Saturday, August 27, 2016

Sweet Corn & Bacon Frittata

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Sweet Corn & Bacon Frittata
Serves: 4-6
Difficulty: easy
Sweet Corn & Bacon Frittata
You can throw anything into a frittata and call it breakfast, lunch or dinner. A well-made frittata is one of the world’s most perfect foods. It’s cheap, quick cooking, and an efficient vehicle for leftovers. But sub-par frittata is not so lovely.  They can be spongy rather than custardy, dry and flavorless. To avoid this horrifying fate, we use a bit of dairy. Any dairy will do but be aware that anything less than a full-fat product will produce a sub-optimal frittata. This recipe is filled with the finest sweet summer corn and smoky bacon with some heat provided by Serrano and jalapeno peppers. 
Sweet summer corn
The bacon, cooked just to the point of crispness, gives the frittata its smoky, salty flavor. It also uses gruyere, which is a type of Swiss cheese named for the town of Gruyeres, Switzerland where it was originally made.  It a firm cheese with a pale yellow color and a rich, creamy, slightly nutty taste. It is a great table cheese and also an excellent melting cheese. You could substitute with other melting cheeses such as fontina or even cheddar.  A soft cheese, like ricotta, does not melt well so I would not recommend this one.  Harder, aged cheeses, like Parmesan or Pecorino Romano, adds a sharp hit of salty, nutty flavor, but they are not prime melters. You can use them as a sharp wallop of flavor on top if you wish. I cubed Gruyere in this recipe instead of grated so that some bites will result in an explosion of cheese gooeyness. Try it….you’ll like it!

For another frittata, try Mushroom, Leek & Fontina Frittata posted earlier:
Crème fraiche was used as the dairy with eggs.

Monday, August 15, 2016

We're baaaack!! Return of Larue with Grilled Yogurt-marinated Chicken Shawarma

Grilled Yogurt-marinated Chicken Shawarma
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Moderate

After returning from a spectacular trip to Israel, I was craving shawarma. It was shortly after that I found this recipe from Oleana, a Mediterranean restaurant, in Cambridge. With a few modifications, this has become a wonderful addition to our weekday meals.  Shawarma is a Levantine Arab meat preparation, where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef or mixed meats are typically placed on a vertical spit in restaurants. The home modification requires threading the chicken on skewers and cooking on a grill or a cast-iron grill pan over medium high heat. Typically shawarma is eaten with tabbouleh, fattoush (future date, I will share my favorite recipe), couscous, tahini or hummus.