pan. Stir to combine and evenly distribute the eggs and filling. Sprinkle the top with cheese. Bake in the oven until the top is lightly golden brown and the center is firm to the touch, about 30 minutes.
Cool slightly and serve.
When the Irish started making Guinness, I doubt they thought of the culinary possiblities. I’m one of those people that eshews hoppy beer (as in most American beers these days) and prefers a heavy, full bodied ale or stout (a good pilsner is fine on occasion). To me, Guinness is perfect. It’s satisfying and versatile. I can drink it but also make something good with it. You know, like chili.
There are so many recipes out there for chili that it’s hard to pick just one. I have a couple recipes myself that I make during the winter months. I have one recipe that doesn’t take much time to put together. But then I have this recipe that takes hours of cooking. You can make this in the crockpot… just brown the meat first and transfer it to the crockpot. Bring it up to temperature on high and then reduce it to low and let it simmer all day (4-5 hours).
As with all chili recipes, the flavor is better the next day because it has time to mellow and develop, but don’t let that stop you from eating it the same day you cook it. It’ll still be delicious.
It should be noted this recipe passed the taste test with my son, who is 10 and very picky. Serve this on a rainy weekend. It’ll lift everyone’s spirits.
Ground chilis note: I like to use whole dried chilis and whole cumin seed and grind it to a powder in a coffee grinder before I use it in the recipe. You can find ground ancho powder and ground cumin in the spice section of the grocery store and that will be fine. If you want a bolder chili spice, try to find the whole chilis and grind them up yourself.
Marinate the beef:
In a bowl, combine 1 bottle of the beer, 1 teaspoon of the ground ancho, 1 clove garlic, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon pepper, and the cubed beef. Marinate under refrigeration for at least 2 hours. This can be done overnight if desired.
Make the chili:
In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, heat the canola oil over medium heat. Remove the beef from the marinade; discard the marinade. Add the beef to the hot oil and brown on all sides. Add the remaining 2 cloves garlic and diced onion. Saute until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add the ground spices; season with salt and pepper. Saute for 1-2 minutes. Pour in the beer and the tomatoes. Stir in the chocolate and brown sugar. Bring up to a boil and reduce heat to medium low. Cover and simmer for 4-5 hours or until the beef is very tender and beginning to fall apart. Stir occasionally. Season to taste with spices, salt, and pepper.
Serve with shredded cheddar and sour cream.
*I use grass fed beef. Why? Well, cows are meant to eat grass, not corn. Plus, I would rather have beef from cattle that has not been pumped full of antibiotics. We typically do not eat a lot of beef, so when we do, it makes sense to choose wisely.
Below: Whole chilis. To grind them up: remove stem and seeds, tear into small pieces. Place in a coffee grinder and pulse until powdery fine.
Who would have thought that Brussel Sprouts would be the vegetable of choice by my daughter? Not me that’s for sure. I made them for dinner one day and she was very excited – “Yea! Brussel Sprouts!” I was a little surprised at her excitement for this tiny cabbage but I went with it.
Getting your kids to eat any vegetables (or anything healthy for that matter) can be a chore, but after years of leading by example, my daughter has finally caught on that veggies can taste good.
Perhaps it’s the way I make them. I don’t know. Well, they do contain bacon and bacon makes everything taste good. Bacon is the gateway drug for vegans and vegetarians to start eating meat again. It’s that powerful.
If you are looking for a good side dish for your holiday table, look no further than this recipe. The sprouts are roasted with a little bacon and garlic. Add a little balsamic vinegar at the end if you so please but that isn’t necessary.
The best thing about this recipe, is that you can either cook them on the stove or in the oven. So... you have a choice! Both cooking methods are below.
Preheat the oven to 375ºF.
In an oven proof saute pan, render the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove bacon from the pan. Set aside (don’t eat it!).
Add the brussel sprouts to the pan; toss in the bacon fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Bake for another 15 minutes or until the sprouts are fork tender.
Remove from oven. Toss with the bacon. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve.
STOVE TOP METHOD:
In a saute pan, render the bacon over medium heat until brown and crispy. Remove bacon from the pan. Set aside (don’t eat it!).
Add the brussel sprouts, garlic, and red pepper flakes to the pan; toss in the bacon fat. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Over medium heat, brown the sprouts on one side for 5 minutes. Lower the heat to medium low, add 1-2 tablespoons water, and cover; cook for 10-15 minutes or until the sprouts are fork tender. Add the bacon at the end of cooking process. Serve.
Add a touch of balsamic vinegar at the end if desired.
Oh my goodness. You know you want some cobbler. I mean, who doesn't?
Cobbler can be made with most fruits or berries. However, peaches, blueberries, and cherries tend to be the most popular ones used. The topping for cobbler is what sets it apart from other fruit desserts. It's a biscuit like batter that is spread on top and baked until golden brown. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream and you will have some happy campers at your house.
This recipe is an updated version of my great-grandmothers. I know. It seems sacrilege to update great-grandma's recipe but it needed it. In fact, I have a set of her recipes that I'm throwing together in a book (stay tuned for further details).
One note about this recipe:
Choose a large baking dish. While the cherries themselves might fit into a medium size baking dish, once you put the batter on top, there will be some displacement and the filling will start to spill over. So, use a larger baking dish to prevent the spillage.
Preheat oven to 350ºF.
Make the filling:
In a saucepan, heat the frozen cherries over medium heat until cherries release their juice, about 5 minutes. In a bowl, stir together the sugar and cornstarch; add to the cherries and mix well. Cook until the mixture boils. Add the vanilla. Turn off the heat and pour mixture into a large baking dish.
Make the topping:
In a bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter and mix with a pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Stir in the milk; milk until a stiff batter forms. Carefully spoon the mixture over the hot filling.
Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the topping is cooked through and golden brown on top. Remove from the oven and cool. Serve with vanilla ice cream or sweetened whipped cream.
*If you use tart cherries, increase the sugar to 1 1/2 cups.