Salami potato frittata

Last year my parents picked up a subscription to Food Network Magazine for us for Christmas. I always enjoy flipping through the new issues, and occasionally I even make something out of the issue. The January-February issue had a Salami and Swiss Chard Frittata that inspired me, so it went on the future dinners list. I've been looking forward to making this one for a couple of weeks now. 

2 potatoes, peeled and sliced
1/2 tbl olive oil
5 garlic cloves, minced
Red pepper flakes to taste
Italian herb mix to taste
1/4 lb good salami, chopped
2 eggs
10 egg whites
3/4 cup shredded mozzarella
2 tbl shredded Parmesan

I started out with slicing the potatoes and boiled them for about 10 min. Meanwhile I took the olive oil, garlic, red pepper flakes, and italian seasoning and heated them on low in an oven proof pan to soften the garlic. 

Combine the cooked potatoes, chopped salami, the herb mix, and the mozzarella in a bowl. I combined the eggs and egg whites - combine and beat lightly. Add the eggs to the filling and place in the oven proof pan. Top with the Parmesan cheese. 

Heat the frittata on the stovetop for about 3 minutes until the edges are set. Move into the oven and bake at 400F for about 15 minutes. I finished it off under the broiler for a few minutes to brown the cheese. 

David had never even heard of a frittata, let alone eaten one. Now that I eat eggs, I am all about them. This one turned out pretty well;however, next time I would cube the potatoes and cut the salami thick and cube it. The potatoes were a little over cooked, but otherwise tasty. Looking forward to leftovers for lunch later this week and our next frittata!  David has thrown the gauntlet for a buffalo chicken frittata, pretty sure I can do that. 



Couscous with tomatoes, greens, and chick peas

In 2010 I went vegetarian for Lent. It was difficult, but fun.  Difficult - I lived in the south where yu can justifiably ask which vegetables are vegetarian. Fun - I really explored some new foods and continued to expand my culinary horizons. Living with a carnivore, I sometimes miss the days when I would do a Meatless Monday. Earlier this week David went to the Pitt game with our friend Jamie. I took the opportunity to expand my horizons to include the trendiness that is kale. I originally intended to do a quick kale minestrone that my cousin shared with me last year, but whe making the store list  there i wound up playing follow the links and funding the New York Times recipe that this is based on. I loved it. It was awesome both warm and cold. If I didn't have a backlog of vegetarian recipes to try I would totally do this again. Heck, maybe I still will.  I have one more serving frozen away for a lunchtime treat in a couple of weeks. It will enter my rotation!

1/2 cup couscous
1 tsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
Pinch ref pepper flakes
14 oz can diced tomatoes 
Pinch of sugar
1 cup chick peas
St and pepper to taste 

1. Start by cooking the couscous   
2. Cook the minced garlic and red pepper flakes in the oil for a few minutes until fragrant. 
3. Add the tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar to the pan. Bring to a boil and summer for a few minutes. 
4 meanwhile bringing water to a boil.  Balance kale for approx 3-5 min. Remove, dry, and chop kale. 
5. Stir the kale, tomatoes, and brand together and hear to warm. 
6. Combine sauce and couscous and enjoy!  

Note:  I used about 2 cups of of kale and added some spinach that needs using 


Italian Sausage & Potato Soup (Part Deux)

I actually made this soup last week on New Years Day.  This was based on a Soup created by the girls over at Our Best Bites.  

2 pre-cooked chicken italian sausages, chopped (I used al fresco)
pinch of red pepper flakes, to taste
4-5 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
4 cups chicken stock
3/4-1 lb russet potatoes, chopped to various sizes (skins on)
Italian seasoning, to taste
1 cup milk
2 oz cream cheese
3 tbl flour
1 tbl butter
1 cup spinach

1.  Slice up the chicken sausage into small-medium sized pieces and heat it up with a few sprays of the misto.  Add minced garlic, paprika, and red pepper flakes and cook for a few minutes.  
2.  Add the chicken stock and italian seasoning and bring to a boil. Add the potatoes and cover and simmer until cooked thoroughly (tender)
3.  Mix the milk, cream cheese, flour, and butter in a blender.  Once the potatoes are cooked add the milk mixture and heat thoroughly.  Theoretically add your spinach at this point, although I just place mine in the bottom of my soup bowl since I am the produce consumer in the house.  

