Sunday, February 20, 2011

GIFTS FROM THE CHICKENS

Eggs are by far and away one of lifes best gifts.  They cross all cultures and food styles, are found in sweets as well as savory foods.  They can be eaten on their own or dolled up with any number of ingredients. 
Farm fresh eggs tend to come in a variety
of colors and sizes

French omelets, spanish tortillas, italian frittatas, scrambled, sunny-side up, poached or hard boiled - in all, eggs are fantastic.  And they happen to be one of my favorite foods.  Eggs make terrific meals, especially if you are cooking for yourself and looking for something quick and easy. 

I won't bore you here with my egg philosophy, but you can check out my other blog for what I really think about supermarket eggs.  My eggs tend to come from local suppliers where I can trust the way the chickens are raised. 

Weekend mornings are made for having eggs.  My Monday through Friday breakfasts tend to be foods eaten out of hand like muffins or power bars.  So Saturday and Sunday lend themselves to scouring around the pantry and finding something to go with my pretty little eggs.  Generally what else I find in my fridge or pantry dictates how they will be prepared.  Today I had a bag of organic arugula, a few potatoes and some parmesan cheese at hand.  With a few other odds and ends, a Spanish Tortilla was my end result.

6-inch non-stick, oven-proof handle.
If you cook for JUST YOU, go out and
get one of these, they are invaluable.
ONE OF MY FAVORITE KITCHEN TOOLS
I have a long list of kitchen tools that I feel are important for anyone cooking for one.  Today I am using my favorite non-stick 6-inch skillet for my tortilla.  Between this skillet and my 2 quart saucpan, these items seldom actually see the inside of the cupboard.  They are the perfect size to cook with everyday and so I tend to wash them and stick them back on the stove for the next meal. 

When looking for the perfect skillet for yourself, look for one with a heavy bottom that will evenly distribute heat.  One with sloping sides that slant outward will lend itself to tossing foods as you cook without the food landing on the floor.  Also, a heat resistant handle is very important so that it will easily move from stovetop to oven, which was a requirment for today.

SPANISH STYLE TORTILLA

1 Tbls butter
1 medium potato, peeled and sliced into 1/4 inch slices
1 scallion, chopped
pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup finely diced ham
1/2 cup fresh arugula, lightly chopped
2 eggs, beaten
1 Tbls. grated parmesan cheese


Heat your oven to broil.  (Note - I use my toaster oven for this sort of process.  Your regular oven will work fine here too)
  
Cook the potatoes and scallion in the butter over medium-high heat until the potatoes are browned and cooked through.

Add the ham, red pepper flakes and arugula to the hot pan, toss to combine and cook to heat through.

Meanwhile, beat the eggs with the parmesan cheese in a small bowl.

Add the eggs to the pan, lightly mix to evenly distribute over the pan. Continue to cook until the eggs are mostly set and browned on the bottom. Transfer the pan to the oven for another 3-5 minutes cooking until the eggs are completely set and browned on top.




Remove the tortilla from the pan onto a cutting board.  Slice and serve.



Ready to eat! 

Ah ha!  You've caught me - indeed I did not eat the entire tortilla today which is making this a meal with leftovers.  Tortillas and frittatas are great as left overs for breakfast later on in the week.  Or, most likely I will save it for a night when I'm running between work and someplace else and have little time for a meal.  A few seconds in the microwave and a salad on the side will make this the perfect 5-minute dinner. 


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