Recipe: Easy Sausage Frittatta

Frittattas like Pizza, are among Italy’s most popular and humble dishes, a classic “poor people’s” food that would allow to create a more well-rounded meal by utilizing whatever was left in the pantry and then adding some eggs and flour. A frittatta base is always the same, it’s fast to make and very lowcarb (for those who are trying to cut down on carbs in their diet) or alternatively vegetarian.

Today, I had some leftover pork sausages from the local market as well as eggs, onions and leek in the fridge. The obvious thing was to make a tasty frittatta! There’s little you cannot use in a frittatta….icecream, maybe?

~ Easy Frittatta Recipe ~
(for 2 people as a main dish or 4 as a side)

  • 5 small eggs
  • 4 small sausages
  • 1 big onion, 1 small leek stalk
  • ~2dl milk
  • Olive oil, salt, pepper, herbs
  • All-purpose flour

Cut the meats and vegetables into small cubes or strips and stir-fry in olive oil until golden. Use an iron skillet or frying pan with at least a 2cm high rim to hold the rising frittatta.

frittatta01In a separate bowl, first whisk some milk with 1 table spoon of flour. Add the eggs and whisk further until even consistency is achieved. Add salt, pepper and herbs to taste. I like using chives or dill, oregano or herbs de provence depending on the frittatta.

frittatta02Douse the stiry-fry with the egg mix and put a lid on for approx. 10mins at medium to high heat. If the frittatta isn’t rising, increase heat. Lay a plate on top of the frittatta inside the pan, to turn it around and let the other side get some heat for another 3 minutes. The frittatta will rise considerably after you flipped it around.

frittatta03Cut the frittatta in quarters and enjoy with some sour cream, chutney or chlli flakes on top! Bon apetito!

frittatta04

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Food Loathings

Everyone has a food nemesis or several. I grew up with a lot of different food and generally think myself a very open-minded eater. Whenever I travel to another country, I try everything at least once. There’s a few things I really can’t abide though and not for lack of trying!

1. Spawn of the seven perfumed hells: Fennel

Fennel is the absolute worst and needs to die in a dark corner surrounded by starving rabbits. It really is rabid food and more power to them – it smells like stingy grandma perfume and ruins every salad. Steamed or cooked to death fennel is still half-vile and only tolerable underneath a thick coat of sauce béchamel and cheese (usually gratin). I want to forget everything I ever had to do with fennel.

cilantrohell

Monstrous cilantro

2. Satan’s soapy brother: Cilantro / Coriander (fresh)

My first real Cilantro encounter happened with Mexican food in California. I was hungry and super psyched about nachos with salsa in a restaurant in Monterrey, only to find the fresh tomato flavor disgustingly disturbed….by soap! WHAT IS THIS MADNESS?? WHYYY??……………….Anyway, I recently learned it’s a genetic thing (or maybe some tastebuds are just broken), in any case no Cilantro for me, kthxbai! This is why Thai curry > Indian curry.

3. The squishy gnomes: Mushrooms

Okay this is where I feel a little ashamed because mushrooms are considered a delicacy almost anywhere in the world and they’re certainly a great source of protein. It’s just that I can’t stand them and I’ve tried a lot of varieties. Also, fungus IS kinda nasty if you think about it, I mean it even eats people! …..

The earthy flavor and slimy texture of some mushrooms gives me cold sweats. Am okay with morel cream sauce but anything else is torture.

4. Garbage from the Ocean: Seafood (and sushi)

I love cooked fish – seabass, trout, salmon, tuna, you name it. I’ll eat cold fish in salad or a sandwich. Fish is healthy and full of omega-something-trendy and we’ve still got about 30 years to go before we’ve completely rid the oceans of all of them. Everything that ain’t fish however is disgusting and should remain in the water. Shrimps are spongy little monsters trying to facehug you when you’re not looking, mussels are pandora’s box and squid would better serve as a hairband. Go away seafood!

panicfood

What seafood looks like to me

5. The wicked sisters: Anise, Licorice and Cumin

None of these should be allowed anywhere near food that isn’t a Christmas cookie. Nuff said.

