Archive | September, 2012

Cooking With: Grains of All Shapes & Sizes

27 Sep

Quinoa? Brown rice? Couscous? Sign me up!

One of my favorite ways to add to a meal is using grains. I know we live in something of a carb-fearing time, but grains — real, whole grains, with a history and flavor to ’em beyond being overbleached and stripped of all nutrients — are so much more than just “carbs.” They can be the basis of an entire meal.

Keep reading

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Budget Eats: Doctoring Store-Bought Ingredients

25 Sep

In the spirit of Sandra “Semi-Homemade” Lee, this “Budget Eats” entry focuses on taking things you can easily find in a grocery store (dry mixes, spice packs, sauces, and even pre-cooked meat products like chicken sausage) and turning them into something totally dynamite. Can you do it? Can it be done on a budget? Heck yes.

I’ve constructed this post with 3 categories: Mixes & doughs, meat products, and sauces. Each has its own tips and ideas for how to use those products in a pinch for dinners, desserts, snacks & more. Please (seriously!) feel free to leave comments with other ideas — this is a place to share what we’ve all learned, especially the shortcuts that keep us sane on a hungry weeknight!

MIXES & DOUGHS:

  • Take a standard mix — Bisquick, Jiffy mixes, etc — and play around with their use. Bisquick, in a pinch, is a killer ingredient in a single-breaded or double-breaded chicken dinner. And Jiffy mix? Jiffy is a whole nother ballgame of multipurpose cooking. My favorite use for Jiffy mix is Savory Corn Muffins — Prepare Jiffy mix as noted on box; add garlic powder, frozen corn kernels (up to 3/4 cup), chopped fresh chives & freshly grated black pepper; bake as usual and serve with chili, tacos or other Tex-Mex cuisine. See the above picture, or this one:

  • Biscuit dough — like Pillsbury Grands — is incredibly versatile. For example, you can make Easy-Peasy Cinnamon Donuts with a tube of Grands biscuits: Separate and lay biscuits out on a baking sheet; Using a shot glass or medicine cup, cut circles out of the center of each biscuit; either bake as directed or deep-fry in vegetable oil until browned; sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. NOM NOM! Here’s a great recipe (with actual measurements) from Make and Takes.

Image sourced from Makeandtakes.com. Amazing, right? And so easy!

  • Pizza dough — either Pillsbury or a store brand — can be used for its obvious purpose (pizza, kiddies), or for calzones, strombolis, or even mini-pizzas. Or, try these Holiday Hors d’OeuvresCut the pizza dough into 1″ X 1″ squares; top with pesto, chopped roasted red peppers, and feta cheese crumbles; bake as directed for pizza dough. (These also make a great light supper.)
  • Got Spice Cake Mix and a jar of pumpkin? (Of course you do, lovely GKG readers — you wouldn’t go anywhere without your trusty can of pumpkin!) Combine the two, bake according to the cake mix package’s directions, and poof. Instant Pumpkin Cupcakes. Top with store-bought cream cheese frosting with a splash of maple syrup mixed in, and WOWZA.

MEAT PRODUCTS:

Image sourced from baltimorecrab.com. This may or may not currently be in my freezer …

  • Those bags of frozen Tilapia filets? Seriously your best friend. Use them to create Single Serving Foil Packs — stuff a packet of tinfoil with Tilapia, a splash of cooking liquid (broth, oil, butter or white wine), sliced veggies & spices to your liking; bake at 350 degrees F for about 30 minutes, or until fish and veggies are cooked through. Win! This method also works for chicken and beef equally well.
  • Got frozen chicken nuggets? How about turning them into Chicken Parm Bites? Top individual nuggets with tomato sauce and dried basil, baking according to package directions; then, add shredded mozzarella cheese on each nugget and return to the oven for an additional 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese is melted, bubbly and brown. Mmm!

Image sourced from seriouseats.com. So much tasty!

  • Pre-cooked chicken sausage is incredibly versatile. Use brands like Al Fresco to whip up a Healthy Pita Pizza: Top individual Greek-style pitas with pesto or tomato sauce, shredded mozzarella, sliced chicken sausage, and shredded kale (thawed and formerly frozen is great!); Broil for 5-10 minutes or until cheese is melted and sausage is heated through. Mmm!

SAUCES

The players in Operation: Sauce Doctoring — fresh or dried herbs work well here.

