Sunday, October 08, 2006

(Warm) ‘Pizza’ for Brunch - WHB

We were shooting for our much loved Frittata for Sunday.

A potato base, sautéed in chicken broth for flavor. Fresh veggies, lightly sautéed and mixed in with a batch of eggs. Everything finished with a layer of cheese on top broiled till bubbly and browned.

This is a dish everyone seems to like. A bit of work for Sunday morning, but usually worth it.

Not to be. Not today. No chicken broth. No veggies. No parmesan cheese.

It’s the effect of this jury duty. No time to shop.

So we improvised. With what we had on hand.

Potatoes sautéed in tomato juice instead of chicken broth.

Basil and oregano instead of thyme or rosemary.

Mozzarella instead of Parmesan.

The result looked more like pizza than a frittata. Everything colored red from the tomatoes. With bubbly, stringy mozzarella on top. I'm thinkin' this has got to be an original!

In retrospect, I might have added some sausage or pepperoni to the mix. It would have been perfect!

Of course, we didn’t have left over cans of flat beer to go with it, as we might have in our college days. Some pleasures are best left to fond memories.

Although I will say that the hot coffee and the tomato-y frittata didn’t go together so well. Somehow tomatoes and coffee clash. Both are too acidic to get along, I suppose.

That being the only dissonant chord, the now dubbed ‘pizza’ frittata was an unqualified success. I had to fight to keep one slim slice for the pictures!

So I offer this one up with oregano and basil being the herbs this week. For this edition of , sponsored this week by Ruth of .

Although I have enjoyed fresh basil since I started cooking, it is only recently that I have begun buying fresh oregano.

Aside from this frittata, fresh oregano now goes into many ‘Italian’ oriented dishes, as well as almost anything Mexican in origin, such as the meat, spice and tomato mixture that is the base of tacos, as well as some of the spicy stews we have been making. Oregano has also popped up in some vinaigrettes, although it sometimes seems a little too strong for this purpose for my taste.

As part of the herb base of this ‘pizza’ frittata, the oregano complemented the basil perfectly, providing a nice balance to the tomato base, helping move the dish from something that might have tasted thrown together to something we expect to make again on a regular basis (next time with sausage!).

‘Pizza’ Frittata
Recipe by surfindaave
Serves 4

2 pounds small potatoes, white or red, cut into a small dice
One 32 ounce can of tomatoes, including juice
Olive oil
Salt, pepper
½ red onion, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1 red pepper
10 basil leaves, sliced in thin strips
Several springs of fresh oregano, leaves removed from the stems
8 eggs, lightly beaten
mozzarella cheese, grated (we used the firmed ‘aged’ mozzarella ,but fresh is also OK)
Additional mozzarella for garnish, if desired
Additional basil, chopped, for garnish, if desired

Note - As mentioned, some sautéed sausage, or even some sliced pepperoni sprinkled on top just before broiling, might be fun as well!

Heat some olive oil in a sauté pan. Add the diced potatoes, and all the juice from the can of tomatoes (squeeze the tomatoes to extract all their juices). Bring the potatoes to a boil, covered, and simmer, stirring frequently, until just tender.

In a large, oven proof skillet, heat some olive oil over medium heat. Sautee the onions and red pepper until softened. Add the garlic, and sauté for a few minutes. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, as well as the basil and oregano. Cook the mixture, uncovered, until most of the liquid is gone. Remove from the pan to a plate to cool.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs and the cooled vegetable mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste.

When the potatoes are just tender, place then in the large skillet over medium high heat. As the potatoes begin to cook, pour the egg mixture over the top, covering the potatoes evenly. Let the mixture cook, covered, over medium heat, until the eggs on top are beginning to set and bubble.

Turn on the broiler in the oven.

Remove the pan from the stove. Sprinkle the top liberally with grated cheese. Place the pan under the broiler, and roast, watching carefully, until the cheese is bubbly and browned in places, and the eggs are completely set. Remove the pan from the broiler, and let sit for a few minutes (to let the eggs set completely). Slice the frittata into 8 pieces, and serve with a sprinkle of additional mozzarella and chopped basil. Enjoy!

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Blogger Kalyn said...

Sounds very good indeed. I'm quite taken with fresh oregano. And it's so easy to grow compared to some herbs.

6:40 PM  
Blogger Ruth said...

Too bad about jury duty, but this dish sounds awesome.

Check back later for the WHB roundup.

4:09 AM  
Blogger surfindaave said...

Kalyn, Ruth -

Thanks for the comments! The dish was good, and everyone wants to make it again soon.

I did have the odd deja vu feeling of being in college the morning after a late night, though (minus the throbbing head, however!).

10:43 AM  
Blogger PatL said...

Hey, Dave, I'm glad to have found your blog. This sounds fabulous! I'm avoiding bread these days, so adding starchy, tomatoey potatoes to a frittata sounds really appealing. Yum!

7:30 AM  

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