Thursday, January 27, 2011

A Return To Cooking - And Frittatas

Good evening everyone!  Yes, finally after a long, three day battle with my abdomen area, I am finally feeling somewhat better.  Granted, I could be 100%, but I can take what I'll get.  I've been struggling with my gall bladder for about 3-4 months now, and Monday was the most severe attack I've had up to date - I don't wish it upon my worst enemy.  I've seen several doctors, had an ultrasound, a scan to see at what level my gall bladder has been functioning at...and finally, I (or rather one of my doctors) decided that I need to get surgery consultation.  It's kinda crazy at 24 that I've had to deal with all pain and symptoms...and hopefully, we'll get some answers tomorrow.

One of items "prescribed" to me is that I start eating bland food: oatmeal, mashed potatoes, etc.  As a foodie, that is like a death sentence.  And it has been hard to stick to that routine, since we do like to cook.  But alas, tonight, I wanted to cook something up that was not only simple and easy to digest, but also flavorful and incredibly delicious.

The Recipe:  Mushroom and Bacon Frittata with Roasted Tomatoes
Original Recipe Found In:  Bon Appetite Magazine, December 2010

What You'll Need:
1 10.5 Ounce Container Grape Tomatoes
3/4 Cup Diced Shallots, Divided
1 Teaspoon Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 Slices Applewood-Smoked Bacon, Chopped
12 Ounces Mushroom, Cut Into 3/4 Inch Dice (About 5 Cups)
2 1/2 Tablespoons Chopped Fresh Basil, Divided
6 Large Eggs
1 Tablespoon Dijon Mustard
Nonstick Vegetable Oil Spray
1/3 Cup Crumbled Soft Fresh Goat Cheese
Splash of Balsamic Vinegar

Now, I will tell you up front, that we made several drastic alterations to the recipe.  I have found, due to my gall bladder being wonky, that tomatoes or anything tomato based (i.e. salsa) have a negative reaction to my tummy.  After my episode this past week, I decided to nix the entire tomato portion out of the recipe...for the sake of body.  If you are testing out this recipe at home and can handle/love tomatoes, I'll go ahead and include the tomato portion.  Also, we did not use five cups of mushrooms.  I haven't quite got Tyler hooked on mushrooms...yet.  But I found a small can of it up in our cupboard and hopefully, the bites between the mushrooms would be minimal.

To start, position the rock in the top third of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.  Place tomatoes and 1/4 cup shallots in a large skillet.  Add oil and toss to coat.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Place in oven; roast tomatoes until soft, 15 minutes.  Transfer roasted tomatoes to a medium bowl; set aside.

Meanwhile, cook bacon in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until crisp.  Now..."until crisp" also has another meaning, as in "watch very carefully so it doesn't get so crispy it's black."  I learned this the hard way...yet again.  But, when chopping the bacon, make sure it's not in itty-bitty little pieces.  Half inch portions will work just fine.

Using slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a medium bowl.  Add mushrooms and remaining 1/2 cup shallots to any drippings in the skillet.  Cook until brown and tender, 8 minutes, stirring often.  Stir mushroom mixture and 1 1/2 tablespoons basil into bacon.  Season with salt and pepper.

Whisk eggs and mustard in large bowl.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Spray same skillet generously with the nonstick spray; place over medium-high heat one minute.  Scatter mushroom mixture in skillet.  Pour eggs evenly over.  Sprinkle with goat cheese.  Cook one minute to set the bottom of the skillet.  Place in oven.  Bake until just set in center, eight to ten minutes.

Run a heatproof spatula around and under frittata to loosen.  Mash a few tomatoes coarsely in a bowl.  Mix in one tablespoon basil and vinegar; season with salt and pepper.  Cut frittata into wedges and serve, with tomato mixture on top.

The End Result:

The flavor was an interesting one.  The bacon/mushroom/basil combination was so flavorful and unique and tasted great.  The cheese needs to be spread around more in the frittata, so that it's not a mouthful of cheese.  Granted the crispyness of the bacon and mushroom was a little intense, but again, everything in the recipe worked.  It's still too early to tell if my abdomen will react to this well, but I am superbly pleasant with this turnout.

Thanks Maggie (and hello everyone! This is the latest I've stepped into any blog to date. Maggie had such a good opening that I didn't need to step in until now!)  I always enjoy Maggie's variations on frittatas (I think this is variant #3 or #4) they have such complexity and interesting flavors, but the ingredients are never overly complicated. Eggs, some form of meat and a little herbs/seasoning create a form of 'egg pizza' that is simply delicious. Tonight's dish was a nice way to close off the week. Even better was the fact that we actually felt up to cooking - a big improvement from yesterday, that's for sure.

That's all we have for you this week. As always, thanks for stopping by and reading our cooking exploits for another week. (However brief they were this particular week...) We're back on Monday with another Around The Culinary world and then (hopefully) will have another full week of dishes to cook up. Also, if any cooking myths, kitchen tricks or just down right wive's tales interested in testing - be sure to send them our way. We've working on a feature where we test what works and what doesn't when it comes to kitchen remedies. Our first one will be going up sometime next week (involving onions) but we're looking for more ideas - leave them in the comments on tonight's blog or send us an email ( or even leave a message on our Facebook wall. The options are endless! Be sure to send in your ideas! Until Monday,


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