breakfast

Breakfast, Entrée, Gluten Free, Spring

A STUDY ON FRITTATAS

fritatas_02.jpg

Brunch for a group. Inexpensive dinner. Cook once, reheat through the week breakfast. Put a slice in a tortilla or between toast and you’re off. Frittatas are just the best. Especially for some who always have leftover bits and hate waste.

*raises hand*

Too much zucchini? Trying to set yourself up to start your day with protein? Frittata! I saved a few videos in my story highlights if a visual helps. I believe a frittata is one of those meals that can go so many directions, that once you understand how they work, you can make them out of all sorts of things.

I am going to add some bullets here, because honestly, it’s just easier to shoot off opinions that way than try to craft sentences that go together. Once you have the basics down, you can make up your own creation. I would love you to chime in with your favorite combos or your tips below! If you’re one for a crust, I’m a big fan of this recipe.


 

Things I know about frittatas:

  • I like the vegetables inside to be cooked. The key to not having a water logged frittata, is cooking some of the water off of the vegetables first. You can roast or saute, and then cool. This includes greens, though they literally need about 30 seconds. Any meats need to be cooked in advance before adding too.

  • I’m going with a ratio of 2 eggs per person for one serving. You can do a 4 egg frittata for 2 in an 8” pan, 4-6 people in a 10” pan and upwards. The thicker you make the frittata, you’ll need to increase the baking time. Just keep giving the middle a little tap and pull it when it’s no longer liquidy. I keep a lower heat to try to keep the bottom from burning.

  • I strongly suggest using a nonstick or well-seasoned cast iron pan (I LOVE this pan - crisps, frittatas, casseroles, the best)…or the whole thing can be baked in a well greased, oven-proof dish. I suppose that would be called an “egg bake” but whatever, does it matter?

  • Cheese. I tend towards sheep or goats cheeses, and those both work well in frittatas. They are lower in fat, so can dry out, but with a short, low oven time, they do fine. You just don’t want a super dry cheese, in my opinion. Parmesan is ok, but it is so dry, you will not get any pockets of creaminess, it will mostly just taste like delicious salt, which is not a terrible thing by any means. If you choose a meltier cheese like cheddar, I def like most mixed in and a little on top.

 

Prep ahead

Let’s say you’re hosting the following morning or trying to get a leg up on Christmas morning (or just a Monday :)

Whisk all your eggs, dairy, seasoning in one bowl you can keep covered in the fridge. Have all your add-ins cooked and ready (zucchini sauteed, sausage cooked, tomatoes roasted, whatever). Pull them all out while preheating the oven, and then proceed with the recipe from there. Gently warm the pan with the fillings in it, add the egg mixture, pop it in the oven.


Favorites

sauteed mushroom, greens and goat cheese
roasted tomatoes, greens, pesto, goat cheese
roasted zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, little bit of minced red onion, feta
just steamed asparagus, tons of herbs, goat cheese
crowd pleaser: potatoes, bacon, greens, white cheddar


GREEN VEGETABLE FRITTATA

Serves 4

I am listing the vegetables I used here, inspired by what I had in the fridge. You really can put anything in a frittata…ok, most thing. Be sure that the vegetables have a similar cooking time, if you’re sauteing everything together. For example, potatoes take longer to become tender than zucchini, so while you can mix these two, you need to start the potatoes off first, and then add the zucchini after the potatoes have been going for 10 minutes, so you don’t burn the zucchini or turn it to moosh. Things like peppers and tomatoes cook the same, assorted greens are typically quick, etc.

Ingredients

1 small leek
1 small zucchini
1 small bundle of broccolini

extra virgin olive oil
sea salt

8 eggs
1/3 cup heavy cream (canned coconut milk works as a non-dairy option)
dollop of pesto or sour cream (or non-dairy alternative), optional
fresh ground pepper
3-4 ounces soft goat cheese
fresh green herbs, for garnish

Instructions

Clean the leek and trim the zucchini. Chop the vegetables small. Heat a drizzle of oil in a medium nonstick or seasoned cast iron pan. Add the vegetables, pinch of salt and saute until tender, and cooked down, about 6 minutes. Turn off the heat and let them cool down. Move them around occasionally to release any steam pockets.

Preheat the oven to 325’.

Whisk the eggs and cream (or non-dairy alternative) well. Lots of air in there, keep whisking. Whisk in a dollop of pesto or sour cream, if using, and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. If you like spice, a dash of red pepper flakes. Crumble half your cheese in here.

