Frittata for Twelve

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the inaugural gathering of our Cultural Supper Club, and mentioned that our next gathering would be for an English Sunday Lunch, with a walk afterward. Well, that didn’t quite materialize because it was a) way too hot to make a roast plus Yorkshire pudding and b) it rained, which ruined the idea of a walk. So we decided to keep the date, and get-together for Brunch. Which is neither supper nor representative of any one culture. But we missed each other, and we love to eat. So there you have it.

It was my turn to host, which I adore doing — especially now that we have space in our Rochester home. Prior to moving to Rochester, Mr. Batch and I lived in San Francisco and we each had shoe-box sized apartments — his was a 600 square foot one bedroom … mine, a 500 square foot studio. We both owned so little that it’s taken us almost 5 years to furnish our 1800 square foot home here! I set the table with the beautiful china that my BFF designed. And note the super-cool salt & pepper shaker set — a parting gift from Mr. Batch’s grad student who recently earned her PhD:

My contribution was freshly squeezed orange juice, to be enjoyed all on its own, or made into mimosas. I loved getting to use the small juice glasses from my childhood:

I put my electric juicer through the paces, and squeezed 1.5 bags (approx 12 pounds) of oranges, myself. I decided to go that route for optimal freshness, and as a cost-savings measure versus paying Wegmans to squeeze the oranges for me. 8 pound bags of oranges at Trader Joe’s cost $4. So all of that orange juice cost about $6 and 30 minutes of effort!

I put a small dish of herb-marinated mixed olives on the table, one filled with toasted almonds, and one filled with dilly beans I’d pickled last summer using yellow wax beans.  I anticipated those might pair nicely with the fatty, rich brunch foods to come!

My final contribution was a Frittata For Twelve (though we only had the four of us + three spouses), made with spinach, mushrooms, caramelized onions and shredded cheddar cheese (recipe below). I made enough filling to use in my personal “frittata” for the following two weeks. In other words, I incorporated half of this batch of filling into the Frittata For Twelve I served our Cultural Supper Club, then froze 1/4 to use another time, and then used the remaining 1/4 for my breakfasts that week. #nevergosmall

The other members of the group offered Sicilian Potato Cake:

A beautiful selection of fruits, nuts, cinnamon and yogurt (and she used those same beautiful crystal & silver serving pieces you may remember reading about the last time we met!)

And a pound and a half of bacon for our group! 🙂 🙂 🙂

It made for a lovely plate of delicious goodness:

Followed by a delectable bread pudding with whisky sauce and whipped cream!

Like last time, we sat around the table and talked and laughed for hours — what a delight! Before parting ways, we asked the spouses to take our picture:

We’re all traveling at different times throughout the Summer, but we’ll be back together next Fall with our next Cultural Supper Club! See the pictures below, for what Mr. Batch and I have been doing for activities, to try to burn-off the calories from all of this consumption!

But first! How to make a Frittata For Twelve:

This version has spinach, mushroom, caramelized onion and shredded cheddar cheese — you could customize this however you would like. Additionally, scale this for the number of people you are serving — you could certainly halve this, or make only a quarter-batch.

  • One 16-oz bag frozen, chopped spinach

Thaw and squeeze excess water from spinach.

  • One 10-oz container of white button mushrooms + One 10-oz container of brown crimini mushrooms or baby ‘bellas

Clean mushrooms, slice, and sauté with olive oil, salt & pepper and two cloves of garlic, minced. Add to spinach in bowl and stir to combine. Wipe sauté pan with a paper towel – no need to clean it thoroughly before caramelizing the onion.

  • 1 large yellow onion, small-diced

Cook on low heat with olive oil, salt & pepper and two cloves of garlic, minced. Stir frequently, as the onions cook slowly and naturally caramelize and brown. Add to bowl with spinach and mushrooms and stir to combine. Set bowl aside to allow all contents to cool. Completely clean sauté pan if this is the one you will be using to make Frittata for Twelve.

  • 3/4 pound sharp cheddar cheese — grate.

Once spinach, mushroom, onion mixture is cool, add cheese and stir to combine. Don’t add when other ingredients are still warm, as cheese will melt and clump.

*Everything can be done ahead at this point and held in refrigerator. I set-aside 1/2 of this mixture to serve in our Brunch Frittata. Then froze 1/4 of the mixture for future use. And set-aside 1/4 of the mixture for my own “frittata” breakfasts for the week ahead.

When I was thirty minutes ahead of my serving time, I preheated the oven to 350F

  • Then cracked 12 eggs into a big mixing bowl and whisked them with 1/3 cup of Britta-filtered water (or you could use milk), 1 teaspoon salt and about 12 grinds of freshly cracked black pepper. I whisked all of these ingredients to thoroughly combine them.
  • Stir-in the 1/2 of the spinach-mushroom-caramelized-onion-shredded cheddar cheese you’ve set aside.

I heated my non-stick, oven-proof (in other words, completely metal … no plastic) large sauté pan and added 1 Tablespoon of butter and 1 teaspoon olive oil and swirled the butter and oil together to coat the bottom of the sauté pan.

