Daily Archives: 13 March 2012
I often feel like my repertoire of fast and easy dinners is lacking. Some weeks, I’m better than others at planning ahead, but when I’m not, while my pantry and freezer are overflowing, it’s not always easy to pull an interesting dinner together from what’s on hand. I’d be happy stopping at the market every day, but with all my other time constraints, it’s just not happening.
Lately, the thing that always seems to be in plentiful supply is fresh eggs. Last summer and fall, Howard was getting a bi-weekly dozen from his co-worker’s flock. Those hens slowed down for the winter, but for the past few weeks, someone who lives on my road has been putting out cartons of eggs in a cabinet at the roadside with an honor cash box. These are the most beautiful eggs, a mix of gorgeous blue-green eggs that come from Araucana hens mixed with brown ones.
Armed with eggs, frittatas make a good imaginative meal that can be made from whatever’s in the fridge. I made chili before we went to Florida, and I found some of the wilted vegetables languishing in the veggie drawer.
I chopped and sautéed some peppers, red and green, along with some puckering grape tomatoes and an onion to make a cheerful looking frittata. I cook the vegetables first. Then, in my trusty cast-iron skillet, I cook half a dozen eggs scrambled with some milk until they are almost set. The cooked eggs are topped with the sautéed vegetables. This gets topped with a healthy handful of grated cheese (again, whatever I find in the refrigerator). Pop it in the over for 5-10 minutes to melt the cheese and it’s dinner! Leftovers are delicious too, for lunch or ever breakfast. The biscuits I made last week complemented the frittata nicely.
Here’s the recipe. Frittatas are completely flexible, so this is more of a formula. It’s good with blanched asparagus in spring and corn kernels and fresh tomatoes in the summer. There are infinite variations you can make.
What’s your go-to no-thought-required home-cooked dinner dish? I could use some inspiration.
Serves 4 to 6
1 medium onion, chopped
1 Tbsp butter
2 cups cooked vegetables
½ green pepper, diced
½ red pepper, diced
½ pint grape tomatoes, quartered
2 cups asparagus, cut into 1” lengths, blanched
Kernels from 2 ears corn, sauteed or steamed
1 tomato, chopped
1/3 cup cream, half & half, or milk
Salt & Pepper to taste
1 cup grated cheese (cheddar, muenster, gruyere)
Saute the onion in butter in a 10” ovenproof skillet.
Whisk together eggs, cream, salt & pepper. Pour egg mixture into the skillet. Cook on the burner until the eggs begin to set (3-4 minutes). Arrange the vegetables over the eggs. Bake at 425F about 5 minutes, until almost done. Cover with cheese. Return to oven. Cook another 5-10 minutes until eggs are puffed and cheese is melted.