Friday, March 19, 2010

Impromptu frittata

For a large part of my life, I didn't fancy frittatas or similarly thick egg-type dishes. I thought they were perpetually rubbery, dry and blah. Then I realized I'd just had really bad representations of them.
I'm glad my feelings have changed for such foods, because an impromptu frittata can be just the perfect lunch (or brunch) on a sunny Friday like today.
I texted Eunice (I consider her one of my bfflz) asking her if she'd like some, and so we ate together. I enjoy spending time with good friends, even if it's simply to have a nosh and watch Paula Deen make pumpkin cake with a CUP of oil, or watch Giada with her boobs hangin' out. I've decided that I like impromptu lunch dates with friends just as much as I like impromptu frittatas :)

So... How do you all like your eggs? Let me know.

Veggie Frittata (without the oven)
  • 2 medium sized potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1-2 Roma tomatoes (or equivalent amt of another kind), diced
  • corn (I used probably about a handful)
  • parsley (some chopped for frittata itself and some for garnish if desired)
  • 5 eggs, beaten (I used 4 for today's but one more would've been ideal)
  • optional: parmesan or any other hard cheese, grated
Heat medium-sized saucepan to medium-high. Add in potatoes with some water and cover to slightly steam/boil them. This ensures that your potatoes are cooked through in the end. When potatoes are almost fork tender, drain and set aside, returning a dry saucepan to the stove. In some oil or butter, sweat onions and garlic until fragrant but not browned. Add potatoes, corn, tomatoes and parsley, seasoning accordingly and sauteing until well incorporated. Pour in enough oil to coat the pan, if necessary (this is so the eggs don't stick when you try to slide the frittata out). Add in beaten eggs (which should be seasoned with a little salt and pepper), gently stirring a few seconds to make sure the egg penetrates veggie mixture. Cook until the bottom is browned and the top begins to set enough to flip. Flip the frittata with the aid of a large plate and cook until browned. Serve with optional grated cheese and parsley.


Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Oh my cauliflower.

Raw cauliflower is not a favorite flavor of mine. There's just something unappealing about it that I can't put my finger on, but I love it more almost any other way: brined/pickled, pureed, mashed, and ROASTED.

roasted cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower is omgdelicious. The parts that make contact with the pan get all golden brown and slightly crisp, and that "raw" flavor disappears. What you end up with is a slightly sweet, perfectly tender-crisp veggie side dish or snack. All you need to add is olive oil and salt and pepper. Adding grated cheese or a squeeze of lemon juice during or after ovening it up tastes great too, but all you really need = salt and pepper.

roasted cauliflower

If you don't like raw cauliflower or any other veggies, try roasting them in the oven. You won't regret it. The best part is that you can eat a whole bowl and not feel too guilty about it :)

roasted cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

  • cauliflower
  • olive oil
  • kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper
  • additional seasonings of your choice, if desired (cheese, fresh lemon juice, garlic or onion powder, etc)
  • chopped parsley for garnish
Preheat your oven to 400F. Cut your cauliflower into similarly sized pieces, preferably sliced like you would mushrooms so you get a lot of flat surface area (I'd already cut mine the night before without knowing I'd be roasting, so they're just in regular florets). Wash and thoroughly dry cauliflower pieces. Spray/oil a sheet pan and spread out cauliflower in a single, even layer. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle a generous amount of salt and pepper (+ optional additions). Roast for about 25-30 minutes until cauliflower has browned where it makes contact with the pan. Broil for a few minutes at the end in order to slightly brown the tops. Sprinkle parsley and serve immediately!

Cheers and happy St. Patty's day!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

I enjoy carbs and rainbows

no knead bread
I've been using yeast on a regular basis since my first real post about it. Honestly, I've experienced a lot of flops along the way, but the whole journey has been enjoyable, rewarding, and teaching. In the beginning, I didn't really think about crumb, crust, preferments for more flavor, etc. I just tackled simple breads that usually took little time and were soft all around. Those can be really good, such as KitchenAid's 1 hour dinner rolls, but I'm just thankful that I've had the time to learn about the other options out there. All of this isn't to say that I even have an inkling of knowledge about serious bread baking, but I'm glad I'm starting to improve a bit.