I poured the egg-spinach-mushroom-caramelized-onion-shredded-cheddar-cheese into my hot, greased sauté pan and used a heat-proof rubber spatula to stir the ingredients, almost as if I were making scrambled eggs. I stirred the mixture frequently, scraping the bottom of the pan to bring the cooked egg to the surface and distribute the still-liquid-egg … and did this for about 5 minutes.

Once I noticed that the edges were starting to set and pulling away from the pan, I stopped stirring and put the pan in the oven. I baked the Frittata for Twelve for about 15-20 minutes until the egg-mixture was completely set. No jiggling, no liquid.

I let the Frittata for Twelve rest, out of the oven, for about 5 minutes. Then inverted a plate on top of the pan, and flipped the contents of the pan onto the plate. Then sliced into quarters, and each quarter into thirds. Oila! Frittata for Twelve!

Mr. Batch & I enjoyed all of the leftovers from the Brunch for a couple days. And I have loved having the frittata-filling for later in the week, and in the freezer for future weeks! As the tagline says, “Make a lot. Freeze some. Now go play!” Here’s what we’ve been doing to play:

Mr. Batch & I recently biked 25 miles for the local Tour de Cure ride, to raise money for diabetes research. We joined Team BioRad, who very kindly donated $75 per rider on their teams, nationwide! We rode along the shore of Lake Ontario and then through the fruit orchards and farms outside of Rochester. Along the way, we met several riders and supporters who have Type 1 & Type 2 diabetes. Very moving to hear their stories, lending a greater understanding of the impact of the ride and monies raised.

And it is finally Summer here! This week, I picked 15 pounds of strawberries! I baked with some of them (recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Cake forthcoming), we devoured many of them fresh, and I froze about half for future baking/smoothies/enjoyment!

 

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Bone Broth; Roasted Sweet Potatoes; “Frittata;” Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers; Guacamole; Freezer Clean-Out of Leftover Proteins with Potatoes and Veggies; Baked Wild Haddock with Ginger-Lemon Sauce; Sunshine Cake

This week’s cooking included batches of:

I started by making a batch of Bone Broth, using beef bones from McDonald Farm. Each week, in the freezer in a big Ziploc bag, I save what I call “ends-n-nubs,” as pictured below and to the right — that is, mushroom stems, the ends of carrots and onions, parsley stems, etc. I use the “ends-n-nubs” in batches of Bone Broth or Veggie Broth:

While that simmered away, I started a batch of quinoa for Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers, and also boiled some fingerling potatoes on the stovetop. And then loaded up the oven with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and roasted zucchini and roasted cauliflower, both of which I tossed only with olive oil, salt & pepper:

As those cooked, I cut some brussels sprouts off the stem and simmered those in the same water I cooked the fingerling potatoes in. And I gathered the ingredients for and started cooking the lentils for Quinoa-Lentil Veggie Burgers:

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Asian Pesto to add to Soup, Two Ways; Paleo Korma; Vegan Dhal; Apple Butterscotch Blondies

I absolutely LOVED eating so much delicious food in San Francisco and Portland as I mentioned in my last post … and I absolutely LOVED getting back into the kitchen again this past Sunday!  This week’s cooking included batches of:

(not pictured) I began my cooking session by slicing a block of Trader Joe’s Extra Firm Tofu into thick slabs, and freezing it for a batch of Crispy Baked Tofu.

Next on my list: using my big ol’ wok to cook some vegetables. I started by cooking a batch of broccolini and then rinsed the pan to use again to sauté some sliced baby portobello mushrooms, followed by sautéing some onions. When I was finished sautéing the mushrooms and onions, I added some Asian Pesto (pictured in the upper right corner of the photo with the whole ‘shrooms, below):

I thawed the frozen tofu slices and squeezed excess water from them. I brushed them with sesame oil and sprinkled salt and freshly ground black pepper on both sides, and popped them in the oven to roast, using the method in my recipe for Crispy Baked Tofu:

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Frozen-then-thawed tofu slices, squeezing out excess water to make Crispy Baked Tofu

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Thai Coconut-Lime Dressing over Rice Salad Two Ways; Crispy Baked Tofu; Scotch Eggs; Baked Chicken Thighs; Bleu Cheese Shortbread with Rosemary

This week’s cooking included batches of:

If you make nothing else from this post, make the Thai Coconut-Lime Dressing and put it on something!  As the original recipe claims, it is so good you could drink it straight!!!

I started by prepping a batch of Crispy Baked Tofu.  First step — freezing the slices of tofu:

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Prepping a batch of Crispy Baked Tofu

While those froze, I loaded-up the oven with some Baked Chicken Thighs and a butternut squash to roast:

And then I worked on blanching (very briefly cooking and then cooling) some sugar snap peas, and using the same salted water to cook some Italian flat beans from my friend Lisa’s garden, and then — still using the same salted water! — some broccoli (photo on left). I finished with that same at that point now-uber-salty water by cooking some edamame (perfect, since uber-salty water is needed to penetrate that thick pod to flavor the beans inside!) while I cooked some Boiled Eggs (photo on right):

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Vacation Edition: Lamb Biryani Meatballs, Lisa’s Pasta Salad Using Raviolis, Boiled Eggs, Guacamole

Mr. Batch and I recently rented a vacation house for a week at Seneca Lake, one of the Finger Lakes in Western NY.  I was out of town for three days prior to our departure. Here is how I prepped our food, in advance of my first trip, for fairly-healthy, very tasty eats throughout the week — keeping in mind that both of us suspended our usual food plans and indulged … since it was vacation dontchaknow.

