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Monday, July 29, 2013

La Frittata

Looks good doesn't it....This is La Frittata...commonly known as the "Italian Omelet"  You know I love anything Italian don't you....So it's only natural that I would gravitate toward this...

In Italy, mothers—and fathers!—make delicious frittate with leftover pasta(with or without sauce or seasoning). Also, a frittata is a perfect way to entice children into eating vegetables; it can often be a complete meal in itself. It can be tastier hours later, eaten at room temperature, or enjoyed the next day, with a side of arugula. For a quick lunch, frittata can be served along with sautéed greens, salami or various local cheeses.Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!

So let's get to how to prepare this baby!

INGREDIENTS:

  • Use between 6-12 eggs—8 is probably the most common number. Too many eggs can be a bit difficult to handle, especially if the frittata is turned over.
  • If you have a broiler, you won’t have to worry about flipping over your frittata. Just stick the pan under a low flame and remove when the frittata is golden.
  • Use a 10-12” pan with a thick bottom and round borders. A sturdy, nonstick pan makes it easier to detach the frittata without having to add extra butter or oil.
  • Fresh, sautéed or steamed lightly seasoned vegetables:
    • Boiled or roasted potatoes
    • Fresh greens
    • Cauliflower
    • Cabbage
    • Wild mushrooms
    • Zucchini
    • Asparagus
    • Eggplant
    • Peppers
    • Artichokes
  • Good-quality cheeses are ideal for frittata:
    • Melting cheeses—such as provolone, mozzarella and emmenthal
    • Parmigiano, grana, and Pecorino Romano
    • Ricotta—for a lighter taste and texture
  • Cold cuts or air-cured meats:
    • Sopressata
    • Salami
    • Mortadella
    • Prosciutto
    • Ham
    • Roasted chicken or turkey
DIRECTIONS:

This is going to be a little wordier than my usual directions for cooking so pay close attention-


If you’re not particularly feeling using leftovers, prepare the ingredients to be added to your eggs by sautéing or roasting them. Put these aside and allow them to cool. Usually, this mixture is poured into the same pan in which you sautéed your vegetables; add some more olive oil or butter before you cook the frittata. Mix vegetables or ingredients, into your eggs, which should be salted, peppered and lightly beaten with a fork. Immediately pour the mixture into the hot pan, and reduce the heat to a moderate-to-low flame.

This next phase can be difficult. With the help of a spatula and a wooden fork, allow the upper, liquid part of the mixture to slip down below the solidified part, so that all parts of the frittata are cooked. Then, using just the spatula, lift the sides of the frittata and check that the bottom is not starting to burn—that’s important. As soon as you see that the top is firm, pull the pan away from the flame, half cover it with a lid, and leave it that way for 30 seconds. Shake the pan to be sure that it’s not sticking to the bottom. If it does stick, gently detach it with a spatula. The frittata can now be turned over.


If you want to use the traditional method for flipping the frittata over, you’ll need to be careful and quick. Using a flat dish that is larger than the pan—or you can use a flat lid—place one hand firmly on top of the lid and the other hand on the handle, and quickly turn the whole arrangement upside down. Immediately slide the frittata—the golden-brown side will now appear on top—back into the pan to finish cooking for the last few minutes.

If this is your first frittata, you might find the movements a bit awkward, or perhaps discover that the mixture is too high for the pan. But with experience, you’ll learn the ideal proportions and how to regulate the ingredients—for instance, the amount of eggs and cheese—to ensure your frittata is not too dry. It’s a wonderfully fun and healthy dish, well worth perfecting!

Okay...Enjoy!   Eat well my friends!

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Food Safety Tips
Protect yourself against food-borne illnesses.


1. Use a "refrigerator thermometer" to keep your food stored at a safe temperature (below 40 degrees fahrenheit).

Cold temperatures slow the growth of bacteria. Ensuring that your refrigerator temperature stays at 40 degrees Fahrenheit or colder is one of the most effective ways to reduce your risk of food-borne illness. You can buy a refrigerator/freezer thermometer at appliance stories, home centers (i.e. Home Depot), and kitchen stores including online ones, such as Cooking.com.

