Friday, September 23, 2011

Parmesan-Crusted Frittata

I love fritattas because they're simple to make and you can use pretty much any combination of ingredients you like. It can be made ahead of time and served at room temperature, making it an easy dish for brunches, picnics, and dinners. This was my first time using parmesan in a frittata, but I happened to have some on hand and wanted to make the dish for a potluck I was going to. I think mozarella and pepperjack are still at the top of my choices for this dish, but the parmesan was a nice variation.

*8 eggs
*3 tbs milk
*1/3 cup fresh grated parmesan
*1/2 cup chopped cilantro
*1 small yellow or red bell pepper, diced
*6 small red potatoes, peeled and sliced
*1 small onion, peeled and sliced
*olive oil
*1/2 tsp salt
*1/2 tsp pepper

Preheat broiler. Heat 2tbs olive oil in skillet, cook potatoes for 5-7 minutes, until slightly tender. In separate pan, heat 2 tbs olive oil and saute onions and bell pepper, about 4 minutes. Meanwhile, whisk eggs, half of the parmesan, milk, salt, pepper and half of the cilantro. Once potatoes are semi-cooked, use spatula to arrange them flat in the pan. Top with remaining cilantro, and followed by the sauteed onions and bell peppers. Add egg mixture to skillet. Cook until almost set. Sprinkle remaining parmesan and broil until frittata is puffed and cheese begins to turn golden, about 3-5 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Roasted Cumin Pork Chops w/Fresh Cherry Sauce and Brussel Sprouts with Red Pepper Flakes

I had never made pork chops before, but I wanted to make a nice dinner for my sister so I thought I'd experiment with something new. It actually didn't take that much time -as soon as I put the pork chops in the pan, I started on the sauce in one pan and the brussel sprouts in another. From start to finish, everything was done in under forty minutes.

Roasted Cumin Pork Chops:
2 tsp ground roasted cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 tsp salt
olive oil
2 pork chops

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Combine first five ingredients and two tbs olive oil in small bowl, creating a paste. Pat pork chops dry and apply the rub to each side. Heat two tbs olive oil in a large stainless steel pan. Place pork chops in pan, cooking each side 3 minutes. Transfer to shallow baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes. Remove from heat and let stand five minutes.

Brussel Sprouts
10-12 brussel sprouts
1 clove garlic, minced
olive oil
red pepper flakes

Cut ends off of the sprouts, and halve them. Blanch for 3 minutes and drain. In saute pan, heat 2 tbs olive oil and add garlic. Brown for a minute, then add the sprouts. Salt and red pepper flakes to taste. Saute for 5-7 minutes, then remove from heat.

Cherry Sauce
1/2 cup cherries
1/4 cup red wine
1 tbs brown sugar
1 tbs balsamic vinegar
2 tbs water
pinch ground cardamom

Pit cherries. You can do it like I did -by hand- and have cherry juice running down your fingers, or you can invest in a cherry pitter and make life a bit easier. Apparently you can get one of these handy gadgets at my favorite housewares store, Williams-Sonoma:

Combine all ingredients in sauce pan and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 10-15 minutes, smashing the cherries after about ten minutes.

The perfect bite. I'm a big fan of the perfect bite -one where all the flavors compliment each other and create a buzz of joy in your mouth. Here, the spices from the spicy, succulent pork, the sweet cherry and the peppery, crisp sprouts all came together for a great flavor combination.