Monday, September 29, 2008

Hearty Breakfast Fritatta; Potsticker Salad

I have returned. :)

There was no way that I could have anticipated how much time would be spent in getting my laptop back up and running, and I’m still having issues with it. Mostly of an anti-virus variety.

I felt a bit like Alice dropping into Wonderland after we returned. It’s a bit of a shock returning to the demands of everyday life, and combined with suddenly fall is here, I’ve been slow in my recovery.

The other day I went for a run on our trails and all of the paths in the wooded areas are covered with leaves. They were very dry since it hadn’t rained in so long, and as they crunched under my feet they let loose a lovely, fall-ish fragrance. But I still wake up in the morning and pull on shorts, a t-shirt, and slide into flip-flops. I am protesting the end of summer with my reluctance to admit that I find myself chilly in the mornings!

While I started to really enjoy being offline for 10 days, I realized that I was no longer photographing my food since I wasn’t posting regularly here. Of course, Jack and our guests enjoyed not having to wait through a photography session while their meals cooled. Many meals were put together without my measuring ingredients and following recipes so I would have nothing to post to go with the photos, anyway.

But I do have two recipes with accompanying photos.

First, our friends Karla and Frankie came to spend three fun (and rum!) filled days with us. For breakfast one morning I made a frittata. It turned out so well that I later wrote down the ingredients as I remembered them, and the approximate measurements, then refined it later for another frittata breakfast when my parents visited.

I call this a “frittata” because it isn’t prepared like a traditional frittata, where the egg mixture is cooked on top of the stove then it is placed under a broiler. The beach house didn’t have a skillet that I thought was “broiler-safe”, so I decided to use a cake pan to cook it in. I guess that this is more closely to a crustless quiche, but I’m sticking with the name anyway!

This will also be going into my Entertaining file because it was so quick to put together. I boiled the potatoes the evening before and refrigerated them, and also prepared the bell peppers and refrigerated them at the same time. Karla is a vegetarian, so I used the Morningstar breakfast patties but any sort of breakfast sausage can be used (cooked and drained first, of course).

And, since I do not yet have Mastercook on my computer (although I did, amazingly, locate the software disk), there are no nutritional data given for this recipe.


Makes 4 servings

¾ pound small red potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 medium red bell peppers (can use one green, as well)
1 small onion, diced
1 medium garlic clove, minced
4 large eggs
2 large egg whites
3 tablespoons skim milk
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon smoked paprika (or ¼ teaspoon chipotle powder, for heat)
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
3 Morningstar Farms veggie breakfast patties, thawed and crumbled or chopped
1/3 cup shredded cheddar (I used Cabot 50% less fat cheddar)

Wash and slice the potatoes into ¼” thick slices. Parboil until just tender (this should take around 8 minutes-- don’t overcook or they will fall apart).

Wash the peppers. If desired, cut 3 ¼” thick rings from near the end of one pepper and set aside. Core and chop the remaining peppers into ¼” dice.

Heat olive oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the peppers and chopped onions and cook, stirring frequently, until peppers begin to soften. Add garlic and stir for another minute. Transfer to a plate to cool for about 10 minutes.

(All of the above can be done ahead of time, even the night before.)

Preheat the oven to 375F.

In a small mixing bowl, beat the eggs and egg whites well. Add the parsley through ground black pepper and beat a little more.

Spray an 8” diameter baking dish (or cake pan) with cooking spray. Arrange the potatoes in an overlapping pattern on the bottom of the dish. Add the pepper/onion mixture and breakfast patties to the egg mixture, mix well, and pour on top of the eggs. Sprinkle with the cheese and, if used, decorate the top of the egg mixture with the pepper rings.

Place in the oven for about 25 minutes (check after about 20) until they are done as desired. We like “well done” eggs, so I bake until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool for a couple of minutes, cut into wedges, and serve.

The next vacation recipe was prepared on one of our final days. We enjoy going to a local state park, Cape Henlopen, and had not yet visited there yet. I made a picnic lunch and we spent most of the day walking trails and sitting on an almost-deserted beach. I took this photo from behind a small dune beside the walkway leading down to the beach:

The idea for this recipe came from August’s issue of Real Simple, but I altered most of the ingredients to what I had on hand and needed to use in the refrigerator.


14 pieces frozen pot stickers (I used Trader Joe's chicken pot stickers)
2 ounces thinly sliced carrots (about 1/2 cup)
3 ounces sliced red bell pepper (about 3
1/4 cup frozen edamame, thawed
4 ounces very thinly sliced Napa cabbage
1 1/2 ounces diagonally sliced scallion (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon brown sugar
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chili paste (optional; adjust for desired spiciness)
2 tablespoons chopped roasted peanuts

Fill a large saucepan with 1 inch of water and fit with a steamer basket (or fill a large skillet with 1/2 inch of water). Bring the water to a boil.

Place the pot stickers in the basket (or skillet), cover, and steam for 4 minutes. Add the carrots and red bell pepper, cover, and steam for 2 minutes. Add the edamame and cabbage and steam for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Drain thoroughly.

Meanwhile combine the soy sauce through chili paste in a large bowl. Add the potsticker and vegetable mixture and toss. Cool slightly, sprinkle with the peanuts and scallions and serve.
Note: For our picnic, I refrigerated the mixture then packed it on ice in a cooler and packed the scallions and peanuts in separate containers. I allowed the salad to sit out for about 15 minutes before serving, then sprinkled with scallions and peanuts.

Yield: Makes 4 servings


Jen said...

Okay, that "fritatta" looks amazing, and the potsticker salad is something I would never have thought of doing! Great blog!

Jen said...

I also wanted to say that I love the Calvin & Hobbes reference in your blog name. :)