Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Simple Supper

Mon 01 Dec 2008

A very quick supper idea tonight. Normally, because I graze, I'm a light evening eater - for me, a couple of slices of toast and a cup of tea usually does the trick. However, the cold, cold, cold weather is making even me want something more substantial.

So - what to have on a weekday when you're home late (or you've been busy doing chores), or even on a Sunday when you've just come in from the pub? Eggs - of course!

This is my take on an fritatta/omelette/tortilla (henceforth, fromto). Reasonably exact quantities for a change, and this will serve two cold, possibly wet, hungry people.

Begin by heating some vegetable oil in a deep, and grill resistant, frying pan. Chop four rashers of bacon and fry them off. When the bacon starts to crisp up, add one finely sliced (not chopped) onion. When the onion is soft, add one potato, peeled and very finely chopped. It's important that the potato is cut into very small dice, because, as well as it adding body to the finished dish, you want it to cook!

Turn the heat down and stir the potato through the bacon and onion mix. Leave this to cook for 5 or so minutes before adding one chopped green pepper.

Beat 6 eggs (I said you had to be hungry!), whisk through a splash of milk, and pour the eggs into the pan. Give the pan a shake, to ensure the egg mix is distributed evenly. Finish with a generous grinding of pepper.

Leave this (still on the low heat) to cook for about 10-15 minutes or so - until the top is actually starting to firm up. Grate some parmesan cheese over the fromto and finish off under the grill. You want the eggs to be firm (this is the tortilla and fritatta territory here - don't even think omelette) and if the top is golden, even better.

When you're happy with how things are looking (probably five or so minutes), remove the pan from the grill and (this is important), cover with tin foil and leave it to sit for 10 minutes. Don't worry - it's not going to go cold!!!! Letting the fromto sit will make it a lot easier to get out of the pan - it sort of relaxes, moves away from the sides and releases its grip on the base. This handy tip I picked up from Tom Norrington-Davies' book Cupboard Love (good Christmas present territory for anyone in need of a variety of store cupboard recipes!).

10 minutes up? Uncover the fromto, slice and serve (perhaps with a salad or some lightly steamed vegetables). Any leftovers will work well in a packed lunch and, because this can be eaten cold, it would also work as a canapé - remove from the pan, cut into cubes and skewer with cocktail sticks! As there's no salt added to the recipe, you may need to adjust seasoning (particularly if you're eating this at room temperature).

The onion and potato (aside from the eggs!) are the two critical ingredients here - add whatever else you have lurking in the fridge. I imagine left over roast chicken would be good, and mushrooms could work well too, or perhaps something with chorizo and a hint of chilli ...

Other eggy cold weather food? You can't go past toad in the hole or gougères (red wine essential!).
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