Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Random Thoughts with a Side of Spinach Frittata

Since I am avoiding the commissary like the plague- it's payday week- I haven't really been cooking.  We have been living off of left-overs while I have brain-storm recipes for the coming week.  So far I have 3 new recipes that I am going to try, all from my Epicurious app on my IPad, along with some classics.  And, this coming week will be a week of culinary firsts in the kitchen for me too.  I plan on making homemade pizza dough and rainbow cookies from scratch.

I have never made a yeast doughs and I figured it is about time I learn how to do it.  I can thank my parents for inspiring me. Since my father has retired my parents have been spending their golden years experimenting in the kitchen together and I get to hear about all the delicious things they have made without any of the benefit since they are in Pennsylvania and I am in Georgia.  My mom is no stranger to making pizza dough and I am sure when I talk about my fears of killing poor, defenseless yeast (the real reason I haven't made pizza dough or bread yet) she rolls her eyes on the other end.  I had found a super easy margherita pizza recipe and since it doesn't require pizza sauce( aka work), I figured I would make the dough from scratch in lieu of store bought dough. As it is, I am not a big fan of pillsbury pizza dough and we don't have enough local pizzerias down here that I can buy pizza dough from.  If my pizza dough is a failure, I am sure I can bribe the guys at Screamin' Mimi's for one.

After my baklava success as of late (and my successful weight gain of 3 lbs due to eating above-said baklava), I have decided to tackle rainbow cookies.  This cookie is probably my favorite Italian cookie, next to the pignole (pine nut) cookie. I used to work in an Italian bakery when I was a teen-ager and we used to test the freshness of the cookie trays we pre-wrapped by pressing on a rainbow cookie, if it was soft they were still good.  I also made the most of my regular access to rainbow cookies while working in this bakery, much to my (cheap) boss' chagrin.  They are usually the most expensive cookie by the pound.  Now, when I go home I try to have them at least once, since finding them in Georgia is harder than finding Jimmy Hoffa and Sasquatch playing a game of Texas Hold 'Em together. Feeling confident, I googled the recipe and I found that a fellow food blogger, Smitten Kitchen,  already tackled these little pieces of heaven with some success. I have to pick up some kitchen utensils and go on a search and rescue mission for some almond paste before conquering this culinary endeavor but I am feeling confident.  Definitely check back this weekend to hear how I am stuffing my face with homemade rainbow cookies (or crying due to the ensued kitchen disaster).

Anyways, I am sure all of you are shaking your heads wondering why I haven't even brought up the spinach frittata yet.  Since I haven't really cooked since Sunday, I felt inspired to make my 20 month old, Nate something other than the requisite pb&j for lunch.  We are running low on food due to my commissary avoidance and I had to dig around my pantry for ideas.  I had a half a bag of baby spinach, a carton of eggs and a frying pan.  I knew exactly what I was going to make him, a spinach frittata. One of my favorite egg dishes, I used to eat spinach frittatas regularly when I was pregnant with my daughter since they were easy to make, healthy and cheap (my husband and I didn't have a lot of money back then).  I haven't made one in a while and feeling inspired to putz around in the kitchen I decided this would be a perfect lunch for the two of us.

I make my frittata completely on the stove top but some recipes call for you to brown it off in the broiler which is for me is just too much work when I am trying to feed a hungry toddler.  This is also a one pan recipe which saves on clean up.  This is perfect for a quick breakfast, lunch or even a quick dinner if it is coupled with soup or salad.

Spinach Frittata
non-stick cooking spray (essential since I only cook with stainless steel)
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves of garlic, chopped
2-3 cups of baby spinach
1 handful of italian parsely chopped (I threw that in there since I had a bunch in the fridge I wanted to use, it's completely optional though)
4 eggs
1 tbsp water
1tsp italian seasoning
1/2 C grated cheese

  • Spray a 12 in skillet with cooking spray.  Heat pan on medium high. Add olive oil and once heated, add garlic.  Sautee til brown and then throw in spinach.  Sautee til spinach is wilted. Once wilted, set aside in a bowl.
  • In a bowl, beat eggs, water and italian seasoning.  Add 3/4 of the egg mixture to pan.  Lower flame to medium.  Once bottom sets add back the sautee'd spinach, parsely and grated cheese.  
  • Top with remaining egg mixture.
  • Once sides have set, quickly loosen them with a spatula from the side of the pan.  This allows the frittata to be flipped out of the pan easily.
  • Once top of frittata has set (no longer runny)  flip onto a plate and cut into wedges.

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