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Brain Food: Seasonal Frittata with a Potato Hash Crust

25 Sep

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School is in full swing, and I am having writers block like woah.

It is so hard to concentrate when I get paid to stare at these salty gems 3 mornings a week:

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…but I must remember to eat my veggies so that my brain can start working properly again…

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This is a funky time of year at the farmer’s market in New York City. Apples, pears, potatoes, and winter squash abound, but the tomatoes, peaches and plums, and corn are still pulling through for their final hurrah.

I just learned about the “nuke and shake method” for husking corn, and now before I blink my eyes three times, all of the corn will be gone! Drat.

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This is a simple egg bake that you could do with any seasonal ingredients–vegetables, herbs, cheeses, and meat. I adapted the recipe from Sara Forte’s The Sprouted Kitchen Cookbook. Sara’s recipe includes sweet potatoes and goat cheese; I happened to have a variety of small colorful potatoes on hand and a ball of mozzarella hanging out in the fridge, so into the frittata they went.

Fresh corn got thrown into the mix as well, because corn + eggs = awesome.

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Sure, I love a good quiche. How could you not love anything baked up in a flaky, buttery crust? But remember, we need brain fuel here, so potatoes for a “crust” will do. A few dashes of hot sauce always help fire up those neurons, too.

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Seasonal Frittata with a Potato Hash Crust

adopted from Sprouted Kitchen, also seen on Cookie and Kate

serves 4-6, depending how you slice and serve

6-8 eggs (I used 6 extra large eggs)

1/2 cup milk

pinches of salt and pepper

2 small sweet potatoes, or about 2 cups of colorful new potatoes, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin

2 garlic cloves, chopped

2 cups baby spinach

1-2 ears of corn, husked and sliced off the cob

3 oz. cheese, mozzarella ball or goat cheese

herbs, hot sauce, salt n’ pepper for topping

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, a pinch of salt and black pepper.
  2. Chop the potatoes into 1/4-inch cubes. In a 10-inch sauté pan (or well-seasoned cast iron skillet), warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes and toss to coat, then sprinkle with cumin and 1/2 teaspoon salt and stir. Cook the potatoes, stirring occasionally, until they are cooked through and have brown marks, 10 to 15 minutes (add another little splash of olive oil if the potatoes start sticking to the pan).
  3. Sprinkle the garlic on top of the potatoes, then the spinach and corn. Cover the pan with a lid or cookie sheet if you have one, and cook until the spinach wilts, a minute or two.
  4. Turn the heat down to low. Whisk the eggs one last time and pour them over the spinach. Crumble or slice the cheese and plop over the top of the frittata. Put the pan in the oven and bake until you can shake the pan and see that the middle is just barely set, about 12 to 18 minutes.
  5. Set the frittata aside to cool down slightly. You can either leave it in the pan or flip it onto a plate. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper, and add some herbs and hot sauce if you’re feelin’ it.

A Cast-Iron Cutie: Cherry Clafoutis, Round 2

22 May

Cherry season. Is upon us.

I’m bringing this beautiful cross between a custard and a pancake to an afternoon party in Napa Valley today.

Check the perfectly browned edges, please. With the lightest, airiest, subtly sweet-and- studded-with-cherry fruit-center. Now this is a pancake that’ll get you up in the morning.

While the clafoutis was in the oven, I whipped up some pasta.

Rigatoni with sauteed onions, cauliflower, and pattypan squash. Fresh pesto made in my mortar and pestle. Almonds. Cheese. I ate too much. It was worth it.

A cherry clafoutis was one of the first recipes I ever posted to my blog. 2 years ago. Dang.

Well here I go again. Cherry clafoutis, round 2.

Cherry Clafoutis

serves 8

adapted from 2 recipes: Saveur magazine and Joy of Baking/figsinmybelly

Once again, I keep the pits in the cherries for two reasons:

#1 It is easier and…
#2 The pits give the clafoutis a subtle almond flavor when baked.

Ingredients

1 tbsp. butter

2-3 cups cherries, washed and stemmed (no need to pit them)

1 tbsp. sugar

1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or 1 tsp. almond extract)

6 eggs

5 tbsp. sugar (I used brown sugar because I ran out of granulated)

1 1/4 cups milk

2 tbsp. kirsch (optional: I omitted it because I did not have any on hand)

Pinch salt

3/4 cup flour

Confectioners sugar (optional)

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.

2. In a blender or whisking by hand, combine your vanilla (or almond) extract, 6 eggs, 5 tbsp. sugar, milk, kirsch, and salt and whiz for a few seconds until blended. Then add the flour and blend for one more minute until smooth. Let the batter rest while you prepare the cherries.

3. Melt the butter in your cast iron skillet (or any oven proof skillet or pan), making sure to coat the pan and the sides very well. Once the butter starts bubbling, add your cherries, coating them and cooking for about 2 minutes. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon of sugar and continue cooking for one more minute.

3. Pour the batter over the cherry mixture. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes. Do not open the oven midway through baking. Pull the pan out after 30 minutes, you should have a nice puffed, browned clafoutis. Let it cool for a few minutes then dust with confectioners sugar. Slice and serve.