Everyone who cooks has a different approach to making dinner. Some people follow recipes, some have a repertoire of dishes that they rotate, and others just improvise based on what is in the fridge or garden. Most of us probably use a combination of these approaches.
Myself, I love experimenting with new recipes, but most of the time, I play it by ear. I don't think I ever make the same thing with the same ingredients twice, partly because I'm too disorganized to plan and shop according to plan, and partly because I love food and gardening and farmers' markets. I shop for groceries the way some women shop for clothes: obsessively, impulsively, and aesthetically.
Also, I like leftovers. It's a great relief to have a good lunch for the next day in the fridge before you go to bed at night. This is one of the main reasons why a fritatta is my go-to last minute meal. Here's what I do; you can try it too.
|Dinner is served. Now with product placement.|
I can't imagine doing this in anything but a cast iron pan. Mine is 10"; I have to use both hands to pick it up. If yours is a little smaller, you could use fewer eggs, or just cook it longer.
2 cups of veggies (and/or bacon, sausage, or ham)
1 cup of cheese
Butter/ olive oil/ lard/ your preferred cooking grease
|Onions, summer squash, and potatoes|
1. Preheat your cast iron pan. If you want to caramelize onions, remember to keep the heat medium low. If you're in a hurry, crank it and get ready to stir.
2. When the pan reaches your desired heat, cook your veggies/meats in plenty of butter or oil.
3. Meanwhile, scramble the eggs with a pinch of salt and a generous grind of black pepper. When your veggies are cooked, pour in the eggs. Don't stir, just even it out a bit. Turn the heat to low.
4. Wait a few minutes, and add the cheese evenly. It's ok if it sticks up out of the egg mixture a bit; that part will brown nicely under the broiler.
5. Let the eggs cook until the bottom is set. The edges will get less wiggly, but the middle will still be very liquid. Preheat the broiler while the eggs cook.
6. When the bottom and edges are set, put the pan under the broiler for 4-8 minutes, until the fritatta is golden brown, slightly puffed, and feels firm to the touch. Let it cool for a couple minutes, and cut into 6 or 8 slices.
Serve with a salad and some good bread. If you're a small family, the leftovers make a great sandwich for breakfast or lunch.
- Caramelized onion, bacon, and chèvre
- Spinach, onion, and feta
- Broccoli and cheddar
- Summer squash, onion, potatoes, and chèvre
You get the idea. Maybe you could put your favorite combination in the comments.