Tuesday, February 26, 2008

vegetable frittata with cilantro chile sauce

Vegetable Frittata with Cilantro Chile Sauce 007

I love breakfast. Though I seldom eat it (I know, shame on me), it's my favorite meal of the day. Growing up, Saturday morning was the only day my family ate breakfast together. It was always the same thing: scrambled eggs, bacon or sausage, and biscuits or toast. (Someday, if I'm feeling very, very generous, maybe I'll post the recipe for our homemade grape jelly. Best I've ever had. Period.) Perhaps, though the menu was always the same, that's where my fascination began. There was nothing quite like waking up on a crisp fall Saturday to the smell of bacon frying in the kitchen. I seldom make scrambled eggs anymore, but I do have a tendency to occasionally view my net worth as a cook by the depth of my breakfast repertoire. Who cares if I've never made beef wellington from scratch? If I can turn out an unbeatable scone, I must be worth my salt.

Vegetable Frittata with Cilantro Chile Sauce 2

My potato picture is pretty, don't you think? (Hey, I could have said "totally tubular," but I held back.) I might be the only person in the whole world right now -- save some over-zealous employee at McCain -- with potatoes as my desktop background. Tubers courtesy of Trader Joe's.

Anyway, I was glad to add this frittata to my breakfast repertoire. I prepared the cilantro chile sauce the night before, so all I had to do the next morning was chop a few vegetables. Heidi says in her original post that the best thing about this frittata is the cilantro sauce. I would go one step further and say it's the way the sauce -- tangy but not spicy -- blends with the goat cheese. (So don't skimp on the goat cheese like I did.) Also, it's probably worth noting that the picture you see above was taken before I doused the frittata with the cilantro sauce. This was purely for photographic purposes -- so you could see how the dish was assembled -- and under no circumstances should you serve the frittata without the sauce!

[Note: If you don't have a small nonstick skillet that is also oven safe, you can prepare the stove-top portion of the recipe in a regular nonstick skillet and then slide the frittata into any oven-safe dish when the time comes.]

Vegetable Frittata with Cilantro Chile Sauce
Adapted from a recipe by Heidi at 101 Cookbooks
Serves 2 as a main dish; 4 as a side

Cilantro Chile Sauce
3 large cloves garlic
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
4 tablespoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed
1 small bunch cilantro
2 green serrano chilies, seeds removed
4 pinches ground cumin
A few big pinches of salt

6 large organic eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion, chopped
3 small potatoes, very very thinly sliced
1/2 cup yellow zucchini or squash,1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
A few pinches of salt

Preheat your oven to 450 degrees F. Make the cilantro chile sauce by pureeing the garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, cilantro, chilies, cumin, and salt until very smooth. Taste and add more salt if needed. Set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs with a small pinch of salt. Set aside. In a (small) 8 1/2-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat add the olive oil, onion, and another pinch of salt. Saute, stirring constantly, until the onion starts to brown, 5 - 7 minutes. Add the potatoes and zucchini, cover, and cook for another 3 minutes or so. Slide everything out of the skillet onto a plate and set aside.

Turn down the heat a bit. Using the same skillet, add the eggs and cook over medium-low heat for about 5 minutes or until the eggs are just set and there isn't a lot of liquid running around the pan. To facilitate this, run a spatula underneath the sides of the frittata and tilt the pan so the uncooked eggs run to the underside and cook. Drizzle the eggs with a few tablespoons of the cilantro chile sauce and then sprinkle the potato-onion mixture over the top.

Place the skillet in the oven and bake for about 9 minutes, or until well set and puffy. Add a crumble of goat cheese and the pumpkin seeds across the top of the frittata in the final 2 minutes of baking. Remove from oven, cut into wedges, and serve.

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