Fried Pasta and Frittata

After reading my weekly The City Cook™ Newsletter, I did a little reality check, and thought it might be a good time to add a few notes about being a home cook everyday.

Since I love all things having to do with food, sometimes I forget not everyone is like that.  Even if I’m just cooking for myself, I’m still having fun with it.  Usually when I go to the grocery store, I consider it a challenge, a hunt for ingredients I can do something interesting with.  I look for specials and what’s fresh and looks good, and then I start formulating a plan.  Some of the time when I’m cooking for a client I might have a few things in mind, but generally I shop for them the same way I shop for myself.  Sometimes I show up at a client’s house, open the refrigerator, open the freezer, and wait for inspiration!  Usually it comes, but sometimes not, then I scramble, look at a few recipes, and pray for an idea.  When I don’t get one, I fall back on what I’m sure will work.  I have one client I know will be ecstatic with any kind of quesadilla and any kind of croquette.  And now you know the reason I always have a well stocked pantry (wherever I cook), it gives me flexibility and the ability to be off my game a little!

Do I have failures in the kitchen?  You bet I do. I have my share of throwing things out or converting them into something else, such as a horribly failed chicken dish that I made into tortilla soup because it already had tomatoes in it.  Or like last week, I tried to make deviled eggs for a client.  They were the last thing I was making before I was gone for the day.  All I can say is she had reheated soft boiled eggs this past weekend.  I couldn’t believe I had screwed up something so simple!  None of that ever discourages me, because I expect failures to be part of the process.

Here’s an excerpt from The City Cook™

Christopher Kimball, founder and editor of the America’s Test Kitchen — the PBS program, Cook’s Illustrated Magazine, Cook’s Country Magazine, the new America’s Test Kitchen radio program, and dozens of fabulous cookbooks makes a compelling case for not trying to cook everything.  He says you can never become a good cook unless you develop your own repertoire of recipes.  We each need a repertoire of a about 25 dishes (not menus) that we know by heart, cook without a recipe, and can happily cook and eat over and over again. This doesn’t stop us from experimenting and learning new dishes or chasing a recipe that will duplicate a memorable restaurant meal. But a recipe repertoire it is the core of our cooking confidence and it is the means to being happy and successful in our kitchens.

Frittata

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

I’m so confident you made the pork and potatoes, I’m giving you a leftover recipe!! You can actually use any leftovers. I made one for lunch company on Monday that was pasta and eggplant. I just changed up the cheese to Italian shredded.

Ingredients

  • 3 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • Leftover pork and potatoes, shredded and cut up
  • 4 eggs
  • Salt and pepper
  • Chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 1/2 - 1 cup Mexican blend shredded cheese

Instructions

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add pork and potatoes and let fry until it’s a bit dried out and getting brown. Then turn down the heat and evenly spread out pork and potatoes, before pouring eggs in.
  2. While that’s cooking, in a bowl beat eggs and add a little salt and pepper (and chopped cilantro if you like). Pour over pork and potatoes.
  3. Cover pan and let cook 5-10 minutes. When it’s almost set, sprinkle cheese over the top and put the lid back on. When it’s set and the cheese melts, it’s ready.
  4. Serve with a salad, and you’re set for a great fast meal.
http://www.centexcooks.com/fried-pasta-and-frittata/
Fried Pasta or Pizza Pasta

Total Time: 15 minutes

Yield: Serves 4

Now for the Baked Spaghetti Sauce and Chicken you might have leftover.

Ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 eggs (just enough egg to coat pasta completely without having lots of extra egg in pan, this is not a frittata)
  • freshly grated Parmesan
  • Leftover spaghetti with sauce
  • Salt to pepper

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat eggs with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Add leftover pasta. Make sure the pasta is coated with the egg mixture. Add a little salt and pepper (the cheese and pasta already have salt).
  2. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high. You want the pasta mixture to sizzle when you put it in.
  3. Pour spaghetti mixture into pan and flatten it like a pancake. Fry until golden brown.
  4. To flip the pasta, cover pan with a plate larger than the pan and and press to hold it firmly over the pan. Flip the pan and plate together to transfer pasta onto plate, slide the uncooked side of the pasta into pan and continue cooking for another couple minutes or until golden brown.
  5. Serve warm or cold, with a salad. In 15 – 20 minutes you have another great meal. Mangiare.
http://www.centexcooks.com/fried-pasta-and-frittata/