Posted in Food Favorites, Freedom Friday

Frittata

Simple meals are my favorite. They are easy to make, delicious to the palate and a wonderful break from the otherwise elaborate meals I cook on Saturdays. The best part about it? With a few simple ingredients the meal doesn’t hurt the budget. I also find I can make many of these types of dishes without much prep time either. And that’s a big bonus for those of us on a schedule.

Frittata with sweet red pepper and parsley
Frittata with sweet red pepper and parsley

One of the easiest things to make is a good ol’ fashion frittata. If this is your first foray into Italian cooking, don’t be afraid. A frittata is a fancy way of saying omelet. There is, however, a big difference with an omelet and a frittata, and that is in the final presentation.

The quickest way I make a frittata is this way: take a pan, add olive oil and one small garlic clove. While you’re waiting for the garlic to cook in the pan at medium heat, beat two eggs in a bowl adding finely chopped parsley and salt to taste. Once you see the garlic cooking, flip it a couple of times until it browns. Turn the heat down to simmer, remove the garlic then pour the egg in the center of the pan. What should happen is the egg will cook nice and even, but not stick to the pan. After you see the bottom turn a golden brown, flip the egg over to the other side. Leave it cooking until the other side is golden brown. Remove the frittata and serve with your choice of veggies. I love carrots with my eggs, so you’ll see that happening at Casa Flacco.

Omelet with hash browns, carrots and marinated eggplant
Omelet with hash browns, carrots and marinated eggplant

Also, you don’t necessarily need only to add parsley to the mix. You can add virtually anything you like. I’ll dice sweet red pepper and have that as part of the egg mix.

Remember how I said frittata is like an omelet? Guess what? Instead of flipping it a second time, you can add a good amount of mozzarella cheese on top, then flip one-half over the other, wait a minute or so and serve warm. You’ll find the omelet will have a nice flavor because of the garlic base you cooked it in and the cheese will have melted inside.

My favorite part about the whole adventure with this kind of omelet is cutting through it to make trailing strands of cheese with every bite. I don’t think I have this much fun with food than when I eat a cheese-filled omelet. There really isn’t anything like it.

Okay, your turn. What is quick to make, fun to eat and won’t cost you much but a few bucks?

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Do you have any quick recipes you’ll like to share? How did you come up with it?

Posted in Food Favorites, Freedom Friday

Eggs and Hash Browns

As part of Freedom Friday, let me introduce to you my favorite dish I make on a hurried Wednesday night. I’ve been making this for years. Sometimes I add to it, sometimes I take away from it. But most of the time, it remains the same: eggs and hash browns.

Cheese Omelet and Hash Browns
Cheese Omelet and Hash Browns

Wednesday is Costco night for us. This means a night where I head over to the consumer warehouse and buy everything in bulk. It’s amazing how far my dollar stretches when the product comes bundled in boxes. By the time I get home, I’m too tired for anything else. That’s when the routine developed of cooking eggs on Wednesday night. They’re quick, easy, and it takes me twenty minutes tops from idea to plate.

Fried Eggs—This is the easiest recipe. Crack a couple of eggs in a frying pan and away you go. It may seem easy, however if the pan isn’t greased properly, sunny side up eggs will become scrambled in no time. I use an extra large chrome skillet and prep it with olive oil, allowing the oil to cover the entire bottom of the pan. Not a lot—just enough to coat. Then I turn on the burner to medium heat. How do you know if the oil’s hot enough? Dip your finger in water and allow a drop to fall into the pan. If it pops, it’s ready.

Fried Eggs and Hash Browns
Fried Eggs and Hash Browns

Start cooking the eggs (you don’t need me to tell you to crack them and place them into the pan, do you?) When the egg white turns white, drop the heat to a minimum temperature, this will prevent the bottom of the eggs from burning. To know if the eggs are ready, I touch the top of the yolk with the pad of my finger. Do this until the eggs feel room temperature (I don’t know what to tell you if your eggs didn’t come out of a fridge). Also, as it cooks, use the spatula to lift carefully the edges. Once it’s done, the eggs should naturally slide off the pan into the plate.

Scrambled Eggs—There’s a trick to making good scrambled eggs: never allow them to cook long. They have to remain fluffy and moist. Not like rubber, where you chew it and it tastes like the inside of a boot (not that I know what that tastes like, nor do I want to know). Attaining fluffiness is easy. Crack a couple of eggs in a bowl and beat senseless. Well, at least until they have a creamy texture to them. If you like, you can add a touch of cream or milk to them, but I usually don’t bother.

Now, prepare the pan just as I’d described in the fried egg paragraph. There’s a difference though. Once the eggs hit the pan, turn off the burner and continually fluff them with a spatula. Keep doing this until the eggs look loose but not soggy. When you get them to that consistency, you’ve got yourself a fluffy scrambled egg.

By the way, a few things you can do with scrambled eggs to make them interesting is while they’re cooking, add some spices to the mixture. I do this in the bowl where I beat them. I like paprika, cumin, and garlic and onion powder. I’ll then season it with little salt and pepper.

I have an omelet recipe, but I think I’ll save it for another time.

As for the sides, I’ll make hash browns, which take about twenty minutes to cook. I tend to time my eggs so everything pops from the stove all at the same time. Depending on my mood, I’ll add baby carrots or celery as another side dish. Cucumbers are cool, but I find the taste less desirable—I don’t think it makes a good combination. Maybe I’m wrong. Oh, and during the summer, I eat salads, so that’s something to consider when making any of the egg dishes I described.

Do you have any egg recipes you’d like to share? What would be your choice of sides?