Saturday, August 4, 2012

You Say Potato, I Say Frittata

When he is at my house I cook for him. When I am at his house he cooks for me. One thing I have learned is that we have very different cooking styles.

I tend to prep as I cook grabbing what I need when I need it and paying attention to a carefully plotted timeline of what I need to do when I need to do it. In my ADD world, a roadmap is essential. This means that recipes blend together, things are timed to intermingle while cooking, all laid out in a long running stream-of-consciousness type plan. Because of this, ingredients stay out to get put away at the end, utensils are spread over countertops dripping with oil, the kitchen goes chaotic until the very end and there is usually a little bit of sweeping required. My dishes tend to be big, convoluted, and bold with flavor, and way too much food for two people concocted in a variety bowls and cups.

He is meticulous yet flows as he goes, starting with a general idea of what he wants to do and then improvises along the way. Economical portions of food are perfectly created from his precisely measured brain, utilizing few utensils for a wide variety of jobs. The prep area is in one tidy location where piles of diced vegetables sit neatly adjacent to proteins and pastas for dishes that tend to be simple, pure, fresh and ultimately developed in one or two pots.

But last week we cooked a very fast meal together out of the necessity of trying to get to a movie on time. He cooked potato and I cooked frittata and we only bristled each other at one moment over the appropriate amount of parmigiano-reggiano to use. I of course wanted to go over board and he wanted to stay under. We met somewhere in the middle.

This is one of those meals that can be made for breakfast, lunch or dinner on the quick.


5 eggs
2 Tbsp. cream
2 Tbsp. olive oil, divided
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 tsp. salt
1 clove garlic, minced
3 small zucchini, sliced
1/3 cup parmesan or other hard, grating cheese
2 Tbsp. minced basil
1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

In a large bowl, whisk eggs and cream until whites are thoroughly broken up.

In a large frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. of olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until starting to brown, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add zucchini or summer squash and cook, stirring, until wilted, about 5 minutes.

Stir cheese, herbs, and pepper into the eggs. Stir in vegetable mixture.

Return pan to stove. Add remaining 1 Tbsp. oil and let sit until hot. Pour in egg-vegetable mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook until lightly browned on bottom, about 5 minutes.

Heat broiler, arranging a rack 6 to8 inches below the heating element.

Put frittata under broiler and cook, watching constantly, until frittata is set and top is browned, 2 to 3 minutes.

Run a silicone spatula around the edges, gradually working under the frittata until the entire thing is loose from the pan.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


3 -4 diced medium russet potatoes
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 pinch ground cumin
3 tablespoons light olive oil
1 teaspoon minced lemon thyme

Wash, peel and dice potatoes into same size pieces

Toss potatoes in a bowl with paprika, pepper and cumin.

 Heat 3 tablespoons light olive oil in a very large non-stick saute pan over medium-high heat.

Add potatoes into skillet and fry, turning occasionally with a spatula until lightly golden.

Reduce heat to medium and sprinkle in the thyme.

Cook until soft per desire.

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