  • Got jarred tomato sauce? Doctor up that boring blend with a few extras that you may have hiding in your pantry or spice cabinet: dried basil, dried oregano, dried parsley and a bay leaf. Add sauteed chopped mushrooms and peppers to create an instant Cacciatore sauce for chicken and spaghetti. Or, stir a little store-bought pesto into a jarred tomato sauce. Serious good eats. (I even used this method on my chicken parm! Shhh. Don’t tell the aunts and grandparents! 🙂
  • I’m counting mayonnaise as a “sauce” here, because it’s one of the most versatile condiments on the planet. Add some Sriracha for Spicy Mayo; stir in some pesto for a dee-licious Pesto Mayo on your panini; or crushed cloves of garlic (use a sprinkle of salt and a fork to turn garlic into a mushy, incredible paste) and a drizzle of olive oil to DIY your own aioli. Mmmskies.
  • If we count cake frosting as a “sauce,” too, then your possibilities are pretty much endless. As I mentioned above, add a drizzle of maple syrup (and a dash or two of cinnamon) to frost fall desserts. Or, try stirring mashed strawberries or raspberries into a whipped vanilla frosting for a light, fruity flavor to top your cakes and cupcakes. I’m also experimenting with adding — you guessed it, lovelies — some jarred pumpkin. I’ll keep you posted on how that turns out.

Here’s to getting creative! Using some pre-made, store-bought ingredients can save you time, energy and money. Wallet-friendly and fun? Sign me up! What are your favorite ways to add to what you’ve already found at the grocery store?

Viva Italia: Healthful Chicken Parmigiana

23 Sep

When the History Teacher mentioned a craving for Chicken Parm recently, he and I both took a peek or two at various recipes in our collections. (Cookbooks, magazines, Pinterest — which is slowly becoming a recipe book-sized collection in itself!) Each recipe we found, it seemed, called for lots of oil, gobs of cheese, and a few more calories than either of us might need in one meal. Or an entire day.

I decided to tackle the beast that was one of Italian-American cuisine’s most iconic dishes, but in a healthier way. Could it be done? Would it be a fruitless effort, like whoever decided to try manufacturing fat-free ice cream? (Oxymoronic at best, nasty at worst. Oif.) Would I end up with a chicken-tasting hockey puck of low-fat grossness? Time would tell.

But, lo and behold, I came up with this beauty:

Nommy nom nom goodness.

The recipe’s low-fat, easy-prep secrets? (I’ll let you in, faithful GKG readers, because you’re lovely and awesome.)

  1. Pound the chicken breasts to tenderize the meat.
  2. Double-Bread the chicken (directions below) to seal in moisture and create a crispy crust
  3. Downplay the cheese by only adding enough for flavor, rather than letting the chicken drown in fromaggio.
  4. If you have it, use whole-wheat pasta, which has a nuttier flavor and a hefty “bite” when cooked al dente.

Now, some of you may be raising a red flag at the mention of lowering the recipe’s cheese content. After all, what’s Chicken Parm without gobs upon gobs of melted mozzarella? Here’s my reasoning: If the chef uses less, but makes the cheese available to her guests and patrons, then they can add as much cheese as they see fit. And, thus, their future heart attacks are not on the chef’s conscience. Plus, I like a lighter layer of cheese with the whole-wheat or whole-grain pastas. Something about their nutty, wholesome flavor screams “Please don’t drown me in dairy!”

And so, friends, here’s my recipe for an easy and surprisingly healthful Chicken Parmigiana. It’s really the meat-pounding-and-double-breading that makes this recipe special, and the techniques are so simple that they can be easily applied to any cut of meat that you choose. Try it with pork chops, chicken thighs, or even a thin steak if you’re feeling particularly Southern. Happy eating!

Surprisingly Healthful Chicken Parm — Serves 4 (easily reduced to 2 or doubled)

You’ll need:

  • 4 medium-sized or two large boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 cup breadcrumbs (regular, Italian-seasoned or panko are all fine)
  • A hefty sprinkle of Parmesan, plus more for serving (approx 1 tbsp)
  • 1-2 tsp Dried or fresh basil, parsley and oregano, crushed (if dried) or finely chopped (if fresh)
  • Salt & pepper to season
  • 1 recipe homemade tomato sauce (or 1 jar of your favorite marinara)
  • 1 lb whole-grain or whole-wheat spaghetti (or 1 lb regular spaghetti. Your carbs are your prerogatives, my dears.)

