Wednesday, May 4, 2011
I think that my love of potatoes is stymied by the fact that they take more than 2 seconds to cook. The other things I am culinarily obsessed with are sort of instant food- cheese, obviously. Eggs, which will be ready to eat if you just glare at them on a particularly warm morning. Bread counts, because even though it takes me 4 hours to make a loaf of bread, once it's done, for the rest of the week all I have to do is cut a piece off and, at most, drop it in the toaster. I have a better relationship with fruits than vegetables for the same reason. If you want to eat an apple, you just bite it. There's plenty of stuff you could do to it first, but that's all pretty much optional.
On the other hand, a potato is fundamentally an ingredient. No matter what, you have to make some substantial alterations to a potato before it's good to eat. Then once you've gone to the effort of dinking around with your spuds, usually what you end up with is a dish that is supposed to go with some other thing that you still have to make. I'm sort of creeping up on some solutions to my longing for potatoes. This is one that was worth repeating.
about 1 1/2 lb little potatoes, sliced thin
1 medium onion, sliced
about 1 cup broccoli florets, cut small
oil for frying
1 T flour
about 1/3 cup water
1 or 2 T olive oil
salt & pepper
about 4 oz feta, crumbled or finely cubed.
a few little tomatoes
Pre-heat the oven to 375.
Fry the onions over medium heat in a heavy bottomed skillet with a pinch of salt and a little oil. When the onions are starting to brown, add the potatoes. Stir them around a bit, add a couple tablespoons of water, and cover the pan. Turn the potatoes gently with a spatula every 2 or 3 minutes until they're about 3/4 done, then stir in the broccoli and cover again.
Mix the eggs, flour, oil, and salt & pepper in a bowl. Once the flour is well incorporated, stir in the cheese. By this time, the broccoli will have turned bright green, and you can pour the egg mix into the skillet. Poke the potatoes around a tiny bit to get the eggs & feta evenly distributed, then drop the tomatoes on top.
Finish by baking for about 20-30 minutes, depending on your oven and how cold your eggs were.
1. Start by slicing the potatoes into a bowl of water. It will keep them from going brown.
2. Don't use reduced fat cheese. Bleck.
3. I used my enameled skillet for this because even though I love my cast iron pans, I learned back when I made bacon bread that iron can discolor onions. It made them turn a dark, inky, blue-green. Didn't affect the taste, but it looked very strange. It could be a reaction between the pan and the sulfur compounds in the onions, but that's just a wild guess... Stainless steel would probably be fine.
I remember making frittata back at the deli. They never put anything except potatoes and onions in it, and I always thought it was the boringest thing on earth. I think it would be good with a little sausage and some peppers, with some other cheese, or you could keep the feta and put in olives and beets. I'll have to try the beet thing later, once I see some at the market that don't cost an arm and a leg.