The nearest grocery store to our rented lake house was at least 1/2 an hour away, thus I decided to bring as much food as we could with us.  We had a 1-1/2 hour drive from our home to the lake, so we needed to be able to keep the food as cold as possible over that journey. Since it was vacation, I didn’t want to do too much work, hence I decided to prep a couple of proteins & desserts, in advance, that could be frozen — which would double as “chillers” in the coolers.  This is what I bought/prepared:

For dinners those first couple of nights, I served Lamb Biryani Meatballs. I made these prior to departing for my first trip, and stored them in the freezer. Though stored all together in a big container, they easily pulled apart, to thaw one at the time.

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Lamb Biryani Meatballs

Also, in advance of my first trip, I roasted several whole sweet potatoes (still in their jackets and just pierced their skin with a knife and roasted until they were soft), which can last in the fridge for at least a week. I ate the Lamb Biryani Meatballs with a half of a roasted sweet potato and a salad. For Mr. Batch, I got fancy and made him a wrap sandwich using “Angelic Bakehouse” brand Sprouted Mash 7-Grain wraps that we bought at Costco, with lightly-dressed salad greens, sliced red onion, crumbled feta, and several Tablespoons of hummus:

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Lamb Biryani Meatballs in a wrap (photo has been enhanced, which is atypical for this blog, so I thought it worth mention)

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Beef Pot Roast (Slow Cooker); Juiciest Baked Chicken Breasts; Tomato & Garlic Cauliflower Rice with Lemon; Fruit Pie Bars

Please forgive my delay in posting — I’m several days late from my usual Sunday posts, so this should have been posted on July 3. I’ve been doing a lot of traveling recently, which I love — it means I have gotten to see people who I adore. Thanks for waiting!  I hope you enjoyed last week’s Reflection titled “Acupuncturing.”

This week’s cooking included a batch of:

 

I began this week’s batch cooking, by baking a “Frittata.” This week’s had Boursin cheese (Soft cheese that has garlic and herbs.  If you’ve never tried it, rundo not walk … to the store and check it out); left-over sweet potatoes; and a bag of wilted & chopped  Trader Joe’s “Power Greens.”

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“Frittata” ingredients of eggs, Boursin cheese, left-over sweet potatoes, and a bag of wilted & chopped Trader Joe’s “Power Greens”

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Polenta, Black Bean & Corn Salad, Crispy Baked Tofu, Tomato & Garlic Cauliflower Rice, Raspberry Chocolate Almond Bar Cookies

In case you missed last week’s Reflection called “Ideal Day,” you can access it via this link, or in the menu above under Reflections. I try to publish a Reflection every Wednesday.

 

This week’s batch cooking included:

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Prepping the tofu for Crispy Baked Tofu

I started this week’s cooking session with slicing and freezing a block of Extra-Firm Tofu, to make Crispy Baked Tofu.

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Ingredients needed for the rest of my prep

Then, I pulled out the ingredients I would need to complete the rest of my prep. I scrubbed the sweet potatoes for a batch of Roasted Sweet Potatoes, to be cooked in the oven simultaneously this week’s “Frittata,” (sausage and wilted spinach), while I cooked some broccolini, and a batch of Polenta on the stovetop.

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Roasted Sweet Potatoes cooking in the oven simultaneously with this week’s “Frittata,” while I cooked some broccolini, and a batch of Polenta on the stovetop

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Chicken with Spaghetti Squash, “Quesa-diendas” with Tomato Soup, Slow Cooker Pork with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Shirazi Salad, Sunshine Cake

In case you missed it, I posted a new “Reflection” this week called “Door as Metaphor.” Clickable link in the tab above called “Reflections.”

For this week’s cooking, I made:

 

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Marinating Nom Nom Paleo’s Damn Fine Chicken

I began this week’s batch cooking by marinating some of Nom Nom Paleo’s Damn Fine Chicken.

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Beef Brisket, Green Lentils, Baked Chicken Thighs, Double Chocolate Banana Bread

For this week’s cooking, I made:

 

I started by pre-heating my oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and then simultaneously roasted some carrots, fennel, beets & chicken thighs and braised some leeks.

 

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Carrots, fennel and beets roasting alongside Baked Chicken Thighs.

 

First, I added 2 Tablespoons of olive oil to the bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan and distributed it evenly along the bottom of the pan. I added 1 pound of peeled, large-chopped carrots and 2 bulbs of chopped fennel. I sprinkled 1 teaspoon of salt over the carrots and 1 teaspoon of salt over the fennel all  & several grinds of freshly ground black pepper over each, and shook the pan bake and forth (gently), to distribute the oil & seasonings. I put those in the oven on the top shelf and roasted them, uncovered.

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Carrots & fennel, ready to roast

 

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