Tag Archives: Gwyneth Paltrow

Going Vegetarian: Kale & Mushroom Frittata

8 Jan

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Once a week at least, I like to cook a vegetarian meal. This veg-erriffic food-fest is for a few reasons:

  1. I really like vegetables. Nom nom CRUNCH.
  2. I like to think, or at least pretend on a bad day, that I eat nutritiously.
  3. Soy is good. Seitan is also good (try it at Whole Foods). Edamame is muy delicioso. Bottom line: Meat substitutes are pretty tasty.
  4. It helps me save moola. Carrots are cheaper than pork chops. Winskies.

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Rutabaga, What-a-baga, Sweet Potata: Maple Dijon-Roasted Root Veggies

2 Dec

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I recently had lunch with two good friends and their adorable 2 year-old daughter. We were munching on dim sum at a local Chinese restaurant (fun fact: 2 year-olds are highly intrigued by food in bundles and traveling carts full of appetizers. Makes me feel like I’m doing a good job of appeasing my inner child, given that I love both of those things!), and the couple mentioned that they had recently joined a CSA.

For those who think that sounds like a New Deal program or a branch of the Secret Service, CSA stands for Community Supported Agriculture. When you join a CSA (which is regional, often organized through individual farms or your city / county), you essentially buy a weekly share in a local farm’s produce harvest for a given year. Your share supports the farmer’s work and livelihood, and it also results in you receiving a big ol’ delivery of whatever produce happens to be in season.

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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.

Gwyneth Paltrow’s Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano

13 Jul

In an effort to keep learning and stay fresh with all things culinary, I’ve been trying out recipes from Gwyneth Paltrow’s semi-new cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. Gwyneth’s become something of a self-taught chef over the years, learning from her parents, her Spanish “mama” (she studied abroad there as a youngster), and her own explorations of good, healthful food. Many of the recipes are vegetarian or vegan, but others are comfortably adapted to a more traditional diet. (Though she does use duck bacon, which I’ve never tried … any of you?)

image sourced from wgu.edu.

[And yes, by using her first name, I can pretend we’re friends. I’m also babysitting Moses and Apple after school next week while Gwynnie’s at a bikram yoga class. Tee hee. In my defense, I saw her at a movie premiere in London once! Check out my not-so-clear shot below.]

This might have been a banquet for The Prince’s Trust. Either way, this is, by far, the closest I have ever been to an actual, real live “famous person.”

 While the book is filled with fun and healthy recipes, my FAVORITE is her Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano. It’s simple, elegant, and oh-so delicious. For those of us in the “learning” process of cooking, this is an easy recipe to master.

Note: All credit here goes to Ms. Paltrow, her book and her impeccable taste. I’ve tried to rewrite the directions in my own words, but the method is the same. If I’ve changed anything ingredients-wise, it’s noted in parentheses below.

Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano – serves 4

You’ll need:

  • 1 lb spaghetti (Up from Gwyneth’s ¾ lb; I’ve also used shells, penne or other types of pasta)
  • Coarse salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 ½ cups grated Parmesan cheese (or a mixture of Parmesan and Romano; that extra bite is nice!)
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2 ½ tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 3-5 tbsp pasta water (easily eyeballed)
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves (or 1-2 tsp dried, crushed to release essential oils)

Here’s what you do:

  1. Fill a pasta pot with water, and heat on high until boiling. Cook the spaghetti according to package directions.
  2. Meanwhile, grate the lemon zest into a serving bowl. Then, cut the lemon in half and squeeze the juice into the same bowl. Add your Parmesan, pepper, and salt, mixing together with your olive oil to form something of a lemony “pesto.”
  3. When the spaghetti is cooked through, add some of the pasta water to your “sauce.” Add the pasta and toss thoroughly until everything is well-coated. If needed, add a bit more pasta water to keep things from getting too sticky. Tear your basil leaves by hand, stirring them into your pasta.
  4. As Gwyneth says, “serve each portion with a sprinkle of coarse salt, a fresh grind of black pepper, and a few gratings of extra Parmesan.”

So. Hilariously. Easy. And so, SO good. If you’re looking for some additional protein, this dish is delicious when served with grilled or sautéed chicken, particularly if said chicken has something of a lemon-based or Italian-style marinade. Add a green salad and some crusty bread, and you’re well on your way to being besties with Gwyneth – or, at least, imagining you are.

I also highly recommend My Father’s Daughter – I’m slowly cooking my way through (more recipes on the way), and it’s a great resource for all of us self-taught chefs. Enjoy!