Friday, June 4, 2010

Frittata with Asparagus, Spinach & Morel Mushrooms; Cajun Homefries on the Side

I just moved into a new apartment with my sweetheart. It's a fantastic place in northeast Seattle with huge south and west-facing windows that our plants absolutely adore, a covered balcony that will soon support this year's herb garden, and a washer and dryer in the unit. Movin' on up, people. The very best, best part about our deluxe apartment in the sky (yup, top floor) is the kitchen. It's huge. OK, not 600 square feet, island in the center, breakfast nook to the side huge, but compared to the other apartment kitchens I've lived with, this one is monstrous. I could do a cartwheel in it if I were agile enough ('if' being an important, key word here).

I've wasted no time breaking in the new space. Even with finals looming in the not too distant future, I've been in the kitchen whipping up breakfasts and dinners like it's no body's business. My suppressed creativity (from all those years being squashed into tiny kitchens, no doubt) has finally burst out of me, and the result has been one delicious meal after another (if I do say so myself :). Dan and I have been oohing and ahhing for the last week and a half over the flavors and aromas that have come together in our new home. It's been a great way to settle in as we work our way through the pile of boxes stranded in the middle of the living room floor. We're almost ready for dinner guests.

One night last week I decided that we just don't eat enough brunch. The idea for a frittata and home fries soon followed that realization. Of course we had asparagus on hand, so I knew that would go in. I also had onions and spinach from the farmers market, and I happened to have an ounce of dried morels courtesy of Marx Foods left over from my winnings through the Foodie Blogroll. This meal plan was on the up and up. Here's what I concocted that night.

Frittata with Asparagus, Spinach & Morel Mushrooms with Cajun Homefries
serves 2-4

2 medium potatoes, cut into 1/2"-3/4" cubes
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning (we use Tony Chachery's)
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp. salt
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 T. butter
1/2 C. (heaping) onion, diced
1 large clove garlic, minced
1/2 lb. asparagus, cut into 1/2" pieces
1 oz. dried morels, rehydrated (broth saved for another use), coarsely chopped
1 handful baby spinach leaves

For the potatoes:

Preheat the oven to 400 F.  In a medium bowl, toss potato chunks with olive oil and cajun seasoning.

Spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet, and place in the oven.

Bake for 12 minutes, remove from oven and toss on the pan. Return to the oven and bake an additional 10 minutes until potatoes are tender and golden brown.

For the frittata:

Melt the butter over medium heat in an 8" oven-safe skillet (I love my cast iron!). Add onions and saute for several minutes until beginning to turn translucent.

Add the garlic and asparagus pieces, season lightly with salt and cover the pan with a lid, leaving a space for steam to escape. Steam/saute in this manner for about 3 minutes, stirring occasionally until the asparagus is slightly tender but still crisp.

Add the morels and spinach, replace the lid and continue to saute for several more minutes, stirring occasionally, until spinach is wilted (don't overcook your veggies at this point! They should still be bright green and crisp).

Whisk salt and a few grinds of black pepper into the beaten eggs and pour over veggies in skillet. Turn heat to low, cover skillet and let cook 6-8 minutes, until set around the edges but still wet on the top. Meanwhile, preheat your oven's broiler.

Place your frittata (skillet and all) under the broiler for about 5 minutes until the top is set and golden brown in color. Keep an eye out so it doesn't burn! Remove from oven, slice into pieces and serve hot with a side of spicy homefries.

* This recipe can easily be doubled for guests or your hungry family. Use 8 or 9 eggs, and up the pan size to 10" or even 12". Also, frittatas are really versatile. Try using different veggies or mushrooms, adding bacon or incorporating some of your favorite shredded cheese. Get creative! 

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