Monday, August 23, 2010

Potato, Red Onion and Feta Frittata (Gluten Free)

This Italian omelet is cooked with purple potatoes and feta, but you can easily use any combination of vegetables and cheese that you fancy. It just so happens that I had a of purple potatoes to spare so used it for this dish. If you remember last week I wrote that I was receiving potatoes by the barrels from my CSA.

Frittata preparation differs from omelette preparation in that the eggs are beaten to incorporate air where the eggs for omelettes usually are stirred with less air incorporated. The additional air in the frittata mixture allows for a deeper filling and a fluffier result. Ingredients to be incorporated into a fritatta are added to the pan before the egg mixture. This is just another super easy dish to prepare with staple ingredients that you normally have in your home. What I also love about a frittata is that it's a one pot dish, so there is not much clean up.

The frittata is baked, but started in a 
frying pan and then finished under the broiler. When done, cut into wedges and serve with a tomato salad for a light supper.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, sliced
12 ounces cooked potatoes, halved or quartered if large
4 eggs, lightly beaten
3/4 cup feta, crumbled
Salt and fresh ground pepper

Serves 2-4

  1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan. Add the onion and saute for 5 minutes until softened, stirring occasionally.
  2. Add the cooked potatoes and cook for 5 minutes or more until golden, stirring to prevent sticking. Spread the mixture evenly over the base of the pan.
  3. Preheat the broiler to high. Season the beaten eggs, then por thte mixture over hte onions and potatoes. Sprinkle the Feta on top and cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes until the eggs are just set and the base of the frittata is just golden.
  4. Place the pan under the broiler and cook for 3 minutes until set and lightly golden. Serve the frittata warm or cold, cut into wedges.

With the recent outbreak of egg recalls, please refer to the bottom of this post on steps to avoid food poisoning from eggs, excerpted from the FDA.

This salmonella outbreak comes from eggs of salmonella-infected hens that carry the bacteria in their ovaries and pass it to eggs as they are being formed.
Eggs that appear to be fresh and normal may actually harbor salmonella.
If you like your eggs prepared over easy, you may want to change your egg-eating habits. 
  • Don’t eat recalled eggs or products containing recalled eggs. Recalled eggs might still be in grocery stores, restaurants, and homes. People who have recalled eggs should discard them or return them to their retailer for a refund.
  • People who think they might have become ill from eating recalled eggs should consult their health care providers.
  • Keep eggs refrigerated at least to 45 degrees F at all times.
  • Discard cracked or dirty eggs.
  • Wash hands, cooking utensils, and food preparation surfaces with soap and water after contact with raw eggs.
  • Eggs should be cooked until both the white and the yolk are firm and eaten promptly after cooking.
  • Do not keep eggs warm or at room temperature for more than two hours.
  • Refrigerate unused or leftover egg-containing foods promptly.
  • Don't eat raw eggs.
  • Avoid restaurant dishes made with raw or undercooked, unpasteurized eggs. Restaurants should use pasteurized eggs in any recipe (such as Hollandaise sauce or Caesar salad dressing) that calls for raw eggs.
  • Consumption of raw or undercooked eggs should be avoided, especially by young children, elderly people, and people with weakened immune systems or debilitating illness.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Feta and Potato Patties (Gluten Free)

It's Greek night at my house with this Greek inspired Patatokeftedes (potato balls).
You might be thinking.... potatoes in the middle of summer? Well... yes.

Lately for the last couple of weeks, I have been receiving a bag of varied potatoes from my CSA. The bags were just accumulating in the fridge as I just could not eat it fast enough. Not only that, but I thought that potatoes were just too heavy for a summer time meal so just wasn't compelled to do much with them.

I was inspired by potatoes versatility when I found a recipe for feta and potato patties in an old time favorite cookbook of mine, Vegetarian: Over 300 Healthy and Wholesome Foods by Nancy Graimes. Potatoes can be a summer time meal when combined with lighter ingredients like dill and lemon. 

These patties will transport you to the sandy beach of Mykonos, as the salty wind brisks through your hair. Accompany with a garden tomato salad in a lemon and oil dressing and you have a Mediterranean delight. You might break a plate after you eat this.

Serves 4


1 1/4 pounds potatoes
4 ounces feta cheese
4 scallions, chopped
3 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 egg, beaten
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

  1. Boil the potatoes in their skins in lightly salted water until soft (about 30 minutes). Drain and cool slightly, then peel while still warm. Place the cooked potatoes in a bowl and mash. 
  2. Crumble the feta into the potatoes, and add the scallions, dill, lemon juice and egg. Season the mixture with salt and pepper (the cheese is already salty, so taste before you add salt). Stir well.
  3. Cover the mixture and chill until firm. Divide the mixture into walnut sized balls, then flatten them slightly. 
  4. Heat the oil in a frying pan and fry the patties until golden brown on each side. Drain on paper towels and serve at once.

Monday, August 9, 2010


So what happens when you have leafy Tuscan kale, and some small potatoes? You’re two-thirds of the way to an uncommonly satisfying salad. Some olive oil, vinegar and a dab of mustard, and a one-two-three dressing for them is done.

This salad was brought together by tossing the potato mixture with the kale, forming rather hefty servings once portioned out onto our plates.  Mixing the heartier potatoes with tender greens, coated in that tangy dressing, was a nice way to round out the dish. This is a simple, clean and a fantastic way to utilize produce of the season for a satisfying meal. This mustard dressing unexpectedly emboldens kale and potatoes with its creaminess and tart richness. 


2 pounds small potatoes, scrubbed

1 pound kale, coarse stems discarded and the leaves washed well and cut into 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons Dijon-style mustard

2 tablespoons red-wine vinegar

1/3 cup olive oil

3 tablespoons thinly sliced scallion

  1. In a kettle combine the potatoes with enough water to cover them by 2 inches, bring the water to a boil, and simmer the potatoes 15 to 20 minutes, or until they are tender.
  2. Transfer the potatoes with a slotted spoon to a colander, reserving the cooking liquid, and in the reserved cooking liquid boil the kale, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
  3. Drain the kale in a sieve, refresh them under cold water, and squeeze them dry in a kitchen towel.
  4. In a bowl whisk together the mustard, the vinegar, and salt and pepper to taste, add the oil in a stream, whisking, and whisk the dressing until it emulsified.
  5. Quarter the potatoes and add them to the dressing. Add the kale, pulling them apart to separate the leaves and the scallion and toss the salad well.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Peppers Stuffed with Wild Rice and Mozzarella (Gluten Free)

Cooking with the seasons can be challenging, especially when you have weeks where you get a load of one vegetable, that makes everything else in your CSA box look insignificant by comparison. The challenge is to eat the produce within the week and to make recipes that are fulfilling. Not to cook just for the sake of consuming but enjoying it as well.

This week, I received a lot of bell peppers.... the red ones to be exact. The good news about peppers is that it can safely be frozen for later use, once you wash them, deseed and slice into a freezer bag. So when ever you are looking to make a quick stir fry dish, just grab some peppers from the freeze and you have a dish ready in no time.

Red bell peppers have more vitamins and nutrients and contain the antioxidant lycopene. The level of carotene, another antioxidant, is nine times higher in red peppers. Red peppers also have twice the vitamin C content than green peppers. So who am I to complain if I have too many red peppers.

I looked through a cookbook that I have had for years, but barely refer to it, because most of my dishes are passed down to me. In any event, I decided to look through 15 Minute Vegetarian- 200 Quick, Easy and Delicious Recipes by Susan Geiskopf-Hadler and Mindy Toomay. I suppose something about quick and easy caught my eye with the book and I am glad it seduced me to thumb through it.

There I found it... Peppers Stuffed with Wild Rice and Mozzarella. This has a Mediterranean twist to it with the olive oil, red peppers, wild rice and of course mozzarella. You will definitely love this flavorful crunchy garlicky cheesy dish.

6 servings


3 large red or yellow bell peppers
1 1/2 cups cooked wild rice
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1/4 cup minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Italian herb seasoning
4 teaspoons crushed garlic
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  1. Preheat the broiler. Cut each bell pepper in half from top to bottom and remove the stems, seeds and thick white membranes. Cut each pepper- half in half to create 4 boat shaped quarters. Set aside.
  2. In a bowl, combine the wild rice, mozzarella, parsley, olive oil, Italian seasoning, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix well. 
  3. Fill the pepper boats with the rice mixture, pressing it firmly into place. Arrange the peppers stuffing side up on a baking sheet and broil 4 inches away from heat source until the cheese is melted and lightly browned, about 5 minutes.
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