2. Defrost food in the refrigerator, the microwave, or in cold water... never on the counter!

Perishable foods should never be thawed on the counter for longer than two hours because, while the center of the food may remain frozen, the outer surface may enter the Danger Zone, the range of temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly. If you’re short on time, use the microwave or you can thaw meat and poultry in airtight packaging in cold water. Change the water every half-hour so it stays cold and use the thawed food immediately.

3. Always use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/fish and cooked foods/fresh produce.

Bacteria from uncooked meat, poultry, and fish can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. An important way to reduce this risk is to use separate cutting boards for raw meat/poultry/ fish, and cooked foods/fresh produce.

4. Always cook meat to proper temperatures, using a calibrated instant-read thermometer to make sure.

One effective way to prevent illness is to use a food thermometer to check the internal temperature of meat, poultry, and egg dishes. The USDA Recommended Safe Minimum Internal Temperatures are as follows:

* Beef, veal, and lamb (steaks and roasts), fish - 145 degrees fahrenheit

* Pork and ground beef - 160 degrees fahrenheit

* Poultry - 165 degrees fahrenheit.

Cook meats like roasts and steaks to lower temperatures, closer to medium-rare, so that they retain their moisture. It is recommended that those who are at high risk for developing food-borne illness (i.e. pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, people with weakened immune systems, or certain chronic illnesses) should follow the USDA guidelines.

5. Avoid unpasteurized/raw milk and cheeses made from unpasteurized milk that are aged less than 60 days.

Raw milk is milk from cows, sheep, or goats that has not been pasteurized (heated to a very high temperature for a specific length of time) to kill harmful bacteria that may be present. These bacteria, which include salmonella, E. coli and listeria, can cause serious illness and sometimes even death. The bacteria in raw milk can be especially dangerous to pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems or chronic illnesses. Raw milk cheeses aged 60 days or longer are okay, since the salt and acidity of the cheese-making process make for a hostile environment to pathogens.

6. Never eat "runny" eggs or foods, such as cookie dough, that contain raw eggs.

Even eggs that have clean, intact shells may be contaminated with salmonella, so it’s important to cook eggs thoroughly until both the yolk and the white are firm. Casseroles and other dishes containing eggs should be cooked to 160 degrees fahrenheit and you can use an instant-read food thermometer to check. Eggs should always be cooked fully and those who are at high risk for developing foodborne illness (pregnant women and their unborn babies, newborns, young children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems or certain chronic illnesses should follow the USDA guidelines. If you can’t resist runny eggs or sampling cookie batter, use pasteurized eggs. They’re found near other eggs in large supermarkets.

7. Always wash your hands in warm soapy water for at least 20 seconds before handling food and after touching raw meat, poultry, or eggs.

You can pick up a lot of bacteria out in the world, so it’s important to always wash your hands before you eat or prepare food. You should also wash your hands after touching any uncooked meat, poultry, fish, or eggs, as the bacteria from these foods can contaminate cooked foods and fresh produce. Use soap and warm water and wash thoroughly for at least 20 seconds.

8. Always heat leftover foods to 165 degrees fahrenheit.

The USDA recommends heating all cooked leftovers to 165 degrees fahrenheit in order to kill all potentially dangerous bacteria.

9. Never eat meat, poultry, eggs, or sliced fresh fruits and vegetables that have been left out for more than two hours or more than one hour in temperatures hotter than 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you leave perishable foods out of the refrigerator or freezer for more than two hours they may enter the Danger Zone—the unsafe temperatures between 40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit, in which bacteria multiply rapidly.

10. Whenever there’s a food recall, check products stored at home to make sure they are safe.

You should discard any food that’s been recalled because it’s associated with the outbreak of a food-borne illness. But, according to a survey conducted by Rutgers University during the fall of 2008, only about 60% of Americans search their homes for foods that have been recalled because of contamination. For more information on food recalls, visit the website Recalls.gov






Cavier & Vodka
Courtesy of The Lady (Bug) of the Household