6. More’s the pity: Bell peppers / paprika

I like the taste of paprika! I wanna eat it on pizza or as stuffed dolma with wonderful secrets inside! But here I am outwitted by fate because for whatever reason, peppers don’t sit well with me at all, especially raw ones but cooked ones too. Not going into any details here, mostly I get stomach cramps for the rest of the day. I have an anti-pepper digestive track or something, screaming <INTRUDER ALERT!> every time I give it a try.

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It’s funny how that works with food we don’t enjoy or can’t stomach. Real allergies aside, I remain convinced it’s a psychological thing – many (not all) of the foods we hate were likely also avoided by our parents (or whoever cooked for you) or simply not served in our home and immediate environment. I mean, I doubt I’d hate mushrooms if I was a wild boar.

That reminds me, I didn’t like tomatoes as a kid either but somehow I acquired a taste for them. They’re a good excuse to eat all the mozzarella. Is there any food you’ve tried over and over and still can’t take or are you an easy food adopter?

Special Item Set Achieved! Ceramic Cutlery

You know that special item set in a game that you’ve been dying to get for 100+ hours but just haven’t attained for one reason or another? Like, you know from the start that having said items is going to make your life a million times easier, yet the act of obtaining the set just ends up on the backburner of tasks? That’s how it’s been with me and ceramic knives…in real life. (Though, really, ceramic knives ought to be in any dual-wielding rogue’s stash because of their awesomeness!)

It had to be some dozen years ago that I saw my first ceramic knife – used by a chef on television. (Granted they had been around for a while, but it wasn’t exactly like I had been following kitchen knife trends.)  Watching the smooth, white blade in action was fascinating and foreign, and I just had to know more. And the more I learned about ceramic knives, the more I wanted one for my kitchen. Just one, because a single ceramic blade ran about the cost of a respectable stainless steel knife set. But at the time it was a difficult purchase for me to justify as I had recently received not one but two stainless knife sets, both of which functioned well enough for me to push the thought of getting ceramic cutlery to the back corners of my mind.

Fast forward to December 2014 when family members start with the “what do you want for Christmas?” inquiries. When I started listing things, my practicality got the best of my as I thought of all the household things that need replacing, such as my poor, leaky iron and a set of sauté pans that had seen better days.  Then my thoughts turned towards more kitchen items and, in particular, my cutlery set. Remember last paragraph when I mentioned that I had had two knife sets? As of last December, I still had one of them, and it was in bad shape. On a whim, I headed online to look up what fun advancements had been made in knives since I last considered them, and that’s when I rediscovered ceramic blades (plus all sorts of other crazy fun stuff, like printed blades, titanium knives, and nonstick sets). But the best thing of all was that ceramic knife sets were now totally affordable and held their own against some of the best knives in the world! Long story long, I put “ceramic knife set” on my Christmas list, and Santa brought me this very nice set:

ceramic knives2

ceramic knives1

This is the 6-piece set is from Cuisinart, and it contains (from top to bottom in the image directly above) a santoku knife, a bread knife, a chef’s knife, a utility knife, and a paring knife. And the whole thing is perfectly brilliant! In fact, I didn’t realize just how bad/dull/imbalanced my other knives were until I started using the ceramic knives.

One of the first things I learned about ceramic blades was how delicate they were. Sure, the blades are incredibly sharp and strong, but they’re prone to cracking if you’re not careful with them. (I don’t lend much credence to “break resistant” claims – ceramic isn’t that, even if it’s specially formulated and such.) So they aren’t good for everything. The manual for these blades told me straightway not to use them for butchering (i.e. cutting through bone), and to only use them on wood and poly (plastic) cutting boards. (So no more chopping things in a jiffy right on my stoneware or Corningware dinner plates.) The manual also warned against placing the knives in the dishwasher – extremely high water temperatures and pressure could cause pitting. The rules for the knives basically boiled down to “HANDLE WITH EXTREME CARE!”

For that reason, using the knives, even a month in, continues make me a little nervous. But the wondrous thing about them is that they make you want to be careful. Not that I was flailing about with my stainless knives before, but for me, using them meant I had to unlearn how brutishly I had been dealing with my food under knives before. The ceramic blades are so sharp that much less pressure is required to make cuts. And the cuts that they make are very precise.  No more getting caught on a gristly bit of raw chicken. No more cheese sticking to a blade. No more irregularly shaped veggies in the stir-fry.

