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Cooking with Fel – Frittata FAIL.

January 3, 2010

I have to write a little background bio before I get into my first FAIL of 2010.

Before you continue reading, please believe me when I say, “I CAN COOK”.

I seriously can. I promise.

When I was a wee UCLA bruin, living in my beloved apartment in Westwood, I cooked often. My business fraternity would have periodic cook-off competitions – I participated in two; I placed in both. I’ve made tiramisu from scratch (lady fingers included). I’ve prepared tri-tip roasts large enough to feed a pledge class (maybe even two). I’ve cooked Thanksgiving dinner for the past three years (minus the turkey this past year). I KNOW I CAN COOK.

That said, please don’t judge me on this post. I’ll admit today was a total cooking failure…but I can cook! I promise!

———-

When I woke up this morning, I decided: It’s 2010 now! It’s a year of action and change and awesomeness! I am going to cook a frittata and take pictures and post it on The Food Ledger and be a food blogger and this is going to rock!!

…Uh, not quite.

First off, I haven’t seriously cooked since college (some 2.5 years ago) so my skills are a bit rusty, to say the least. Excluding the annual Thanksgiving dinner, how often do I touch a stove during the year? I’ll give you a hint: I can probably count on one hand. Definitely on two. (Strike one.)

Secondly, I’ve never made a frittata before. I’ve never used a cast iron skillet before. I’ve never used a cast iron skillet to make a frittata before. I had no idea what I was doing. My onions turned out quite nicely, but the potatoes were undercooked and kept sticking to the skillet and my eggs didn’t rise as nicely as they were supposed to. Not quite the perfect frittata I envisioned. (Strike two.)

Lastly…Who am I kidding? I may be able to cook but I am in no way a chef. Things don’t come out pretty with me; food comes out on a plate, a little lopsided but tasting the way it should. But that’s not what pretty food blogs look like…Pretty food blogs are, well, pretty. I tried making three potatoes look artsy today and let me just say, it’s hard making food look pretty. I can’t even make my failed frittata look appetizing. *tears* (Strike three.)

…So I guess you can argue that I was doomed from the beginning. I claim I was just overly ambitious.

In the end, I really can’t consider it a total failure. It actually tasted okay (minus the overly pungent gorgonzola I added last minute). Plus, this gives me my first tangible resolution of 2010:

Resolution #1: Make an awesome, beautiful frittata by the end of the year.

Now onto the recipe and pictures:

Potato and Caramelized Onion Frittata with Gorgonzola Recipe
From: The Balsamic Vinegar Cookbook by Meesha Halm

ACTIVE: 45 MIN
TOTAL TIME: 1 HR

Ingredients:

Caramelized Onions:
* 2 Tablespoons butter, unsalted
* 2 large yellow onion, cut 1/8 inch thick
* 1/4 teaspoon salt
* 1 dash freshly ground black pepper
* 2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
* 1 teaspoon granulated sugar

Frittata:
* 5 medium red potatoes, unpeeled
* 2 Tablespoons olive oil
* 1 teaspoon salt, divided
* 3/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, divided
* 10 large eggs
* 2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, chopped
* 2 ounces Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Directions:

Caramelized Onions:
In a medium nonstick skillet, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the onions, salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring often to avoid scorching, until the onions are very soft and deep golden brown, 12 to 15 minutes. Stir in the balsamic vinegar and sugar and cook until the vinegar is reduced to a glaze, about 1 minute. Keep the onions warm. (The onions can be prepared up to three days ahead, covered, and refrigerated. Reheat before using.)

Frittata:
Parboil potatoes in salted water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water until cool enough to handle. Cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices, then chop coarsely.

In a 9- to 10-inch nonstick ovenproof skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the potatoes, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, uncovered, turning the potatoes occasionally, until they are browned and tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Spread the potatoes as evenly as possible in the skillet.

Position the broiler rack about 6 inches from the source of heat and preheat the broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs, rosemary, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper until well-combined. Pour over the potatoes and reduce the heat to medium-low. Using a rubber spatula, lift up the cooked part of the frittata and tilt the skillet to allow the uncooked eggs to run underneath. Continue cooking, occasionally lifting the frittata and tilting the skillet as described until the top is almost set, approximately 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the Gorgonzola cheese. Broil until the frittata is puffed and the top is set, approximately 1 minute.

To serve, spread the top of the frittata with the warm onions and cut into wedges. Serve hot or warm.

Yield: 6 servings

Holiday Party 2009 – An Early Xmas

December 25, 2009

Christmas Day is a day filled with presents, with tables overflowing with food, with family and holiday cheer…

…Well, not quite. Strange as it sounds, my family hasn’t really celebrated Christmas for past ten years or so. No Christmas tree, no gift exchange, no feasts – we just treat it as another day at home. This year was no exception; especially since we spent most of this week in Vegas for a family reunion, today is a day of recovery rather than festivity.

Although today may not be as eventful for me as it is for you, don’t worry – I got my holiday cheer on last week. One of my managers was nice enough to invite us over to his house for a little holiday get together and his wife put together one of the most impressive spreads I’ve seen in a while.

(Gingerbread men and gumdrops – oh my!)

Everything was basically made from scratch, from the crispy wonton skins filled with savory sausage to the perfectly decorated tiramisu cheesecake. The mac and cheese was cheesy, the shrimp were coated in a lick-your-fingers spice rub…There was a lot of good grubbing going on.

So like I said, I already got my holiday cheer this December and I hope all of you are getting yours now too!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays everyone!

Thanksgiving 2009

November 26, 2009

Things I’m thankful for:

  1. That I now have a blog (even with all its stupid CSS glitches) that I can post stuff like this on.
  2. That I’ve been able to fight a good fight against my impending food coma (or else these sentences may not be as coherent as they otherwise would be).

Okay, that was totally a “things I’m thankful for” cop-out, but the writing isn’t the point of this post – I just wanted to post Thanksgiving pictures.

Just as some background: The brother and I have been cooking Thanksgiving dinner for the past couple of years because…well…the mom hates to cook. Plus, she has this health freak thing where she never follows the recipe because it has “too much (blank) in it” (e.g. butter, sugar, salt, fat, etc. – all the stuff that makes food delicious). Thus, we usually take over so she’ll never know how unhealthy our Thanksgiving dinner really is.

This year, she wanted to cook. The brother and I got bored and ended up cooking all the sides anyway, but mom was in charge of the bird. We were worried – we shouldn’t have been. Her turkey blew TGFY07 and TGFY08 turkeys out of the water. No competition.

See that? That’s a fine looking turkey.

Anyway, hope everyone else’s Thanksgiving spreads were as good (and filling!) as mine. Now to give in to the tryptophan…

(NOTE: For those looking for a good dry-brined turkey recipe, refer to the LA Times)