Vegetable [bacon] Frittata

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Tonight’s dinner was Vegetable Frittata! I jazzed up Martha’s recipe with some good ole’ bacon! It was really tasty, like breakfast for dinner.

It was pretty simple to cook, as long as you have a cast iron pan. Otherwise I’m not sure how to make it happen. Even I couldn’t get that crafty. I had to run to Target for a pan. ­čÖé The vegetables really make this a savory dish, very appropriate for dinner. It also can be eaten at room temp says Martha, perfect┬áfor when you are eating and multitasking as I often find myself. Pictures this evening are courtesy of Brian!

The grocery list:

8 large Eggs

1/2 lb Green Beans

1 Tomato

6 slices of Bacon (I made 7, but Brian ate one.)

1 c Broccoli florets

1/2 medium Red Onion (used the other half from last night’s Taco Burgers!)

1/2 c Sour Cream

1 lb Gold Potatoes

4 cloves of Garlic

3 T Olive Oil

S&P

1 c Grated Parmesan

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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Prep the bacon by laying each slice on a foil lined baking sheet. Then prep the broccoli by tossing the florets in about a tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper.

Place the broccoli in the oven on the second from the top rack. Place the bacon on the middle rack or one lower. Don’t worry about waiting for the oven to fully preheat.

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After 20 minutes, the bacon will be almost crisp and the broccoli will be close to done. Flip the florets over and move to the middle rack. Pull the bacon out and transfer slices to a paper towel lined plate.

Let the broccoli cook for another 5 to 10 minutes until nice and roasted. When finished, set aside in a bowl until cool enough to chop.

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Make a little roasted potato side by slicing up some baby gold potatoes into 1 inch pieces. Toss the pieces with four chopped garlic cloves, 1 tablespoon of olive oil, and salt and pepper.

Place the potatoes onto the lower rack once the broccoli and the bacon have finished cooking. They will take about 20 minutes and can cook while you prepare the frittata.

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Crack 8 large eggs in a medium bowl and whisk with 1/2 cup of sour cream until well mixed. Set aside.

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Wash and trim 1/2 pound of green beans and cut into 1 inch pieces.

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Chop up half of a medium red onion.

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Dice a tomato into 1/2 inch pieces. [Not shown to size.]

Chop up the broccoli.

Rip or chop up the bacon into small pieces. Not talking bacon bit size, you want a nice big bite of bacon with your tata.

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Break from chopping to look at the cat. Heat up 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a 10 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat while you take a picture of the cat.

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Add the green beans and the chopped onion to the hot skillet. Add some bacon grease if you have it lying around.. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the beans are to your tenderness liking.

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Add the bacon, tomatoes, and the broccoli to the skillet and mix well. Season with salt and pepper.

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Pour in the egg mixture while mixing. You want to combine the egg and all of the ingredients quickly before the egg sets.

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Once combined, top the frittata with a cup of grated parmesan cheese.

Let the egg cook for 2 minutes or until the egg begins to set. Then transfer to the oven on the upper rack. Allow the frittata to cook undisturbed for 8 minutes. It will begin to bubble and set on the top. Turn on the broiler and give the cheese a minute to brown and bubble up.

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This would be a good time to check on the taters!

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After the cheese has turned a golden brown, pull it out and run a rubber spatula around the rim to loosen the egg. Transfer to a plate carefully, by easing the spatula under the frittata and helping slide it onto the plate.

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Cut into wedges and serve alongside the roasted potatoes.

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A great anytime meal! ­čÖé

Taco Burgers and Pickled Cucumber Tomato Salad

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Tonight from┬áMartha’s “budget” menu, Brian chose Taco Burgers.

A zippy burger twist, I was very intrigued to try. Not usually a huge fan of jalape├▒os, I think the pickled juice made them milder and more palatable. The patty tastes like taco meat, flavored with salt and pepper and a generous teaspoon of chili powder. I am a big fan of this recipe and will definitely make this one again.

The grocery list:

1 lb lean Ground Beef

1 jar of Sliced Pickled Jalape├▒os

1 t Chili Powder

S&P

3/4 t Sugar

1 c chopped Iceberg Lettuce

1 Cucumber

1/2 medium Red Onion

1 large Tomato

4 Hamburger Buns

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This is the star ingredient of the night. You will need as many of these suckers as you can stand to top your burger and 2 tablespoons of the juice to make the dressing for the salad.

I found this at Safeway in the Hispanic food section. They had lots large cans in authentic brands but after some thorough searching I found El Paso brand in a small jar! America.

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Start by making the salad so it has some time to marinate in the dressing. Slice about half of the tomato into four slices to top the burger later. Dice the other half of the tomato into 3/4 inch chunks for the salad.

Pour 2 tablespoons of pickled jalape├▒o juice into a medium sized bowl and whisk it with 3/4 teaspoon of sugar. Add the diced tomatoes to the mix.

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Chop the ends of the cucumber off and slice it into thin half moons. You can slice it right down the middle and chop each half or cut 3/4 of the way down the cucumber and slice the whole (see picture). After beginning the latter end ending with the former, I found the first way to be more efficient and safer with the knife.

