Saturday, July 07, 2012

More delicious brunchiness....

After I posted a picture of the quiche that I made last weekend on Facebook, my friend Jay shared the "recipe" and methodology for his signature frittata. As we are still trying to use up things from Jaymie's CSA share (can you believe it?), I sort of went my own way with Jay's frittata. But I came up with was full-on DELICIOUS! However, unless you don't mind waiting for a couple of hours for your brunch, I strongly suggest that you do much of the prep the night before--i.e. caramelizing the onions, sauteeing the other veggies, and cooking the potatoes. Then you can easily assemble and bake the frittata when you get up the next day. Or it would make a lovely, light, summer dinner, too!

Caramelized Onion, Garlic Scape, Swiss Chard and Potato Frittata with Farmer's Cheese and Chives
(Inspiration: Jay Dean Lenn)

3 tablespoons olive oil, divded
2 tablespoons butter
2 large onions, cut in half and sliced
sprigs of fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)
4 large stalks of Swiss chard, stems removed and chopped, leaves sliced/slivered
4 garlic scapes, chopped
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3 medium potatoes, microwaved for 9 or 10 minutes) until tender, peeled, and sliced
10 eggs
1/2 cup grated hard cheese like Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago (I used Parrano Reserve)
salt and pepper, to taste
1 cup soft cheese, such as farmer's or chevre
2 tablespoons chopped chives

In a 12-inch skillet, heat two tablespoons of olive oil along with the butter and cook the onions with the springs of fresh thyme for 45-minutes to an hour over medium-low heat until medium golden brown. Remove from pan (leaving the oil behind and throwing away the thyme stems) and set aside. Add the chopped chard stems and garlic scapes and saute for about ten minutes or until tender. Remove chard stems and scapes from pan (leaving the oil behind) and reserve. Throw the slivered chard leaves into the pan and cook for a few minutes, until wilted. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook for another couple of minutes to reduce the vinegar a little.

Meanwhile, pierce the potatoes with the tip of a sharp knife and microwave until tender, about ten minutes. Let cool enough to handle, peel, slice, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Whisk together ten eggs with a couple of pinches of salt and a good pinch of black pepper. Also whisk in the grated hard cheese, then the cooked veggies.

Add the last tablespoon of olive oil to the skillet, then pour in the egg mixture, cover and cook over medium-low heat until almost set, about ten minutes. In the meantime, preheat the oven to 500 degrees on broiling mode. When the eggs are almost done, place the skillet in the oven and broil for about five minutes, until the frittata is puffed and a little browned.

Remove frittata from the oven (turning off the heat) and top with soft cheese. Optionally, you may place the whole thing back in the oven for a couple of minutes to soften the cheese. Let the frittata cool and set for ten minutes or so before garnishing with snips of fresh chives, slicing into eight portions, and serving, perhaps with a simple salad on the side.

And then, of course, what brunch would be complete without a sweet treat? I first saw these muffins in a King Arthur email some time ago, and I was reminded of them recently on Pinterest. They really do taste like a glazed cake doughnut! YUM! Plus, they are very simple and quick to make--and I'll bet you already have all of the ingredients on hand. So why are you still sitting here surfing the internet? Get thee to the kitchen and make these muffins at once!

Glazed Doughnut Muffins
(Source: King Arthur Flour by way of  My Baking Addiction)

For the Batter:
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon freshly-ground nutmeg, or to taste
1 teaspoon cinnamon
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup milk

For the Glaze:
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 cup confectioners’ sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon vanilla
2 tablespoons hot water

1) Preheat the oven to 425°F. Lightly grease a standard muffin tin. Or line with 12 paper muffin cups (I got 17 muffins!), and grease the cups with non-stick vegetable oil spray; this will ensure that they peel off the muffins nicely.
2) In a medium-sized mixing bowl, cream together the butter, vegetable oil, and sugars till smooth.
3) Add the eggs, beating to combine.
4) Stir in the baking powder, baking soda, nutmeg, cinnamon, salt, and vanilla.
5) Stir the flour into the butter mixture alternately with the milk, beginning and ending with the flour and making sure everything is thoroughly combined.
6) Spoon the batter evenly into the prepared pan, filling the cups nearly full.
7) Bake the muffins for 15 to 17 minutes, or until they’re a pale golden brown and a cake tester inserted into the middle of one of the center muffins comes out clean.
8.) In a medium bowl, prepare the glaze by mixing together the melted butter, confectioners’ sugar, vanilla and water. Whisk until smooth.
9.) When muffins have cooled slightly, dip the muffin crown into the glaze and allow the glaze to harden. At this point, you can leave them as is or go for the double dip. I glazed my muffins twice. (This required a batch and a half of the glaze.)
10.) Serve warm, or cool on a rack and store in plastic container with a lid. Muffins will keep at room temperature for about a day.

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