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Meanwhile, set a pot of water (with a pinch of salt) to boil on high heat.
  • In a small saucepan, heat 2-3 cups pasta sauce.
  • Place your chicken breasts on a cutting board between two layers of wax paper or plastic wrap. (If you used 2 large breasts, cut ’em into evenly-sized portions). Using a meat tenderizer or whatever heavy, blunt object you don’t mind getting slightly covered in chicken guts (I used the bottom of a jar), pound out the breasts until they are at least 1/2 of their original thickness. They should end up about 1/2 to 1 inch thick. (The recipe can handle a little variation.)
  • Arrange 3 bowls or serving dishes. In the first, add the flour, some salt & pepper, and 1/2 of the herbs. In the 2nd, add the beaten egg (with an optional pinch of garlic salt). In the third, add the breadcrumbs, Parmesan and the rest of the herbs. Dredge the pounded breasts first in flour (shaking off the excess), then in egg, and finally in the breadcrumb and Parmesan mixture. Set aside on a serving dish.
  • Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium heat. (Optional: Add 1/2 tsp butter to the pan for additional flavor. Add the chicken breasts (2 at a time) and cook for 4-5 minutes on each side, or until well browned. When browned, transfer to a lightly sprayed baking sheet. Bake for an additional 10-15 minutes, or until completely cooked through.

“Hissssss.” — Breadcrumb coating meets olive oil.

  • Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, rinse lightly, and transfer to serving bowl / dish. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and a little remaining pasta water to keep pasta from sticking together until chicken is done.

Lonely pasta, just waiting for some friends.

  • To serve, top pasta with chicken breasts. Spoon sauce over breasts and pasta until well-covered. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese to garnish, and top with additional dried or fresh herbs. Serve to the hungry hordes!

Almost ready! Check out that sweet crumb-coating.

Oh yeah. Sauce & cheese take that chicken to the next level.

A few final points, my dears:

First, if you’re serving this for dinner, a simple salad and crusty loaf of bread are the perfect side dishes. Secondly, you can up the veggie quantity by using a veggie-filled sauce, adding sauteed veggies to your premade sauce, or even using peeled eggplant slices / squash slices instead of chicken breasts. And if you’re really craving that cheesy goodness, assemble the dish in an oven-safe, deep-sided pan, top with mozzarella, and broil for 5-10 minutes, or until cheese is gooey, bubbly and browned to your liking. (“All things in moderation, including moderation.” — some wise, awesome person.)

Lastly, what really makes the dish is that double-breading. It creates a crisp coating that locks in moisture, leaving your chicken breasts juicy and the outsides browned, crunchy and delicious. You really can’t go wrong!

Are you guys fans of this Italian-American classic? Have you ever double-breaded chicken breasts before? What are your favorite techniques for recreating this dish at home?

Cooking 101: Oven-Roasted Vegetables

21 Sep

With the advent of fall (yup, still excited about it, and will be until winter comes crawling), I always get in the mood for that caramelized, tender-crisp and buttery flavor of roasted vegetables. While fall specifically tends to make me crave root veggies — roasted sweet potatoes, squashes, parsnips and more — the simple technique of roasting veggies is clutch for any budding chef to master.

Here are the simplest steps for successful veggie roasting:

  1. Cut or trim veggies into semi-uniform pieces (for even cooking time)
  2. Coat lightly with salt, pepper and olive oil
  3. Spread veggies onto a baking sheet, and roast at 425 degrees for 10-30 minutes, or until the veggies have caramelized (browned with natural sugars) and are cooked to your liking.

That’s it! The process brings out so much of each veggie’s natural flavor while infusing them with the earthy olive oil and piquant salt & pepper combo. As Adam Roberts, a.k.a. the Amateur Gourmet, says of his take on Ina Garten’s roasted broccoli, “If parents made this broccoli for their kids, kids wouldn’t hate broccoli. They’d beg for it.”

Veg-roasting is also a killer way to stretch a dollar — pick up one sweet potato & one parsnip, slice & prepare as noted above, and boom. You have more than enough food to create a satisfying side dish for two or more, and for minimal cost. In the spirit of Jessie J, I suppose “it’s not about the money, money, money” — but saving a little never hurts!

A few of my favorite roasted veggie options:

  • Asparagus with Tomatoes (seen above): Trim asparagus by holding both ends and “bending” the stalks — they’ll naturally break at the proper point. Toss with cherry or diced tomatoes and olive oil, salt & pepper. Roast as noted above for 10-15 minutes. Serve with a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese and a drizzle of lemon juice. Mmm!
  • Root Veggies: Slice sweet potatoes, parsnips, rutabaga and red onion into steak fry-size pieces. Coat with olive oil and a drizzle of maple syrup (thanks, Gwyneth! Seriously — what would I do without your book?); roast for 30 mins to 1 hour, or until veggies have caramelized and cooked to your liking.
  • Broccoli: For a take on Ina’s heavenly broccoli, coat broccoli florets with olive oil, adding  salt & pepper to taste. Roast for 20-25 mins with 4 or 5 peeled garlic cloves. After the broccoli florets are done, toss with parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and toasted pine nuts. Consume mass quantities, coneheads.

