Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Yes, Chef

Gordon Ramsay is hot. I would sell two of my children for a chance to be on Hell’s Kitchen. OK, maybe just rent my children, but I can’t think of much I would rather do than learn to cook under his tutelage. Even though he yells obscenities and often reduces his students to quivering, crying masses, those students that survive really know how to cook at the end of his lessons.

Cooking and baking are two of my favorite things to do. Were I rich and a lady of leisure, I would have a gourmet meal prepared for my family every day of the week. I really like experimenting with flavors and unique combinations of food but I like perfecting the classics equally as much. Being realistic though, as a single working mother, I can’t always spend the time I would like on preparing meals for my family. So I improvise.

I search for recipes I think my family will enjoy, and then I try to adapt them to be easier to prepare. My frittatas are one example of that. A frittata is an open-faced omelet with other ingredients, such as cheese or vegetables, mixed into the eggs rather than used as a filling. I can get very creative with the fillings, using things I know my kids will eat and throwing a few new things that standing alone they probably would not choose to eat. While making a frittata is pretty easy, I have made it even easier by applying my improvising techniques to it. So, here is my plan for a very easy and healthy middle-of-the-week meal that looks like it took a lot of effort but really didn’t.

Tomato Bacon Frittata
Lettuce salad with fresh veggies
Cinnamon muffins

The first easy modification is to use the cinnamon muffins that I made for breakfast yesterday. They will be just as tasty once they spend a few minutes in the microwave.

The salad is very simple to assemble from torn green leaf lettuce leaves, cucumber slices from the fresh cucumbers in my garden, and a sprinkling of one of the salad crispy mixes you can find in the grocery store such as one with dried cranberries and spiced walnuts.

The frittata I usually make involves eggs, potatoes, some kind of breakfast meat, vegetables, cheese and fresh herbs from my garden. To make it even easier, I often use cut-up leftover potatoes (like the huge portion of fries I got with a lunch the day before). I will also use the pre-cooked bacon that you can buy in the store and cheese that has already been shredded. Here’s how to assemble it:

  • Preheat your oven to broil. This will be needed for the final step in cooking the frittata

  • Pour a little olive oil into an oven-proof skillet – I like cast iron.

  • Dump in the cut up potatoes and bacon and warm them through.

  • While the potatoes and bacon are warming, crack and mix together about 8-10 eggs, depending on how big your skillet is. Season the eggs with salt and pepper.

  • Pour the eggs into the skillet on top of the potatoes and bacon BUT DO NOT STIR. The frittata must cook like an omelet, not like scrambled eggs.

  • Sprinkle whatever fresh or dried herbs you prefer on top of the eggs. Parsley and chives are two of my favorites.

  • Just let the egg cook – again, DO NOT STIR. The eggs will start to cook from the bottom up. As they get firmer, lay sliced Hanover tomatoes on top of the frittata.

  • After just a couple of minutes, when the frittata is almost done, remove it from the stove, sprinkle with the cheese of your choice, and then place the whole thing into the oven under the broiler.

  • In less than a minute, the cheese will melt and your frittata will be done. Slide it out of the skillet onto a large plate, and serve sliced like pie slices.

I think even Gordon Ramsay would be impressed and would declare me his top chef of the day, take me on an incredible date in his stretch limo, and then ask me to join him in one of his 5-star kitchens.

A girl can dream, can’t she?

1 comment:

Attila the Mom said...

Can I come over to your house for dinner? LOL