Happy food day

Yesterday was a very happy food day and not simply because I had two different types of home-made ice cream. 

I started with one of my favorite habitual breakfasts (apart from marmite on toast). Plain yoghurt with fresh fruit (in this case raspberries), pumpkin seeds, almonds and a touch of honey or maple syrup. 

After the success of last weekend’s polenta, I was looking forward to trying another Peter Berley recipe and this week I made Spicy corn frittata with tomatoes and scallions from his ‘Fresh Food Fast’ book. The book is presented in a series of seasonal menus and each comes with a full plan of attack including a shopping list. I managed to find all the ingredients I needed from the farmers market with the exception the olive oil and butter. 

Spicy Corn Frittata with tomatoes and scallions from Peter’ Berley’s Fresh Food Fast

(makes 4 servings – or great cold leftovers). 

1/4 cup of extra virgin olive oil
2 large tomatoes, cored seeded and chopped.
2-3 ears of corn, kernels scraped off the cob
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1 bunch scallions, trimmed and sliced
2 garlic cloves
1 jalapeño pepper seeded and finely chopped
sea salt and black pepper
8 large eggs
1 tbsp cold unsalted butter cut into small pieces. 

Preheat oven to 450° F. 
In a large oven proof skillet over a high heat, warm two tablespoons of the oil. Add the tomatoes and saute for 2 minutes. Add the corn, cilantro, scallions, jalapeño and garlic and saute until the garlic is fragrant and the mixture thickens. Berley says that this should take another couple of minutes, but my tomatoes were so juicy that it took at least 10. Following the advice of Chef Butcher I waited (somewhat) patiently for it to reduce, reduce, reduce. While that is happening, break the eggs into a large bowl, season them with salt and pepper and lightly beat, just enough to mix the whites and yolks. My eggs were from Toad Hill Farm and the yolks were a wonderful vibrant orange. Transfer the vegetable mixture into the eggs, add the butter and stir to combine. 

Wipe out the skillet with a paper towel and place over a medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and swish it around the pan, coating the base and sides. Add the eggs and vegetable mixture and stir very gently without touching the base or sides of the pan. Cover, lower the heat and cook for a few minutes until the bottom begins to set (which is a little hard to judge). Transfer the pan (uncovered) to the preheated oven and bake for 10 minutes or until golden brown and puffed. You can serve it hot, or let it cool to room temperature. 

I also made Berley’s suggested garlic toasts with some of the Omega french country bread. As he says in the book ‘Why have plain bread (even if it is a great artisanal sourdough loaf) when you can have something truly special?’. You toast the bread in the oven (same temperature as the frittata) for 5 minutes and then spread on an olive oil, garlic red pepper flake and fresh rosemary mixture that you have made earlier. You bake the toasts for another 10 minutes until golden brown and fragrant. They were a great accompaniment to the frittata and went perfectly with the Zingerman’s Bridgewater cheese (a fabulous creamy cheese spiked with black pepper) that my guest had kindly brought from Curds and Whey at the North Market. This feast was served with lettuce picked straight from the garden.

The meal was rounded off by the final remains of the apple and ginger sorbet. I was sad to see it go. 

Uncharacteristically I hadn’t planned anything for dinner so an impromptu dinner invitation was fortuitous, especially when it involved home smoked lamb, sausages, beets (one of my current obsessions), fresh salsa, couscous cooked in tomato juice with tomatoes and pasta salad with corn and homemade pesto. Another feast. My friends are recently married and still in the novelty period of trying out all their new wedding gift gadgets. I am a willing and grateful guinea pig. 

The highlight of dinner though was the dessert, homemade apple pie fresh from the oven with homemade cinnamon ice cream. Delicately spiced and very creamy. Three cheers for the many attachments of the kitchen aid mixer! This was washed down with a little more single malt than perhaps was advisable for a ‘school-night’, but good food and good whisky with friends was a suitably happy end to the weekend.

As easy as apple pie

As easy as apple pie

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Filed under dinners with friends, North Market, recipes, Vegetarian

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