Do y’all roast veggies in fall and winter? What are your favorites? How about some meat-and-veggie parings: Which roasted veggies to you like with your protein? Happy eating!

Pinterest Challenge: Pumpkin Poppers

19 Sep

It’s getting chilly in the mornings, the crunchy leaves are rustling in cool breezes, and I’m in the mood for my “You’ve Got Mail” bouquet of sharpened pencils. What’s that spell, kids? F-A-L-L!

But seriously, lovely friends, it’s almost autumn, my favorite time of year. I’ll admit that I love doing fall activities like apple-picking or sweater-wearing (hey, that’s totally an activity), watching the weather change, and partaking of everything else that comes with the season. My favorite aspect by far, though? (And that says a lot, now that Sam Adams is putting out their fall seasonal brew-packs. Come to mama, Octoberfest.)

Image courtesy of en.wikipedia.org.

Pumpkin! (And all of its accompanying spices — allspice, cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon)

In the spirit of my favorite gourd — which can successfully be added to pies, coffee (thanks, Starbucks, for bringing back liquid crack your best seasonal latte), chili, tarts, and more — I came across this pin for Pumpkin Poppers, from the lovely Haley at Just the Little Things. Here’s the original, drool-inducing picture in all of its fall-flavor glory:

Is it appropriate to say “hubba hubba” to an inanimate dessert?

Yeah … this recipe had to happen. Thus, this weekend, I popped into my neighborhood Giant Grocery and grabbed (then promptly paid for — sheesh, guys) my first (of hopefully many) cans of pumpkin to make the recipe. After successfully baking a batch, and distributing them to my coworkers in an attempt not to slide into morbid obesity at the hands (er … cinnamon-sugar-sprinkles?) of these bad boys, here’s my verdict:

4.5 out of 5 Pinterest Ps.

Holy canolli, Batman, these bad boys were delicious. The recipe was easy to follow, and the result turned out almost identical to the original pinned one. Hurrah! Here are mine:

“Nommy nommy nom nom nom.” — the Pumpkin Poppers.

The moist, pumpkin-flavored cake centers were covered in a light layer of cinnamon sugar (adhered with melted butter — no way something this tasty could be totally healthy!), and the flavor combination of spices, pumpkin and fluffy cake was fabulous. When I brought these to work, they vanished by about 9:30 a.m. When I left a few at home, 4 may or may not have simultaneously disappeared immediately after baking. Huh. Mystery.

The stars of the show! (Well, aside from the sugar. There’s quite a bit of that.)

Pumpkin Poppers — adapted from Just the Little Things. Makes 24-ish mini-muffin-sized bites.

You’ll need:

  • 1 3/4  cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves [NOTE: you can substitute the previous 4 ingredients with 1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice, as well)
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil or applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin (for instructions for roasting your own, check Psych in the Kitchen’s post here)
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the coating:

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 2 tbsp cinnamon

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Grease or spray a mini-muffin tin.
  • Combine flour, baking soda, salt, and spices in a small bowl and lightly mix until well-combined.
  • In a larger bowl, combine oil / applesauce, brown sugar, egg, vanilla, pumpkin, and milk.  Slowly add dry ingredients mixture and whisk / mix with a fork until just combined.  (Overmixing = not so tasty baked goods.) Using a tablespoon or ice cream scoop, fill mini muffin tins until nearly full and bake 10-12 minutes. 

  • For coating, melt butter in small bowl (45 sec – 1 min on high in the microwave should do it).  Mix cinnamon and sugar in a separate  bowl.  After the pumpkin poppers cool for a few minutes, dip each one in melted butter; then, roll them in the sugar mixture (a la snickerdoodles) and set aside on a serving dish / cooling rack until ready to serve.

Steps for dunking and sugaring your poppers: One, lightly “dunk” in butter until all sides are coated.

Step two: “Stir” the poppers in cinnamon sugar. And avoid getting your non-hand-model hands photographed.

Step Three: Admire your handiwork, and try to avoid eating each popper as soon as you’re finished.