With the heat on low, distribute the vegetables around in your nonstick pan and pour the egg mixture on top. Let it sit for a couple minutes just to set the bottom. Sprinkle the remaining cheese on top, and put the pan on the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 16-20 minutes until the center juuuuust stops jiggling. Better to pull it out on the side of underdone.

Let it cool down, garnish with tons of fresh herbs. Serve with toasty bread and fresh tomatoes if you have them.

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Entrée, Breakfast, Spring, Summer, Gluten Free

HUEVOS A LA PLAZA DE MERCADO

Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen
Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen

There has been some well-deserved chatter about Tara'sbook. I'm adding my cheers and high-fives and big hugs because it is remarkable and sincere and just dang good. You see, Tara and I were working on our books at the same time, and I felt like I had a pal struggling along side. Thousands of miles away she may be. But I knew then, in those texts, that this girl cared far too much to be producing anything less than wonderful. She took this project seriously and it comes through on each and every page. It's not just that the recipes are unique, but she writes head notes and directions more beautifully and thorough than any I've seen. I feel like I can hear her talking me through it - anticipating my questions. That is what makes a great cookbook author. I skimmed through the book soon as it came and am currently spending evenings doting over every word because I just love how she writes. I'm throwing down a good amount of praise but this book deserves it. I have made the raspberry rhubarb rye crumble twice now, subbing strawberries in for the raspberries on her forewarning that it is quite tart and I wanted to reign that in a bit. This may be her debut in the cookbook world but it sure doesn't read like it's Tara's first rodeo by any stretch.

I can make a breakfast tostada. I know my way around an egg and a good sauce but these! These were just really special and have me jonesing to host a backyard brunch. I generally don't go futzing with charred vegetable sauces and fresh salsas first thing, but think these are the perfect to make the night before. Even a few days prior. You can't shortcut this step because the sauces are what make these exceptional. I've been thinning out the charred green onion one with more citrus and using it as a green salad dressing and am using some of the salsa for a brothy tortilla soup tomorrow night. I'm just saying they're really great. 

So proud of you, Tara. xo

Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen
Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen
Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen
Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen

HUEVOS A LA PLAZA DE MERCADO // Serves 4

Recipe from Seven Spoons: My Favorite Recipes for Any and Everyday by Tara O'Brady

The sauces took a bit more time than I would spend on an average morning breakfast but are worth every moment. Consider making one or both the evening before and this dish will come together in minutes. 

  • / RED SAUCE /
  • Small bunch of cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 jalapeno, mostly seeded and chopped
  • 1 can (15 oz) whole, fire roasted tomatoes
  • (4-6 ounces chorizo or sausage - this is included in Tara's recipe but we skipped the meat here)
  • Salt and pepper, as needed
  • / CHARRED GREEN ONION DRESSING /
  • 6 green onions
  • 2 serrano or jalapeno chiles
  • generous pinch of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt, not nonfat
  • 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise (or more greek yogurt but the mayonnaise makes for great texture)
  • small bunch of cilantro, leaves and tender stems
  • zest and juice of one lime
  • 1 Tbsp. agave nectar
  • 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • / EGGS + TOPPINGS /
  • mild olive oil or ghee for cooking the tortillas and egg
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • 4-8 eggs
  • 2 avocados pitted and diced small
  • baby tomatoes, halved
  • 4 ounces queso fresco
  • Mexican-style hot sauce
  • 2 limes, cut in wedges

To make the red sauce, in a blender, combine the cilantro, shallots, garlic, jalapeno, tomatoes and their liquid and buzz to make a puree. 

Tip the tomato puree into a hot pot with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and bring it to a gentle boil. Cook, stirring regularly, until the sauce is thickened and tastes cooked. Around 30 minutes. Check for seasoning and keep warm. 

For the green onion dressing, heat a large, cast-iron skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook the green onions and chiles, turning often, until charred all over. About 10 minutes. Let the vegetables cool on a plate. Trim the roots off the onions, as well as any leathery parts of the green end. Stem the chiles and remove some, most or all of the seeds depending on your spice preference.

In a blender or food processor, buzz the green onions, chiles, paprika, yogurt, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest and juice, agave and oil until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper as needed. Chill for at least an hour for flavors to develop. 

Heat a touch of oil in a large cast-iron skillet. Working in batches, warm the tortillas (or over an open flame if you prefer). Keep the tortillas warm in a preheated oven. Cook your eggs to order. Assemble your eggs over a warm tortillas with some of the red sauce, avocado, sliced baby tomatoes, queso fresco and some fresh cilantro. Drizzle on the green onion sauce and hot sauce if using. Tara suggests throwing them under the broiler for a quick minute just to give everything one last char. Serve the eggs right away with lime wedges on the side. 

