Monday, December 23, 2013

Frittata for One: Two-Egg Vegetable Frittata

I love frittatas, and make them somewhat regularly, but my regular 8-egg recipe is often more than I want for the time it would take me to eat all of it.  I am lucky enough to love leftovers so that is not usually an issue for me; however, when I want some frittata for Sunday breakfast, I don't always want it to carry over into the work week.

The solution is certainly one of those "duh" moments.  There is no reason that the recipe cannot be broken down into individual, two-egg servings.  And that is what I did here.

I am also still trying to incorporate more vegetables into my diet, and as a means of accomplishing that I have taken to having some pre-blanched vegetables on hand at all times to add to dishes, or to simply eat out of hand so I have healthier snack options.  So far that is working out pretty well, and it was especially helpful over the weekend when I had the thought of making a quick frittata and realized I had broccoli and zucchini already prepped in the refrigerator.  From there, it was an incredibly simple process to pare down my regular frittata recipe to a single serving.

It could be doubled for two, or if you wanted to be a little bit fancy, you could simply make two of them for a cozy breakfast for two.  You could also prep a lot of different vegetable options and have yourself a frittata party. It's all good.
Makes 1 serving

2 eggs
1 tsp dried thyme
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup chopped blanched zucchini
1/2 cup chopped broccoli stems or florets
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese

Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and add the thyme, salt and pepper and whisk together.  Add the zucchini and broccoli and set aside.

Melt the butter in a small skillet.  When it is foamy and sizzling, pour in the egg mixture, making sure to distribute the vegetables evenly.  Let sit for 30 seconds, then lower the heat and cook until the eggs have set on the bottom, about 15 minutes.

Remove the skillet from the heat and sprinkle with the parmesan cheese.  Place the skillet under the broiler (wrap the handle in aluminum foil if it is plastic) until the cheese has melted and is golden, about 2 minutes.

Can be served immediately, or at room temperature.


Exported from Home Cookin v.8.54 (

Monday, December 16, 2013

Chicken Pizza

Every once in a while we order pizza for our end-of-month lunch at work, and it is a challenge to find the right mix of toppings for a group that contains vegetarians and various allergies. I usually ask around to get a general idea of what will fly before I place the order.  The last time, when I asked one of my more challenged co-workers what pizza she could eat, she said "chicken." When I asked what she liked with it, she said "Just chicken. Nothing else."

I didn't think that would work well for everyone, so I just ordered chicken on half of a pizza. To my surprise, it was the first to go and folks were commenting on how good it was. So I think I will order a whole one next time.

And it got me thinking about my tendency to overdo in the kitchen. Whenever I start to think of a new combination of flavors, I start with two things that will go well together but before I know it, I keep adding items until I have created a virtual monster. And I will often end up with a mish-mash of flavors that add up to much less than the sum of their parts.

So I decided to make a chicken pizza. A just-chicken pizza. And it was fantastic. The sauce and cheese created the perfect backdrop to let the chicken shine. Sometimes less truly is more.
Makes 2 pizzas

1 batch pizza dough (recipe below or click here to see how to do it)
3/4 lb cooked chicken, cubed
1 cup marinara sauce
salt and pepper to taste
8 oz mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Make pizza dough.  Move a rack to the bottom slot of the oven and preheat it to 550 deg. F. Shape the dough to the desired size. Top with the sauce and season with salt and pepper. Add the mozzarella cheese and the chicken, then spread the Parmesan cheese over everything. (If you are making two pizzas, use half of the ingredients for each pizza.) Bake the pizza for 18 to 20 minutes, until it is browned and bubbling.

Serve hot.

Makes 2 small pizzas

1-1/4 cup warm water (105 - 115 deg. F.)
1 Tbsp active dry yeast (or two 1/4-oz. packets)
1 cup white whole wheat flour
1 cup unbleached white bread flour, plus more for kneading
1/2 cup semolina flour
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil
cornmeal, for dusting the baking sheet

Combine the flours, salt and sugar in a small bowl and whisk together to mix well. Place warm water in a large bowl and add the yeast, whisking it together. Add the oil, and then the flour mixture and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough comes together.

Turn the mixture onto a floured surface and set the bowl aside. Bring the dough together into a ball and knead, sprinkling more flour over the dough if necessary, until the dough is smooth and elastic and is just at the point where it is not sticking to your hands. Try not to add too much flour. Cut in half and make two balls. Dust with flour and put each ball into a plastic bag (leaving room for it to rise) and put the balls in the refrigerator until you are ready to make the pizza. If you are making the pizzas right away, then just put the dough in an oiled bowl, turning it to make sure it is covered with the oil, and let it rise until doubled, about one-and-a-half hours.

You can also freeze the dough at this point. Just give it time to defrost before you get to work.

Follow the directions for the pizza you are making.

adapted from the recipe on the package of Bob's Red Mill Unbleached White Flour.

Exported from Home Cookin 6.46 (

Monday, December 09, 2013

Curried Lentils with Sweet Potato and Spinach

This dish was inspired by a recipe I got years ago from my sister and filed away for future reference.  I finally decided to give it a try this year, and it was quite delicious.

When I took a closer look at the recipe, I saw that the only spice it used was curry powder.  These days I have so many Indian spices in my pantry that I decided to make my own blend.  It was easy to do and they  blended the earthiness of the spinach and lentils with the sweetness of the potatoes to a perfect pitch.

The way the recipe was originally written, you saute the onion, garlic and ginger, then add the liquid, and then add the spices and tomato paste.  One of the main things I have learned about Indian cooking is that you cook the spices in the oil before you add the liquid so the spices can bloom.  The same applies to the tomato paste.  It was about that time I decided to create my own dish instead of making it as written.

The result was quite lovely.  The sweet potato adds an extra depth of texture and flavor that makes this a memorable dish.  It is warm and hearty and full of flavor.  You can't ask for more than that.

If you prefer, you can use curry powder instead of the nigella, cumin and mustard seeds and other spices; add it where the recipes tells you to add the rest of the spices.

Home Cookin Chapter: My Recipes

Makes 4 main or 6 side servings

3 Tbsp grapeseed oil
1/2 tsp nigella seeds (optional)
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp brown mustard seeds
1 onion, chopped
1 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 Tbsp ginger, chopped
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp turmeric
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
cayenne pepper to taste
salt to taste
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1 cup lentils, rinsed and drained
2 cups water
1 sweet potato, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1-1/2 cups canned diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 lb chopped spinach

Combine nigella seeds and oil in large saucepan and place over medium-high heat. When the seeds are sizzling add the cumin and mustard seeds and cook for about 30 seconds, followed immediately by the onion. Saute, stirring frequently, until the onions are translucent and starting to brown. Add the garlic and ginger and cook for another 2 minutes.

Add the rest of the spices and cook for 2 minutes, being careful not to let them burn. Add the tomato paste and cook for another few minutes. Add the lentils and the water and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and cook, covered, until the lentils are just tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Add more water if needed.

Add the sweet potato and tomatoes and cover the pot again. Cook until the sweet potatoes are tender, then add the spinach and stir well. Cook for another 5, until the spinach has wilted. Adjust seasoning and serve immediately over dill rice.


Exported from Home Cookin 7.50 (
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