I seriously love this soup. I made it a couple of years ago and it made it into my recipe recycling
program!  It really is pretty rare that I repeat, so you know it was good. David liked this too. I'm not normally a creamy soup girl, but this wasn't overly rich. The sausage flavor was strong and tasty ;)

Barefoot Contessa's Sausage and Lentil Soup

Winter is here, so it is time to eat warm soupy goodness. I have always loved soups, but since getting interested in cooking, i have really grown a new appreciation for them. It is hard to think I used to think all soups came from a red and white striped can or from a box!  The Barefoot Contessa's Sausage Lentil soup is one of my favorite hearty soups out there.  This is the Missenda-ification of it to make it edible in our house (and not have soup for days)

1 cup green lentils
1 tsp olive oil
3/4 head roasted garlic
1 1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 tbl salt
3/4 tsp groutnd black pepper
1 tsp thyme leaves
1/2 tsp ground cumin
6 cups stock
2 tbl tomato paste
14 oz turkey kielbasa
2 tbl red wine vinegar

1.  Place lentils in a bowl and cover with boiling water, allowing to sit for 15+minutes.  Drain.

2. Chop up the carrots and celery.  I chop them coarsely, sto allow the veggie haters to identify them.  In a stock pot, heat the olive oil up with the carrots, celery, salt, peper, theme, and cumin.  Saute for about10 minutes.  

3.  Add tomatoe paste, stock, roasted garlic, and lentils.  Stir well.   Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for about an hour until the lentils are tender.  Add the kielbasa and vinegar and simmer until cooked.

As I said before, this is one of my favorite soups.  My cousin Abby itroduced me to it 5 years ago, and it comes out every winter at least once.  She also introduced me to the idea of using roasted garlic in lieu of onions.  I have to say, I loved the sweet garlicy taste that was imparted with this switch.  This was the first time I actually roasted garlic, and wow was it easy.  I see this substitution coming up in my future.  

We enjoyed this with some delicious sourdough bread from the bakery.  I love that this is hearty and filling and so healthy.  I *think* David liked it; he wasn't totally turned off by the lentils this time around.  We easily made 5 filling servings from this soup, so I have some for lunch and some frozen for a treat later in the winter.  A little more vegetabe would extend it evenfurther.  Plus, I will admit, I enjoy having oppertunitites to bring out "Big Red".  I have never had something made using Big Red come out anything short of successful.  

Here is to some more warm soup this frigid winter!


Ginger Pumpkin Tart

I am going to admit, I am a cookbook addict. I have a few. Then people discovered I like to cook, so now I have a LOT of cook books. One of these days I need to do another purge, that is how bad they are getting. I have overtaken a corner in the kitchen....  

So knowing my kitchen love, my brother usually gets me a cookbook at Christmas. My first Christmas in Pittsburgh he have me Claire Tobinson's 5 Ingredient Fix. I admit, I haven't made much from there, but everything I have made has been great. I love her philosophy of using fewer ingredients but using good quality ingredients for those that you do use. One thing I have always wanted to make was her pumpkin Ginger Tart. No tart pan?  Solution:  buy one while in Paris on your honeymoon! So this Christmas I made everyone deal with a twist on the norm, giving them the Ginger Pumpkin Tart. 

2 1/2 cups crushed ginger snaps
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1-15 oz can pumpkin purée
3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
2 large egg yolks
Pinch of salt 

1.  Preheat oven to 350. Place tart pan on a baking sheet (this IS actually important!)

2. Mix the cookie crumbs and butter. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and sides of the tart pan. So exciting to use our fancy French tart pan and the awesome rolling pin that came home with us from our honeymoon!

3. Bake for 10-12 minutes until set and starting to brown slightly. Remove and cool. 

4. Mix remaining ingredients (pumpkin, sweetened condensed milk, egg yolks, and salt). Pour the filling into the crust. 

5. Bake until set, cool and refrigerate until ready to serve. Robinson's instructions were for 30 minutes of baking, but my oven took much longer. Based on problems I've had this year, I have decided my ovens temperature is off/not getting a good seal and I probably need to do a slight altitude adjustment. 

6.  Remove the sides of the pan, cut and enjoy!

Ok, I have to admit, I was super proud to have made a tart!  They seem so fancy. Thurs out, this wasn't so difficult once I had the right equipment. 

My sister enjoyed, David felt ambiguous, and I don't think my in laws liked the change from regular pie. I liked it, but meant to add some cinnamon to the pumpkin mix too. I probably won't repeat this tart, but see another in my future!!