The sauces can be kept covered in the fridge for a week. 

Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen
Seven Spoons Tostada . Sprouted Kitchen
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Dessert, Breakfast, Spring, Summer

BUTTERMILK BERRY CRUMB CAKE

Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

I'm reading a few different baby books. I read a little of one or the other each night. Just enough to gather a bit of advice I find helpful, tell Hugh about it, and then doze off. One is about pregnancy, and while I have gotten pretty lucky by way these 10 months go, these last few weeks have been more trying in regards to how I feel physically. So tired and fatigued merely from the task of carrying around a mini person in my mid-section all day. While these books bring up pretty obvious points, I am fascinated by how innate and instinctive the qualities are that take over in the last month or so. The nesting, cleaning, preference to withdraw a little bit... In my moments of fear and angst, I try to remember how natural this is, how we've been making babies since the beginning of time. Maybe part of some womens' nesting includes cooking, but I assure you it is the absolute last thing I feel like doing. Ironically, our cookbook manuscript is due next week so food is powering through this kitchen regardless. Head down and go. I also really wanted to stay in the habit of having people over and enjoying a meal with friends, so this season has been... intresting. 

We have friends coming for coffee tomorrow, another couple for dinner, and my parents here helping in the yard on Saturday (yea, about that whole final month recluse deal...). I needed a breakfast snacking cake that would last through a few days of visitors. While I do prefer it, my grain-free baking is hit or miss, so I went a more traditional route for this recipe. This cake has a tight crumb, almost dense in the most charming of coffee cake ways. A cake that requires you to take small bites between sips of coffee. We ate it with some loosely whipped cream and extra berries because if you're going to have cake, you must really have cake. Maybe even a la mode for the evening crowd. However, aside from the personal whipped cream preference, this coffee cake is relatively lowfat with some of its classic butter content being replaced by the mashed banana. It's these everyday sort of cakes I like in my back pocket for cooking and non-cooking days alike. 

(update: for the few of you that asked in the comments. I have really liked the Dr. Sears books. I read The Pregnancy Book and The Vaccine Book by them and have The Baby Book as well but have only read the first two chapters. A friend recommended The Birth Partner and while dense and detailed, it has a lot of information for natural childbirth. I just started Happiest Baby on the Block and while it's a bit corny, I think there are some helpful tidbits.)

Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

BUTTERMILK BERRY CRUMB CAKE // Serves 8-10

Loosely adapted from 101Cookbooks

For the sake of substitutions, I think you could replace the buttermilk with a non-dairy milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice. As for making it gluten free, I would try a blend of almond meal, oat flour and flaxmeal but I hesitate to given proportions without trying it myself first. I am sure an all purpose GF flour would be worth a shot as well. 

I still don't completely trust the oven at our new place so you'll have to report back if you try this and come up with a different baking time. My oven and thermometer say different things and I don't exactly trust either. Bare with me. One day I will fix its uncertainty or my lack of faith. 

  • 3/4 cup buttermilk
  • 1 1/2 medium ripe bananas, mashed
  • 1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla 
  • 1 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup unbleached all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • scant 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • little grate of fresh nutmeg
  • 2 cups mixed berries, chopped small, divided
  • / crumble /
  • 1/4 cup / half stick unsalted butter, softened
  • 1/3 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup natural cane sugar
  • 1/4 cup muscavado sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • pinch of salt
Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen

Preheat the oven to 325'. Line a springform pan with parchment and grease the bottom and sides. 

In a large mixing bowl, combine the buttermilk, mashed bananas, melted butter, eggs and vanilla. Mix well to combine and set aside. 

In another bowl, mix the white whole wheat flour, all purpose, muscavado, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg and stir to mix well. Add one cup of the berries to the dry mix and toss to coat. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir to combine in as few stirs possible. Being careful not to overmix to keep the cake tender.

In another bowl, make your crumble. Mix the softened butter, oats, flour, cane and muscavado sugars, cinnamon, ginger and salt together and mash everything with the back of a fork to combine. It will be sandy in texture. 

Pour the batter into the pan and sprinkle the remaining berries on top. Distribute the crumble on top of the berries. Put the springform on a baking sheet (just in case it leaks, I prefer to play it safe) and bake on the middle rack for 55-60 minutes until golden on top and you insert a toothpick and it comes out clean. The cake is fairly low in fat, be careful not to overbake and dry it out. 

Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
Buttermilk Berry Crumb Cake . Sprouted Kitchen
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