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Slice up half of the red onion. Set aside some of this to top your burgers later if you wish.

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Add the cucumber and onion to the bowl and mix with the tomatoes and jalape├▒o juice. Add salt and pepper to taste. Wrap with cling wrap and set in the fridge until later.

Steal a cucumber slice.

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Use your hands to mix the pound of ground beef with a teaspoon of chili powder. Form four equal-ish sized patties. Sprinkle each side with salt and pepper. If you are lazy like me, just sprinkle the side facing up. Place this side in the pan first and sprinkle the other while it is in the pan.

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Cook the patties for four minutes on each side in a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. I was going to use my new grill pan, but I accidentally added some oil to a very hot pan and created a smoke storm in the kitchen. Use Pam if you don’t have nonstick.

Add a slice of cheddar cheese during the last minute of cooking if you wish. I did.

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Load ’em up! You can top with the salad, that would be amazing. Or you can use the tomato and onion you set aside earlier and the lettuce I mentioned in the grocery list. Don’t forget the jalape├▒o!

Even I, a wimp, ate 2 on my burger! Delicious! ­čÖé

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Chili Braised Pork with Sweet Potato Mash and Green Beans

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Alas! After months of hiatus, I have returned to my quaint cooking blog. I have missed blogging so much, but between my final semester of school and student teaching, it has been the furthest thing from my mind. This week will hopefully be my last week of unemployment ­čÖé and to celebrate that I thought I’d cook a week of amazing meals.

This week’s grocery list and menu is brought to us by Martha Stewart. Now Martha claims that these are $10 dinners, and maybe that’s true, but in the lovely DC area I doubled her suggested budget. It’s possible that I could have spent less had I been equipped with my staple pantry but most of it still resides in Richmond. I am hoping to get the rest of my things this week!

The first meal on the list is chili braised pork with sweet potatoes and green beans. Yum.

I rarely cook with pork, and never with the cut used in this recipe, but I am glad I went outside my comfort zone. It’s also a fairly inexpensive cut and commonly found at grocery stores. The bill for this meal was about $15.

The grocery list:

1 1/2 lbs Boneless Country-Style Pork Ribs (about 5 ribs)

S&P

1/2 t of Chili Powder

1 3/4 c of Chicken Broth

3 T All Purpose Flour

4 t Olive Oil

2 large Yams

1/2 c Sour Cream

2 t White Sugar

3 cloves of Garlic

1 lbs Green Beans

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Heat about a teaspoon of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Salt and pepper the pork ribs while the oil heats up.

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When you can start to smell the oil, put the ribs in. Give each their own space. Leave them for about 3 minutes to get a nice bottom crust. Then turn about every 2 minutes to brown each side. About 7 minutes total time.

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While the pork is browning, mix 1 3/4 cups of chicken broth, 2 tablespoons of flour, and 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder in a bowl.

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Add the liquid after 7 minutes of browning. Bring to a boil in the medium high pan. Reduce the heat to medium low and cover the pan. The sauce should continue to bubble and the pork will begin to steam.

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Leave the pan for about 30 minutes. I uncovered halfway to whisk up the sauce and grab the bits that were stuck to the pan.

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Peel and chop the sweet potatoes in 1 inch pieces. Set out the sour cream so it can come to room temperature – for later!

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Wash the green beans and trim the ends. Set them aside for later. They cook in about 6 minutes, you can do this during the last 10 minutes of the pork’s cooking time.

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About 20 minutes into the pork, start the potatoes. Bring them to a boil in a salty bath then reduce the heat to an aggressive simmer. The potatoes should take about 20 minutes, check at 15 for fork tenderness.

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After a 30 steam, uncover the pan and let the pork continue to cook on medium high heat uncovered for 20 minutes. This will let the sauce thicken up and give the pork more time to become beautifully tender.

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When the yams are cooked, strain them and return to the pan. Mash them until they are almost smooth and release most of the steam before adding sour cream and 2 teaspoons of sugar. Continue to mash until the potatoes are smooth. Whip in salt and pepper as desired, keep tasting it! If they taste too sour add another teaspoon of sugar or increase the salt. Keep the potatoes warm over low heat while the meal finishes.

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Heat up 2 teaspoons of oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Chop up 3 cloves of garlic while it heats up.

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This was where I got crafty. ­čÖé My pans are in Richmond so I was short a skillet. I used my Christmas present and it worked out just fine! I do recommend a skillet though.

Add the garlic to the hot oil and cook for 30 seconds.

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Add the green beans and 1/4 cup of water to the skillet and cover for 3 minutes. My beans barely fit! I made it work by giving them another minute of steaming.

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Uncover and continue to cook for another 2 minutes, stirring the beans frequently. They are done when most of the water has evaporated and have a crisp outer but tender inside.

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Add finishing touches by spooning lots of sauce over your pork rib and sprinkling some chili powder over your yams. ­čÖé