Variation: If you’re lacking a mini-muffin tin, bake the mixture in full-size muffin tins at the same temperature for 18-20 minutes, topped with a quick “streusel” topping of 1-2 tbsp flour, 1 tbsp cold butter (cut into flour with 2 knives or a fork until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs), 1 tbsp chopped walnuts, 1-2 tsp brown sugar and 1/2 tsp cinnamon.

Aww yeah. These are also weirdly delicious with peanut butter.

Are you folks fans of fall cuisine? Are you pumpkin people, or do you prefer other flavors of the season? Have your Pinned recipes been successfully attempted, or are you mostly pinning-and-forgetting? (Like we all do — myself included!)

Viva Italia! Homemade Pesto & Tomato-Topped Pizza

17 Sep

“And they say pesto, pesto, pesto” — adapted from Michael Buble’s “Cuando, Cuando, Cuando.”

In the spirit of this post from the lovely Ree Drummond (a.k.a. the Pioneer Woman, whose show you should watch and blog you should read. ‘Nuff said), I’ve been on a basil and pesto kick lately. And how could I not be? My basil, shockingly for this whatever-the-opposite-of-a-green-thumb-is lady, is abundant and so, so fragrant. Mmmmm!

Pesto, for the non-Italians, actually comes from Northern Italy’s region of Liguria — specifically, the city of Genoa. Check out this sweet map. What up, MS Paint arrow:

It’s practically Switzerland! (Well, not quite. But hey, you get the idea.)

Its combination of basil, parmesan, pine nuts, olive oil, and seasoning makes pesto an easy and deeee-LICIOUS sauce with Mediterranean flair and earthy flavor. Killer combination of tastes = one of my favorite toppers for pasta, pizza or, um, pretty much anything. Here are some easy-peasy pesto directions if you’re making it at home (note: this is enough for 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup sauce:

The players — the walnuts added such a cool flavor to the mix.

  • Add 1/2 cup to 1 cup basil, parmesan cheese, pine nuts (though I used walnuts recently, and they were molto bene), and some salt & pepper (to taste) to a food processor or blender. Process / Blend at full blast. (WOOOOO! Listen to the whirring noises!)

  • Slowly add olive oil to the mixture as it blends, or add a splash or two of oil and pulse the sauce in your food processor until the pesto reaches a consistency that you like.

  • Eat. Ideally in something else, but I won’t judge you if you eat it with a spoon. Not one bit. 🙂

So how can you use this nectar of the Roman (Er … Ligurian?) Gods? Here are a few ideas that I love:

  • Mix your pesto with mayonnaise, then spread on a grilled cheese sandwich or panini.
  • Dress a pasta salad of whole wheat penne, peas, grape tomatoes and parmesan with pesto. Mix thoroughly for super-tastiness.
  • Stir a little pesto into your favorite tomato-based pasta sauces.
  • Try mixing pesto into unconventional combinations, like with scrambled eggs or as a garnish / topping on a grilled steak.
  • PIZZA! Pizza, pizza, pizza.

I love making pesto pizza — when I did a volunteer teaching program a few years ago, my housemates and I would often whip up this easy pesto pizza for Community dinner in 30 minutes flat. If you have homemade pesto or just bought a jar of the pre-made stuff (still delicious, by the way — no shame in a little convenience), here’s a vegetarian-friendly dinnertime treat for you.

“Community Living” Pesto Pizza — serves 4. Easily doubled or tripled!

Awwww yeaaaah.

You’ll need:

  • 1 batch pizza dough, or 1 store-bought pizza dough (wheat dough is especially good here)
  • 1 jar pesto sauce, or 1 batch homemade pesto
  • 1 small bag shredded mozzarella cheese, or 1 cup freshly grated mozzarella
  • 1-2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
  • Basil and parmesan for garnishing

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. If you like to use a pizza stone, allow the stone to heat in the oven as well.
  • Roll out your dough to the desired size, and place on a cornmeal-covered pizza peel. (A cutting board works just as well!)

Aaand, glamor shot! Thanks, flash button …

  • Spread the dough with pesto sauce, in an amount that you prefer. Top with mozzarella cheese, sliced tomato, parmesan and torn basil leaves / up to 1 tsp dried basil.

  • “Shimmy” the dough onto the stone by shaking it off of your peel / cutting board. Quickly close the oven and allow the pizza to bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese has bubbled and browned to your liking.

  • Eat. A lot. I also wouldn’t judge you if you ate the entire pizza yourself. Have I done that before? Um …. [she said, glancing awkwardly around the room.]