So far, the santoku blade has gotten the most use – it’s just a great, all-around knife for everything, from steak to broccoli to pineapple. The paring knife makes short work of peeling. The bread knife is truly forgiving, even with the softest homemade loaf. The utility knife works great with slicing cheese – even warmed brie doesn’t stick to it! And the chef’s knife is perfect for preparing loads of chicken for buffalo chicken pizza.  In short, this knife set is that best thing that’s happened to my kitchen since…since…well, probably when I got my first real cutlery set.

Now, I still have my old knife set to use when I can’t use the ceramic knives, like when having to cut through something that’s particular hard or requires a bit of flexibility, which only stainless allows. But the ceramic set, despite the high maintenance, has become my go-to for general meal prep. If you’re in the market for new knives, don’t discount the ceramic ones. This dual-wielding rogue simply can’t imagine her kitchen without them!


While Cary’s happy to talk food here, she’s also pretty good at doling out words about video games at United We Game while simultaneously maintaining her own blog, Recollections of Play. You can also find an archive of fun, geeky articles from her and like-minded souls at Geek Force Network.

I don’t like blueberry bagels, and other arbitrary food musings

This post was originally published on Geek Force Network, December 5, 2014.


A lovely picture from Think Fooditude.

When I was in grad school, one of my professors once said, “There are only three kinds of bagels in this world: plain, poppy seed, and sesame.” Well… two out of three ain’t bad. But my dislike of poppy seed bagels (too many damn seeds to get stuck in your teeth!) reaches nowhere near the height of my abhorrence for blueberry bagels. Oh, I’ve tried to quell my hatred – just the other week I purposefully added two blueberry bagels to my grocery store stash just to see if my opinion had softened. Nope. They were still yucky. I think it has to do with the fact that they don’t taste at all like blueberries. In fact, I really don’t care for any baked goods that contain blueberries – muffins, scones, cookies, cakes, pies, even pancakes. Not only is the blueberry flavor never all that pronounced in these items, but it seems that they end up extra sweet to make up for that lack of taste. Plus, when you cook blueberries, they tend to disintegrate into mush. When I want blueberries, I want that extra-fresh *pop* of flavor that only comes from them being fresh. I can handle fresh blueberries in salad or on top of cereal or oatmeal. But in a bagel? Never.

The exact opposite is true of raisins. The thought of eating raisins straight out of the box is perfectly vile. The chewy/gritty texture is one thing, but their heady, sweet n’ sour taste makes my stomach churn. Cook them however, and they become magical. In fact, I l-o-v-e- cinnamon raisin bagels. Yep. Had one just this morning with cream cheese, and it was perfect. Cinnamon raisin bagels aren’t nearly as sweet as blueberry bagels (if you have to go with fruit bagels, that is), and the taste pairs really well with a nice, slightly bitter cream cheese. See, most of the time, raisins rehydrate slightly when they are cooked. So you’re not left with complete mush (like blueberries) or hard, inedible bits (like, well, raisins) when you add them to cookies, bread, pies, etc. They become plump and moist and lovely-tasting. The same kind of goes for yogurt-covered raisins. At least covered they stay more moist than usual.

I was on the hunt for yogurt-covered raisins at the store the other day. Didn’t find any, and I ended up bringing home yogurt-covered cranberries and yogurt-covered peanuts, just because. I’m not sure what fool enjoys eating dried cranberries straight, but I’ve never been so silly. They are solely for making pumpkin-cranberry bread in my house. Covering them in yogurt makes for an okay snack, but they are oddly sweeter than yogurt covered raisins, and are also extremely tart. Like a Sweet Tart covered in yogurt. Hmm…no thanks on that front. As for the peanuts…icky and insipid. I was hoping they’d fall in the sweet n’ salty realm, but no. They taste just like you’d expect plain peanuts covered in a slightly sweet yogurt shell would taste. And that taste would be bland.

Speaking of bland, as a vegetarian, some people think that I live in a world of free from flavor. That because I’m not cooking everything in bacon fat and chicken grease, I’m stuck with boring vanilla vegetables and cardboard-y fake meats. Well…I can’t really deny that latter because some vegetarian “meat” is pretty rank. (And this after many advances in the science of creating said fake meats, which must be a college major by now.) But some of it is very edible and even delicious! I’d offer you some of my fake bacon, but I won’t because I like to too much. Also, you’ll hate it. So, win-win! But going back to the bland factor, I have a cupboard full of spices, which are quite easy to obtain. Want to punch up your broccoli? Add a couple dashes of garlic powder. Hate cooked carrots? Go with some dried sage or curry powder to spruce things up a bit. Wish that your coleslaw tasted like anything other than cabbage? Then you need a good palmful of celery seeds. There’s absolutely no end to the flavor combinations that can turn any boring foodstuffs from bland to brilliant! I’m fully aware of the flavors that I’m missing by not cooking my black-eyed peas in bacon or making my split-pea soup without ham hocks. But that doesn’t mean I can’t make black-eyes peas or split-pea soup. I can, and I do, and it’s all just as flavorful.

Around this time of year (i.e. the “holidays”), one family member or another will always ask me if I miss meat. I really don’t. Except…for one thing. My mom’s sausage and peppers. Boy oh boy…if I think about it long enough, I can start to smell it. The sweet and hot Italian sausage cooking away in a crock pot with a glorious array of bell peppers, all in a hearty tomato sauce. At dinner time, warm up some hoagie rolls (Amoroso‘s, please) and spoon out the delectable mix of meat and veggies. Mmmm, mmm, good! Though it’s been 20+ years, the thought of that meal makes me smile.

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Care to share any favorite food musings/memories so I don’t feel like such a dork here?


While Cary’s happy to talk food here, she’s also pretty good at doling out words about video games at United We Game while simultaneously maintaining her own blog, Recollections of Play. You can also find an archive of fun, geeky articles from her and like-minded souls at Geek Force Network.

A full Fridge says more than a Thousand Words. Or: Your Food Essentials.

About once a week I go grocery shopping for essentials and foods that spoil easily, like fruit and veg. There are times when I am a good kid and ate all my greenery and times when I shop with all the best intentions but end up throwing some of it away. Alas. Winter is a time for less spoily food and since I’m generally a summer fruit person (berries yay!), winter veggies and the odd pear are all I’ll get (I try to buy seasonal). The second half of the year is all about comfort food around here, potatoes and cheese, sausages and soup, roasts and quiche. And of course wine.

Fridges around the world tell a thousand stories about people – where they come from, how they live. No fridge or pantry is the same. No matter where you go on holidays, it’s exciting to browse foreign food and get to know (and get grossed out over) eating habits.

Our fridge right after grocery haul.

Our fridge right after grocery haul.

My weekly grocery haul

My food essentials are more or less the same every week. There will be different yoghurts (chocolate and coffee pour moi!), real awesome butter and cream, eggs, different cheeses (hard, soft, mozzarella, cottage cheese, Fondue), pickles (for Fondue), bacon (strips or diced), potatoes (usually for Fondue), milk and O-juice which I need to wake up in the morning. The odd fruit will roll around and make a mess, maybe some salad, avocado, olives and sausages. Sometimes there is peanut butter. I love the creamy kind.

Of course I also keep sauces (mayo, mustard, Sriracha etc.) and chutneys (Branston!) in the fridge but they keep a long time. I love me my sauces.

Dry stuff and storage

We don’t buy bread most of the time but I like Swedish dry breads to put things on. When you stop eating much bread, you realize how much you miss having a “base to carry stuff on”. Ever since we got our own bread-maker, we try making our own bread on demand (we used to throw away so much bread or eat too much of it anyway). There’s no pantry or storage room of any kind except for a shelf or two where we keep canned beans, pellati and tuna, as well as some dry pasta and wild rice. There’s two ceramic pots with garlic and onions which we use up pretty fast (anything needs garlic and onion!).

All pretty standard and plain. If you want to eat a real meal, you’ll have to cook it from scratch and plan ahead. There is chocolate of course (in case you were wondering) but sweets of any kind are a rare treat in my home, not a staple. Also, Lindt chocolate never makes it past the next day.

The freezer

We don’t have a freezer worth mentioning except for an integrated shelf inside the fridge. What’s usually in there are ice cubes (duh) and Parmesan which keeps forever that way. If I’m feeling very adventurous, there will be a cup of Ben&Jerry’s icecream or pizza for emergencies and bad hair days.

Show off your fridge!

What food goes into your fridge every week and what do you always keep on stock?
What secrets does a freshly stuffed fridge tell the world about you?