Thursday, June 28, 2012

The "L" Word: Clearing the Fridge

The other night I was totally stuck for something to make for dinner and didn't want to make a trip to the store. We had lots of odds and ends of leftovers (the "L" word around here) in the fridge, like a bit of roasted chicken that needed to be used, about three halves of various peppers that Dave had roasted on the grill the night before, four mushrooms and a half bunch of green onions that were looking a little sad.

There were also some garlic scapes a friend had given us from her garden, six baby Yukon Gold potatoes, a bag of greens from our own garden and several dozen eggs that had multiplied due to generous friends.

It was the eggs that finally made the lightbulb pop on. Since there weren't enough potatoes to make hash and I wanted to use up about a dozen eggs, the idea of a frittata seemed like the perfect solution. So I chopped up the veggies and threw them in our big nonstick skillet. When they'd cooked down to a tender pile, I threw those dozen or so eggs in a bowl, whisked them briefly and dumped them in the pan to seep into the hot vegetables.

While the frittata cooked, I rinsed and dried the greens and tossed them with my favorite dressing of olive oil and aged balsamic. When the eggs were mostly firm, all it took was a sprinkling of cheese, a brief visit under the broiler and dinner was ready.

Oh, and that roasted chicken? I'm having a curried chicken salad on the leftover greens for lunch as I write this.

Fridge Frittata

As mentioned above, this can be made from whatever vegetables or meats you happen to have on hand, sautéed and combined with eggs. Quick and easy, forgiving and always delicious, it's almost the perfect meal!

2 Tbsp. butter, margarine or olive oil
1/2 each green, red and ancho peppers, or about a heaping cup finely chopped
4 green onions, sliced into 1/8" slivers
4-6 mushrooms, halved and sliced thinly
5 garlic scapes, sliced in 1" pieces, leaving the bulbs intact
6 baby Yukon Gold potatoes (or the equivalent of 1 whole, chopped in 1/4" cubes)
12-14 eggs
1/2 c. cheese, grated
Salt and pepper to taste

Melt the butter over medium heat until it sizzles. Add potatoes and sauté briefly till slightly tender. Add rest of vegetables and sauté until very tender. While vegetables are cooking, break eggs into a mixing bowl and stir until well-mixed, adding salt to taste. When vegetables are done, pour the eggs over the top, sprinkle on the cheese and cover the pan, reducing the heat to low.

When the eggs are cooked on the bottom and still runny on top, put the pan under the broiler briefly (don't walk away or get distracted like I sometimes do!). When eggs are lightly browned on top, remove the pan from the broiler.

To serve, run a spatula around the inside of the skillet to loosen the eggs. Then invert a serving platter over the skillet and, holding them firmly together, turn the platter and skillet upside down. The frittata should plop out of the skillet onto the platter.

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