Sunday, February 14, 2016

Recipe of the Month: Veggie Frittata

First of all, let me offer a quick apology for not posting any updates on our new closet doors. The fact is, like all our other home projects, this one is going rather slowly. It's not that Brian has been putting off the job; it's just that he keeps running into snags. First, after unpacking the doors and reading the instructions, he found that he needed a little more than 48 inches of clearance, and we actually had a bare 48 inches—and we didn't even have that everywhere, since the doorframe wasn't perfectly even throughout. So he had to take off the door frame, and with that, we had an inch to spare—but then we had to go out and buy new, narrower molding to replace it. And after trying both Lowe's and Home Depot, we found that the dimensions we were looking for—1/4 inch thick, 4.5 inches wide, and at least 80 inches long—simply weren't available.

So we ended up having to go to Edison Millwork, a full-service lumber yard about a mile and a half outside of town, where they can cut pretty much any piece of wood to your exact specifications. Shopping there was very straightforward; the guy we talked to understood exactly what our project was (he referred to it as "skinning a jamb," a phrase Brian is now determined to use often in casual conversation), expressed no surprise that we couldn't find what we needed at the "toy stores," and cut down some pine boards to the exact dimensions we needed in a matter of a few minutes. However, it cost us a pretty penny—5,478 pennies, to be exact, bumping the total cost of the project up to about $245. And now, Brian still needs to put the door frame back together, hang the doors, adjust all the pieces to make sure everything fits properly, and then take the doors back down again so that we can stain them and finish them and paint the moldings. So all in all, my birthday request is turning out to be both much more expensive and much more time-consuming than I expected.

Fortunately, one other task on our agenda for this month got done right on schedule: February's Recipe of the Month. Last night, Brian had a few vegetable odds and ends to use up—some broccoli florets left over from a Super Bowl veggie tray, a few Brussels sprouts that didn't fit the pan with our last batch of Roasted Brussels Sprouts, half an onion—and he whipped up a very good frittata to use them all up.

The usual problem with frittatas is that they don't hold together very well; you pour the eggs in around the veggies, and it sets faster in some places than in others, so you end up either burning it on the bottom or trying to flip it too soon and having pieces of it break off. This time, Brian solved that problem by using a trick from the Crustless Veggie Quiche recipe in The Clueless Vegetarian: he added some flour and cheese to the beaten eggs to help the mixture set. The result was a very firm, tasty frittata with plenty of healthy veggies, plus enough protein and carbs to make a satisfying meal. Here's the recipe:
QUICKIE VEGGIE FRITTATA
Saute in about 2 Tbsp. oil:
  • 1 Yukon Gold potato
  • 1/2 red onion
  • 4-5 Brussels sprouts
  • 2 cups broccoli florets
Mix in a bowl:
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/4 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
Pour the beaten eggs over the veggies in the pan. When it starts to look firm, sprinkle a little extra cheese on the surface (to help it hold together still better) and flip. Cook until set.
Eked out by a couple of slices of oatmeal-wheat toast, this made a satisfying meal for two, with enough left over to provide lunch for one the next day.
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