Monthly Archives: February 2010

Mushroom and Onion Frittata

Mushroom and Onion Frittata

I love eggs.  I could eat them for three meals a day and be very happy.  They are so versatile; equally at home playing a supporting role in sweets like cookies or cake or acting as the star of savory dishes like quiche or a frittata.  When you are pressed for time and/or find yourself with nothing in the fridge at dinner time, eggs are a quick and easy foundation for a healthy dinner.

Eggs

If you have never made a frittata, I highly recommend you try it.  Frittatas, essentially rustic, unfussy omelets, are very easy to make, come together quickly, and can be made with whatever you have on hand.  You start with whatever precooked meat and cooked or raw vegetables you have available.  Cook them gently in an oven-proof skillet to warm them.  Add beaten eggs and cook until the bottom is set.  Sprinkle with grated cheese, pop in under the broiler, and in less than 15 minutes, dinner is served.

Mushrooms and Onions

This recipe is for a mushroom and onion frittata but feel free to use this as a guide to the basic technique and adapt to whatever ingredients you like.  Ham or bacon are always lovely additions to a frittata.  Bell (or spicy) peppers, tomatoes, roasted potatoes, asparagus, broccoli, and pretty much anything that you would put in an omelet would be tasty as well.  Of course, you could always go simple and use a variety of cheeses to flavor your dish.  Whatever you do, frittatas make a lovely dinner or brunch dish.

Cheesy goodness

Mushroom and Onion Frittata

Ingredients:

5 large eggs

1/4 teaspoon oregano

1 small-to-medium yellow onion, finely diced

1 tbls vegetable oil

2 tbls butter

7 oz mushrooms, sliced

salt and pepper to taste

2 oz swiss cheese, shredded

grated parmesan cheese to top (optional)

To Make:

Beat the eggs along with the oregano and salt and pepper to taste.  Set aside.

Place a 10″ oven proof skillet over medium heat.  Add the vegetable oil and the onions.  Cook until the onions are softened and slightly browned, about 5-7 minutes.  Add the mushrooms.  Cook until the mushrooms have released all of their juices and have browned nicely, another 10-15 minutes.  Remove the onion, mushroom mixture from the pan and place in a bowl. 

Add the butter to the pan and heat until it is foamy and starting to brown.  Add the egg mixture and reduce the heat to low.  Allow the egg mixture to cook for a few minutes and set on the bottom of the pan.  Add the onion and mushroom mixture to the eggs and top with the shredded swiss cheese.  Continue letting the egg mixture to cook for a total of about 15-20 minutes until set and only slightly runny on the top.  Sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese if using. 

Place under a high broiler for about a minute until the cheese is golden brown and the top is set.  Remove the pan from the oven and use a spatula to loosen the frittata from the pan and slide onto a cutting board. 

To Serve:

Cutting the frittata into wedges (like a pizza) and eat warm or at room temp.  Serves 4.

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Filed under Breakfast, Dinner, Eggs, Mushrooms, Recipes, Vegetarian

Baked Mac & Cheese

Baked Mac & Cheese

How do you like your maccaroni and cheese?  Do you like it baked with a crunchy bread crumb layer and stiff enough to slice?  How about from the stove top with a creamy cheese sauce?  Or even (gasp) from the box?  Regardless of how you like it, I highly recommend you give this version a try. 

Spices and onions

This mac and cheese is extra cheesy and has a crunchy panko bread crumb topping.  Whole wheat elbows adds a light nutty flavor (and some extra fiber).  This is the ultimate in comfort food and is ripe for modifications.  I could see additions of bacon or some wilted spinach.  Alternatively, you could throw in some blue or goat cheese for an interesting flavor option.

Making the cheese sauce

This is great right out of the oven or eaten cold out of the fridge the next day.  The perfect dinner for a cold winter Sunday night.

30 minutes to heaven

Baked Mac & Cheese

Adapted from The Joy of Cooking 

Ingredients:

8 oz whole wheat elbow pasta

5 oz mild cheddar, shredded

4 oz Monterey jack, shredded

1 small onion, diced

3 tbls tablespoons butter, divided

2 tbls flour

1 1/2 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp paprika

1 bay leaf

 2 cups milk (2%)

1/2 cup panko bread crumbs

To Make:

Shred the cheeses and set aside. 

Fill a large stock pot with water and cook the pasta until just tender, according to the packaged instructions.  Drain and set aside.

Grease a 1 1/2 quart baking dish and preheat the oven to 350F.

Meanwhile, in another large saucepan, over medium heat, melt 2 tbls of butter.  Add the diced onion and cook until softened and translucent but not browned, about 5 minutes.  Add in the flour, dry mustard, and paprika and whisk to combine.  Cook for 2 minutes to get the raw flour taste out.  Slowly stream the milk into the pot, whisking constantly to incorporate.  Add the bay leaf.  Continue to cook, whisking frequently, until the mixture is thick, about 10 minutes.

Remove the cheese sauce from the heat and stir in about two-thirds of the shredded cheese until melted.  Stir in the maccaroni.  Empty about half of the mixture into the prepared baking dish.  Layer with half of the remaining cheese.  Empty the rest of the mac into the baking dish. 

In a small skillet, melt 1 tbls of butter.  Add the bread crumbs and stir until lightly browned.  Top the mac and cheese with the remaining cheese and finally the toasted bread crumbs. 

Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the topping is golden brown, about 30 minutes.

To Serve:

Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.  Serves 6 as a main course.

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Filed under Dinner, Pasta, Recipes, Vegetarian

Asian-Inspired Kale Salad

Asian-Inspired Kale Salad

 As I mentioned here, one of the best things about our deep winter CSA is that we get locally grown greens in the middle of winter.  When you try to eat seasonally in New England, it can feel like a long winter of root vegetables when the only the greens you have are those you froze the previous summer.  With our last distribution, we got some very fresh and tender kale.  We almost always eat our kale cooked, frequently sauteed in some olive oil with onions and garlic.  Last week at a business meeting, I had a cold kale salad and suddenly, a new world of possibilities opened up.

Fresh kale in the steamer basket

Normally, when I see cold kale it is on the side of a diner plate as garnish.  I never really thought to serve kale as the base of a salad.  However, this salad was really delicious and I thought maybe it would be worth it to try to make my own kale salad.  Last night, this dish was the result of that effort.  Steaming the kale briefly locks in the bright green color and cooks it just enough to take the toughness out.  Toss it with some paper thin red onion slices and a very simple dressing right before serving and you have a quick, easy, healthy, and really tasty salad in minutes.

Asian-Inspired Kale Salad

Ingredients:

2 medium bunches of kale (any variety will do)

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced

1 tbls Tamari soy sauce (low sodium)

2 tsp toasted sesame oil

1/4 tsp fish sauce

1/4 tsp finely grated fresh ginger

1 small garlic clove, finely minced

To Make:

Wash kale, cut the leaves off the stems, and chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces.  Fill a large pot outfitted with a steamer basket with about an inch of water.  Bring the water to a boil and add the kale to the steamer basket.  Steam, with the cover on, until bright green and tender, about 5 minutes.  Place the steamed kale in a bowl and chill. 

Whisk all the dressing ingredients together in a small bowl (or place all ingredients in a container with a lid and shake until combined).  Just before serving, top the kale with very thinly sliced onion and toss with the dressing.

To Serves:

Serves 4.  Kale can be made ahead of time and chilled, undressed, until ready to serve.

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Filed under CSA Talk, Dinner, Recipes, Side Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian