around the kitchen

A couple of meals not really exciting enough for their own posts:

Potato, Onion, and Fresh Herbs Frittata

I have a bit of a love-hate relationship with omelets. I used to love them and made them all of the time, then suddenly the very idea of one made me sick, so I stopped. Except not really, because I kept forgetting, or assumed it was a one-time thing because how else to explain such a random and late-onset disgust with something I’d always enjoyed? (I have no idea how or why; there are a few things I haven’t liked since I got seriously ill a few years ago, which was also when I changed medications, but I cannot logically draw a line from that to, say, my intolerance for almost all salad dressing.)

Egg with fresh thyme and marjoram from my plants.

Regardless of the provenance of this new egg pickiness, I am learning how to accommodate it. I’ve always prefered my omelets on the dry side, much to the disapproval of purists and annoyance of the parental unit, but now they really do need to be dry. Which in turn usually means two-egg omelets instead of four (for more leftovers) so that they can cook all of the way through without the bottoms charring. Or, even better, frittatas.

The order of operations here was to saute the thinly-sliced potato until browned, saute the onion until caramelized-ish, throw everything (back) into the pan, and cook until the bottom was set. To accomodate my egg quirks, I covered it and let it cook until almost done, then threw it under the broiler to finish up. I forgot to take pictures of the cross-section, but it looked very cool with the potato side-views. It was good warm the first day, but I think it was actually better the next day as lunch.

Leek Soup

It’s getting toward that time of the year when I have leeks in the fridge always. I like leeks even more than shallots on the non-onion onion front; they’re good for omelets, soups, and other dishes. These were my first leeks in a while — I still paid too much for them — and I was conflicted about what to do with them. There’s a fabulous leek confit recipe in the most recent Bon Appetit I want to try, plus a leek pie recipe in my ummah veggie cookbook (Classic Vegetarian Cooking from the Middle East and North Africa, which get Islamicized in my shorthand because there’s pointedly nothing from Israel and plenty from Palestine), plus there are many soups beyond the obvious leek soup… but, in the end, I went with good old fashioned leek-and-potato because I wanted a non-bean, non-lentil soup and I’m down to my last pint of zucchini-basil.

The first step of doing anything with leeks is to wash the suckers. (You can also play Spot the Spuds here, since there are three potatoes hiding in the picture.) Every leek direction always says to chop off most of the green, but I never do that, especially with soups that are going to be pureed. I trim off the ends (which usually end up in stock), but otherwise I try to use as much of the green as possible. Chopped finely cross-wise, you don’t have to worry about toughness or stringiness and otherwise you’re wasting a lot of leek.

If I’d taken a picture before I’d defrosted, you’d have seen the stratification from layers of chard juice (the dark tint) over a base of veggie stock that I absolutely cannot remember how I’d come to have. Especially in such quantity.

My usual leek soup has most of a fennel involved as well, but I had no fennel and didn’t feel like using the dried powdered stuff, so I riffed off of a caramelized leek soup recipe I saw and sauteed the leeks with a touch of sugar and some vermouth. Not enough to make things sweet, but enough to give the soup something beyond hearty French peasant fare.

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4 thoughts on “around the kitchen

  1. The frittata looks good, I approve of anything with potatoes in it 🙂 I’ve only had problems with actually liquidy eggs, there was a time when I loved half-boiled eggs, until suddenly one day the mere thought of one was enough to make me want to barf. However, sort of underdone omelettes are perfectly fine. The leek soup looks very satisfying.

  2. Soft eggs depend on the preparation; sunny-side up eggs are great on buttered toast, but I don’t know that I’ve ever been a fan of the soft-boiled egg. And I can’t remember the last time I poached an egg, although I know where the poaching cups are.

  3. I’ve just about given up on omelets and other forms of eggs cooked with veggies. The veggies give up too much water leaving the end product waterlogged. Also, these things never look very appetizing. I find that it is best to make a proper omelette and then use it to wrap whatever filling is wanted.

    True enough; I’ve had far more success with that method — including making tamagoyaki for bento lunches.

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