There really isn't anything like using your hands to form something so wonderful. It brings families together... Love, time and care goes into making it. It can be an art. All of this may sound corny (and I said something similar in my first challah entry), but bread really is something special. I take my hat off to all bread bakers.
no knead bread

This bread used a no-knead dough recipe (let me know if you want the recipe). What baked up was crusty on the outside, moist and "holey" (I don't care if that's not the PC term, because I like saying holey) on the inside, and a wonderful sourdough-esque flavor. You make a relatively wet dough with flour, yeast, salt and water, let it rise for a bit on the counter, then stick the dough in the fridge for many, many hours. This allows the gluten to form, and flavor to enhance. Then you get the dough to room temp, fold and shape, rise, slash and bake at a high temp with some water splashed in the oven to create steam (for a nice crust). A lot of bread bakers point out that good flavor comes from the living yeast eating sugars and farting CO2 and alcohol! That little fact makes me smile. Who knew farts could make things so delicious?

rainbow cupcakes
I made rainbow cupcakes today. What more can I say about that?
rainbow cupcakes
So bright and groovy. Gel food coloring is the key (super concentrated gel food coloring = even better, but that's not available to me).
Just separate white cake batter into 6 bowls and add respective colorings drop by drop until you get the desired shades. Then spoon the first color into lined cupcake molds. Spoon the succeeding colors in the center of the previous color. Bake for recommended time and voila!
rainbow cupcakes


Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Today, I wanted to get to the bottom of a couple myths, Jamie and Adam style.

BUSTEDDDD. Nah. Everyone makes sub-par food sometimes. Maybe you forget to add an ingredient, maybe you add too much. Maybe you bake an item so long that it burns or turns dry. I experience all of these things and more weekly. Yesterday, I made brownies using a random recipe online and it turned out dry, crumbly and weird. I set a fire alarm off a few days ago. You get my drift, yeah?

Myth 2: vafoodhead, you must eat such gourmet meals all the time! you've got skeelz.
BUSTED, on both accounts. Most of the time, for my meals, I eat whatever's around or whatever's easy. Yesterday, I had spaghetti noodles with a scrambled egg, tomato and onion mixture. With a slice of American cheese on top.
Yeah. Sounds gross, tastes ok. And yes, I'm okay with American cheese product. Also, I don't think I have special "skills"-- I just enjoy cooking.

Tonight, I had rice and a basic Korean side dish (or banchan- 반찬) that's called gyeran jorim (계란조림, meaning egg + simmered in a sauce). It's pretty much boiled eggs cooked with soy sauce, garlic, and a little sugar. Quick and easy, and one of my childhood favorites. Threw some rice in the cooker while I boiled some eggs. Usually, food cooked in the "jorim" preparation is simmered/braised in a soy sauce base for a long period of time. The most popular jorim dish uses a tough cut of beef that's cooked until tender and permeated with soy sauce. The way I cook my gyeran jorim, though, is a quick way I've seen my family do it. The sweet-salty combo of the side dish really goes well with a bowl of plain rice. Mm.

Gyeran Jorim, my family's version:
  • soy sauce
  • water
  • sugar
  • boiled and peeled eggs
  • garlic, whole or minced
  • optional: minced garlic, sliced or whole jalapenos, Asian chili peppers, etc.
1. Heat up a pan and add about a 1:4 ratio of soy sauce and water (seriously, just eyeball it. You can't really mess up). Then, add sugar to taste. You want the liquid to come more than halfway up the eggs, so some white is still peeking out. Bring to a simmer.
2. Once the liquid is simmering, add everything else and simmer while stirring for at least 10 minutes, or until the white of the eggs is a brownish hue and the sauce has reduced. The eggs break up easily, so be careful when swirling/tossing the pan to coat the eggs with the soy sauce mixture.
 Feel free to garnish with sliced scallions or toasted sesame seeds. Can be eaten hot, room temp or cold. I like it warm.

And that's it! See, my dinners aren't crazy complicated. And thankfully, this one turned out deliciously.