Not the greatest picture, but still. Now I’m hungry again. As usual. 🙂

  • Note: This pizza can easily be vegan with an alternative crust (cauliflower is popular right now), a cheese-free pesto (use a little Bragg’s nutritional yeast to add salt & flavor), and dairy-free cheese. To add a meat-lover’s twist, try adding grilled chicken or even sauteed shrimp to a smidgen of pesto sauce, then spread on TOP of the tomatoes before baking.

Are you guys and gals “pesto people?” How do you like to use pesto sauce? Do you make your own, or prefer jarred sauces? What else might you add to a pesto pizza?

Slow-Roasted Tomato Frittata: Nothing, What’s-a-Frittata With You?

15 Sep

This post’s punny title was brought to you by The Lion King. Thank you, Nathan Lane’s Timon, for filling my childhood with wit and grub-eating. And fart jokes. “Pumbaa! Not in front of the kids!” “Oh, sorry.” ba-DA!

As you lovely readers have probably gathered from this recipe and other mentions, I’m kind of a big fan of Gwyneth Paltrow’s cookbook My Father’s Daughter. In hindsight, I think this comes from her approach to food and the kitchen — meals are, in their own way, the heart of a home, and the food you make can and should reflect that special, homey, come-together quality. Use good ingredients, be healthful (and let yourself indulge), and have fun. If you do, you’re usually left with something pretty darn tasty.

Which is what I found when I adapted Gwyneth’s Slow-Roasted Tomato Frittata for dinner last week. Oh my heavens, this was one tasty meal. And so, so simple — it’s perfect for a weeknight supper, and a great way, if you’re cooking for one, to make enough food to portion out and eat for several meals.

The basic principles of frittata are, as outlined so cutely by Harrison Ford in the final scene of “Morning Glory,” pretty simple, as all beautiful Italian dishes should be:

  1. Get your pan really, really hot.
  2. Add butter.
  3. Add eggs and other fixins.
  4. Bake until the frittata becomes a fully set, crust-free quiche-esque pillow of tasty eggness.

Gwyneth adds another ingredient to the mix — her slow-roasted tomatoes, a staple in her recipe book. To slow-roast your tomatoes, follow these easy steps:

  • Slice tomatoes in half and drizzle with olive oil, salt and pepper

  • Roast for 3-5 hours in a 275 degree oven, or until the tomatoes are caramelized, almost free from moisture, and a deep red color.

Oh yeah. Need some ice for that burn … BURNING AWESOME.

The frittata uses slow-roasted tomatoes (which you could easily subsitute for sun-dried or just thinly7 sliced fresh tomatoes), mozzarella cheese (Gwyneth uses smoked; I used the shredded cheese I had on hand), and fresh basil. The basic recipe is easy to tweak, easy to cook, and easy to enjoy. Try it for brunch with friends, or just a simple Tuesday supper. Happy eating!

Slow-Roasted Tomato Frittata, adapted from Gwyneth Paltrow’s My Father’s Daughter — serves 4-6, or 2 with leftovers!

You’ll need:

  • 1-2 shallots or 1/2 white onion, sliced thinly
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk (or 1/2 cup unflavored soymilk)
  • 2-6 slow-roasted tomato halves — adjust to taste — or 2 medium raw tomatoes, thinly sliced into rounds
  • 3/4 cup (ish) shredded mozzarella cheese, or 6-8 oz. sliced mozzarella
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

Here’s what you do:

  • Preheat the oven to 375
  • Heat butter and olive oil over medium heat in a 10-inch oven-safe skillet. (I used cast-iron, which is probably your best bet.) Saute the onions until soft and slightly brown, about 6 minutes. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

“Hissssssss.” — The Onions

  • In a medium bowl, beat the eggs & milk until well-combined. Pour over the onions in the hot pan. Add tomatoes, cheese and basil to your liking. (The eggs will definitely still be funny in the middle!)

Ready to bake! Mmmmm.

  • Let the frittata cook for about 5 minutes, until the edges are set (ish). Move the pan to the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, or until fully set.

Are you folks fans of eggs for dinner? Do you prefer a crusty quiche to a lighter frittata? What else might you add to the inside? Get creative!

PS: To easily make this a vegan recipe, omit the butter before frying up your onions; use soymilk and egg subsitute; and indulge in some delicious soy cheese, rather than traditional mozzarella. To add a carnivore’s twist, add pan-cooked and crumbled pancetta, cubes of cooked chicken, or even slices of ham. Mmm! Love breakfast like whoa.