There's something about autumn that makes me want to get cozy. You know, cooking and cleaning and the like. I guess a lot of us are like that, and not just humans. Underneath everything, we are all just animals, sensing the return of cold weather and storms, and wanting to prepare for them.
Both my current jobs require me to be outside, sometimes all day and late into the night. While I am loving this, when I am at home I find myself cooking and cleaning up a storm. Add the fact that we are trying to save money right now, and that we are getting most of our groceries delivered these days, (thanks, SPUD!) and you have a lot of nesting going on!
Jon has long been able to use up leftovers in a delicious and interesting way, while I am more the type to go and spend 40 bucks on groceries to make one lousy meal. But lately my inner penny-pincher seems to have finally kicked in, and I am getting better at grabbing the wilting spinach or the last few eggs and making a meal from those. Here's a dish that J and I both love, which is the ideal way to use up slightly over-the-hill veggies and pretty much anything else you have lying around:
1. Chop up some veggies. This morning I had a sad-looking red pepper, some basil, and a few cloves of garlic, so that's what I used. Oh., and turn on the oven to about 425 degrees.
2. While you are chopping, you may want to be boiling some diced potato. Usually I use those little mixed red, white and blue ones, but today it was a good ol' Russet potato.
3. Meat is good, although optional. I had to use these up today, so in they went.
4. Seasonings make it taste way more interesting, and are a good way to use up wilted herbs and containers of stuff in the fridge that really should be used before they go bad... I find that I can't get enough thyme these days, so I use it in a lot of stuff.
5. Once the potatoes have softened (but not too much!), start browning the meat in an oven-safe skillet. I bought this one in Barkerville and have been loving it because it cleans so much better than a cast-iron one.
Now would also be a good time to add the seasonings, like that pesto, and some old salsa you found in the back of the fridge.
6. Once the meat is cooked, add the veggies. and stir. Oh, there were mushrooms in the fridge as well.
7. Don't cook this stuff for too long. Remember, it's going in the oven soon...
When everything is nicely coated in oil and seasoning, smooth it down with your spatula and turn off the heat. Pour in some beaten eggs. I use 4, but you could use more if you wanted.
8. Stick it in the oven. It'll probably take about 15 minutes. Take it out once the eggs are cooked, but not too dry! This is what the end result looks like:
9. Wait a couple of minutes so that the eggs firm up and the frittata will slice properly. Then cut it up, eat, and enjoy!
The awesome thing about frittata is that there are no rules. You can use pretty much anything you want, as long as it goes well with eggs. Pretty much anything that would be in a quiche, for example. You could also just cook it on a stovetop, without the baking, but I like the oven-baked consistency better. And like I said, it's a great way to use things up. AND, the perfect autumn-day nesting-inside food. Yum.