Sunday, September 16, 2012
Gimme a Break – Fast Food for Tax Time
I’m working on my taxes. Yes, it’s September, but that’s how long it takes me to (a) get my butt in the chair with the necessary papers in hand; and (b) when the butt is in the chair to get the accounting done in lieu of another game of Spider Solitare. Here’s another thing that happens:
I’m moving through my AmEx statements looking for records of business deductions and charitable donations, when my husband says he wants to use the dryer and can he take my laundry out of it. I want to get the permanent press shirts hung up quickly, so I leave my desk, coffee cup in hand, and go to the laundry room, where I start hanging up shirts and folding clothes. Halfway through, I notice that the coffee cup is empty, so I go to the kitchen to refill.
That stock pot I was using to process preserves last night is still out, so I take it to the pantry where I spend a few minutes rearranging the shelves where the large pots go. I head back to my desk, where I sit down and start looking for my glasses. Ah, I took them off when I was folding my laundry, so back to the laundry room I go, where I notice that I never finished folding the clothes. And where did my coffee cup go? I return to the kitchen,...
This is why I never get anything done, I say to myself, and that sounds like a great topic for a blog post, so back to the desk I go. And now I remember that I still haven’t finished folding the laundry or doing the taxes. But I have a nice start on a blog post.
Not much later, I realize I have to fix dinner, and what I have on hand is mostly produce from the farmers’ market. Which includes eggs that I bought at a farmers’ market in New Hampshire a couple of weeks ago. You know what that means? It’s frittata time! [Kitchen Goddess note: Lest you worry about the safety of my two-week-old eggs, you should know that the American Egg Board says, “Refrigerated raw shell eggs will keep without significant quality loss for about 4 to 5 weeks beyond the pack date or about 3 weeks after you bring them home.” Which means quite a long time for just-packed eggs from the farmers' market. And aren't they lovely?]
Frittatas – first cousins of the omelette family on the Italian side – are my favorite go-to food for fast, fresh, and nutritious. Also easier and less fussy than omelettes (think Italian vs. French), and this one was perfectly delicious. The cooking process only takes about 20 minutes, so – mis en place! – have all your ingredients ready before you start.
Corn and Tomato Frittata
3 slices bacon
2 tsp olive oil
1 large shallot, diced
kernels sliced (about 1 cup) from 1 ear of corn
1 medium tomato, cut in ½-inch dice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon Aleppo pepper*
4 large eggs, beaten
garlic salt to taste
2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
¾ cup grated Beemster cheese (or cheddar)
Special equipment: a 10-inch skillet that is at least 2 inches deep and can go under the broiler
Cook bacon until crisp in microwave or in your 10-inch skillet. Crumble the bacon and set aside. If you cooked it in the skillet, wipe out the bacon grease (or use it – only 2 teaspoons – for the rest of the dish instead of the olive oil).
In the skillet, heat olive oil on medium power and add the shallots. Cook – without browning – for 2 minutes then add the corn, stirring to mix. Continue cooking another 2 minutes then add tomato, stirring. Cook another 2 minutes, stirring, then add cumin and Aleppo pepper, stirring to mix.
Pour the beaten eggs evenly over the corn/tomato mixture, and sprinkle the bacon bits, cilantro, and garlic salt on top of the eggs. Lower the heat slightly and cook without stirring for 4-5 minutes, until you can see that the eggs are not cooked through but have set enough that they no longer run if you tilt the pan. Sprinkle the cheese evenly across the surface and put the pan under the broiler for about 2 minutes, until the top has begun to brown.
Cut into wedge-shaped pieces and serve.
Kitchen Goddess notes:
1. The Cook’s Thesaurus says you can substitute 4 parts sweet paprika plus one part cayenne pepper, if you don’t have Aleppo pepper. But why go to all that trouble when you can get the folks at Penzey’s Spices to send you Aleppo pepper and anything else you’re missing from your spice cabinet? Aleppo is a Turkish chili with a great sweet-hot flavor and is useful in all sorts of dishes where you want just a bit of heat.
2. This recipe doubles easily, but you’ll have to use a larger skillet. My favorite is the Le Creuset 3½-quart braiser, which is just about one of the best pieces of equipment I own.