Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Eating the Pantry: Blue Potato, Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Frittata

Subtitled:  How have I not written about frittatas yet?

Okay yall.  School.  It has commenced, and as Jessica notes over at Waves and Wires, that means thoughts and posts might be scattered for a while as life transitions yet again.  But in honor of my groaning back-to-school Visa bill, I've turned my attention to what I have on hand:  for a week I am not allowed to eat out/buy any fancy extras (i.e. lemons, Goldfish, cream).  I can just eat what's already in my pantry and fridge.  I might delve into the freezer a bit, but I'd prefer not to, as that's stuff I've put up for the winter.  Saturday might find me eating Publix boxed Garlic Mashed Potatoes, but it's good to have a little financial cleansing.  Part of the point of this blog is, after all, to show that you can eat well on a meager grad student budget.

My brother, Alex, was visiting this past week and helped me make this frittata.  Frittatas!  How I love thee when all else fails.  It is a crustless quiche, or a really big omelette, however you prefer to look at it.  Mix eggs with milk, cook whatever vegetables/meats/herbs you want, and a filling, cheap meal you shall have.  They are also super easy to make when you need to cook for a crowd, perhaps for a brunch, if you are so inclined to brunch.

Anyway, Alex is 18 and is content, for the most part, to live off PopTarts and pizza.  But even he pronounced this creation tasty and satisfying, if not the most inspired of combinations.  For living off what I had, though, it services nicely.

Blue Potato, Roasted Red Pepper and Sausage Frittata

4-5 True Blue potatoes (from Tims Family Farms)
1 red pepper (from Mai Vue farms; green peppers are awfully inexpensive right now, and you can let them turn red on your counter)
1/4 lb sausage (homegrown; Alex once knew it as a pig for the county fair)
3 eggs and some milk---about 1/4-1/2 cup
salt and pepper
1 tbsp butter

First, slice your potatoes thinly and set aside.

Next, roast your red pepper.  I have a gas range, so I just hold the pepper directly over the flame until the skin bubbles, blisters and chars all over.  You can also roast peppers under the broiler:  cut them in half and place them flesh side down on a cookie sheet.  But make sure you check in frequently so you don't overcook them.

We also roasted some potatoes.  Because why not.

To make it easier to peel off the blackened skin, you can place the pepper in either a plastic or paper bag and seal.  I prefer to sweat mine in a bowl topped with a plate---less waste.  Let it sweat for about 15 minutes and the skin should peel off easily.  Don't drive yourself crazy, though---you'll never get all the black off.  I've also seen some guides that say you can run the pepper under tap water to peel the skin off, but that seems like it would remove all the flavor.  Much like kneading bread, I say, use your own wo/manpower.  (PS Many thanks to Alex for taking the pictures of my demonstrating hands!)

Then de-seed, de-rib and de-stem the pepper and cut it into small dice.

Cook your sausage in a skillet and set aside to drain on a paper towel.

Wash the skillet.  Then melt the butter in it over medium-high heat.  When the butter gets all foamy, drop in the potatoes and saute until they get tender/crispy.  Salt and pepper them to taste.  

Add in the pepper and sausage and stir until it all gets hot.

Then pour in the 3 eggs you've whipped with a fork into the milk.  

The eggs will start setting right away.  Immediately use a wooden spoon or spatula to pull away the set edges of the frittata from the side of the pan.  Go around the pan, gently pulling and tilting the pan, and letting the uncooked egg run into the pulled-back space.  This allows most of the frittata to cook.  

You can finish cooking it on the stove top, but the bottom of your frittata might burn.  I like to put mine in a 250 degree oven for about 10-15 more minutes to set the top and finish cooking.  When it's all puffed and set, it's ready to eat!  Frittatas are also VERY good with cheese.  I just didn't have any.  And, you know.  The rule.

I had a WONDERFUL time hanging out with you, Alex!

Trip to Mud Island River Park

Chewie is awfully curious about what this new toy is all about.

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