Monday: Turkish Potato Salad with Heirloom tomatoes and grilled corn salad
Thursday: Pasta with Fresh Tomatoes and Basil – absolutely nailed it, used bowtie pasta from UFR’s Christmas basket. superb
Friday: Grilled Salmon with grilled tomatoes and grilled Caesar Salad
Saturday: App of toasted baguette with sardines lemon zest and scallion greens and with brie and plums and brie and basil, Grilled Pork Loin with Grilled Corn Salad and Heirloom Tomato Salad, Grilled peaches with ice cream
Sunday: Greens and parmigiana frittata with Merguez sausage and corn relish
“People who love to eat are always the best people.”
- Julia Child
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relatives.”
- Oscar Wilde
It was last Sunday and Beez and I were happy – the Steelers had won convincingly over a group of ex- and current felons from Cincinnati.
Beez was napping on the couch when I got a call from Billy and Rick who had sat through several downpours and a relentless drizzle at Heinz Field to bring home a victory. They were at Max’s Allegheny Tavern to dry out and top off after the game and they called to ask, as Billy put it: “Are you cooking tonight?”
Well, we were going to eat something, though we hadn’t thought what and we hadn’t planned for company, but this call made our day. There is nothing we like more than to cook for family and friends. And among family, Billy and UFR are our most appreciative fans – so this put new life into the usually melancholy period when Sunday dwindles down to Monday and work.
Beez is not quite as guest trigger-happy as I, and we had just hosted a fine dinner party with cousin Anne Stayer, Greg, Kelly, Mike and Billy the night before (pictured at the top of the blog). But there is no more gracious hostess in the world than SWMBO and we soon found ourselves redding up* and wondering what to cook for the boys. We had an abundance of eggs, a goodly amount of greens, a package of ground lamb, 4 ears of corn and a bag of peaches from Simon’s farm stand. It would make a homey but warming dinner for the two soggy fans, we decided.
*In Western Pennsylvania we have unique words that spring from Scots-Irish dialect. You will be told, as a child, to “go redd up your room,” meaning to pick up the toys, the clothes, the empty bottles, etc. We drink ‘pop,’ not soda, use ‘gum bands’ not rubber bands and refer to any group of more than one as ‘yinz.’ Yinz gotta a problem with that?
It is always great to serve dinner to people who are hungry and tired and still a bit shivery from having sat out in the rain. Almost anything will taste good to them. But the meal we shared with Billy and Rick even tasted great to us – and we had watched the game in comfort and napped. Sometimes it’s best to skip the fancy stuff and just cook some eggs.
By the way, we tried that pasta with fresh tomatoes that we didn’t quite nail last week, but this time with ripe, local tomatoes. It was a knockout.
So – here’s the frittata recipe (you can find the home-made merguez recipe in a recent posting). A variation of the frittata has been on the blog before, but this one is a little different, and the result on Sunday was so good, it’s worth sharing. And I’ve thrown in the grilled peach dessert we had on Sunday as an extra. We are all indebted to whoever first grilled a peach or, more likely, dropped one into a fire, retrieved it, dusted off the ash and bit in. Much good has come from gluttony.
Greens Frittata with Parmigiano
Supplies: (For four – six)
8-10 Eggs (large – extra large
Various Herbs – dill, basil, tarragon (not too much), parsley2 shallots – minced
Greens – we used a mix of arugula and butter lettuce
Parmigiano – Grated – 1/2 Cup – this is the key to this frittata. The extra Parmigiano gives it a silky look and a hearty texture.
Kosher Salt to taste (8 eggs can take a solid pinch – if you were not using the parmigiano, a good two pinches)
Ground Black Pepper to taste
1 Tablespoon of butter
1Tablespoon of olive oil
Get the eggs out about 1 hour before cooking (if you forget, this will work – just increase the cooking time in the oven)
Preheat the oven to 400 F
Chop the herbs, mince the shallots
Beat the eggs until fairly frothy, whisk in the salt and pepper
Put the butter and olive oil into in a 10-12″ non-stick skillet and heat over medium
Saute the shallots until soft, then add the greens and wilt.
Add the wilted greens and shallots to the eggs and mix.
Add the parmigiano and mix
Put another 1or 2 Tablespoons of butter into the skillet and turn the heat to medium.
Pour the eggs into the skillet and cook on top of the stove for 5 minutes – they should still be loose in the center.
Put an oven mitt on the handle of the skillet and put the skillet into the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes, until the eggs are set.
Using a large rubber spatula, work under the frittata until you can slide it whole onto a serving plate. Eat immediately or serve at room temperature.
On Saturday we served this with Merguez Sausage and Corn Salad. But a nice green salad would, typically, be the accompaniment.
EXTRA Grilled Peaches
There is nothing simpler than this dessert. The only prep is a charcoal fire and putting a stick of butter out to come to room temperature (about one hour). Near-ripe peaches will work, as well as ripe, though you’ll have to cook them a bit longer after flipping them over.
Supplies: (Four Four)
4 peaches, halved, pits removed
1 stick of butter at room temperature
1 Teaspoon of Cinnamon
2 Tablespoons of Sugar
Canola oil to brush the peaches.
Blueberries and/or Mint for garnish (optional)
Built a hot charcoal fire
Brush the cut side of the peaches with the oil and place cut side down on the grill.
Grill until golden brown and then turn and grill for another 2-3 minutes.
Meanwhile, mash the stick of butter with the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
When the peaches are done, sprinkle with a little salt and then top with a good dollop of the butter. Garnish with blueberries and/or mint, if you like, and serve.