Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Hungry Hoards

Saturday was an endless day of meetings and hours spent staring at my computer screen in my corner of the library. Later than I intended, I ran home to an empty kitchen. I had invited a couple of friends over for a simple dinner that evening and was desperate for something fast and easy to cook. After a quick trip to the mom and pop store around the corner, I decided to make a frittata dinner with green beans on the side.
I had just peeled some potatoes when, to my surprise, my friends arrived with 3 extra people in tow. The beauty of this meal was that it was easy to expand to accommodate the appetites of 7 starving college students. The quantities below are for two large frittatas.

Red Pepper and Cheese Frittata:

5 medium potatoes
2 bell peppers (I used one red and one orange for the colours)
8 eggs
1 onion
1 shallot
3 cloves of garlic
1/2-1 green chili (optional)
olive oil
1 tbs cumin seed (I love cumin seed and always put a lot, add more or less depending on you)
cilantro (fresh)
salt to taste
pepper to taste
grated cheddar cheese

Peel and chop the potatoes into 1/4 in by 1 in chunks (try to keep an even thickness even if the size varies). The potatoes can be pre-boiled (or microwaved if you are lazy) to cut down on cooking time. Dice the onion, shallots, garlic and green chili. Slice the bell pepper into roughly 1/4 inch strips and then cut the strips in half.
Heat the olive oil in a skillet and add the cumin seed. Saute the onion, shallots and garlic. Add the green chili. Add the potatoes and continue sauteing. When the potatoes are half cooked, add the bell peppers. Saute. Season the vegetables with the marjoram and oregano. Mix in the cilantro at the very end.
Scramble the eggs with some milk or water. Add the salt and pepper to the scrambled eggs.
Divide the onion-pepper-potato mix into two two casserole dishes. Pour the eggs over the vegetables and mix in grated cheese.
Bake the casserole dishes at around 400 degrees (it doesn't matter too much as long as you watch them) until you can stick a knife in at take it out cleanly.
For a smaller frittata you can mix it in the pan and either bake the pan or cook one side and then flip it over using a plate.

Green Beans:
This was honestly the simplest way of cooking them possible. Saute fresh green beens in butter along with chopped garlic and lemon juice. Alternate stirring and covering until they are cooked (but still a bit chewy). Salt to taste

Top this simple meal off with nice wine (preferably bought by the people you are cooking for)...

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