Category Archives: Other

The making of a frittata

After making the palak paneer frittata, I realized that this provided a typical example of how I come up with my salad and frittata recipes. First, on coming up with the basic idea: I was shopping at a new store, just looking around, and saw that they had paneer, the Indian cheese, which is not available in many stores. This made me think of palak paneer, one of my favorite Indian dishes. And that make me think, spinach and cheese are both ingredients that work well in a frittata. So why not a palak paneer frittata?

Next come the details of the ingredients and how to make it. To give it an Indian flavor, some spices should be added. Garam masala was an obvious one. My next step, which I often do, was a Google search for recipes, in this case, for palak paneer. I’m not doing this with the intent of following any specific recipe. The objective is to get ideas for potential ingredients and their quantities. This led to my adding the cumin seeds, onion, ground ginger, and garlic. A lot of the recipes also included chiles or chile pepper, but I didn’t want to include that.

Then on the preparation: Heating the cumin seeds until they sputtered was mentioned in the recipes, and I knew about that from other Indian food I have made. Of course the onion and garlic would have to be cooked. For palak paneer the spinach is completely cooked and pureed. But for me, spinach that has just been wilted works well in a frittata. Finally, briefly frying the cubes of paneer came from several of the recipes.

One thing I nearly always do when making a new preparation is to plan all of the quantitites first and measure things out during the preparation. I record this information along with the basic procedure followed for the preparation. Of course I need this for salad and frittata recipes for this blog. But I began doing this years before starting the blog for all sorts of food that I would cook. If I make something and conclude that the results are great, I want to have the information to be able to make it the same way again. Sometimes I will make something and conclude that it’s good but that it could be improved if I used more or less of some ingredients or changed the preparation in some way, perhaps cooking a longer or shorter time. So I note that on the recipe as well so I can make the change the next time. Of course I can only add more or less than I used the first time if I have a record of how much that was.

If you like to make up new recipes, I would encourage you keep such a record. It helps when making something again, and doing so provides a sense of accomplishment. I keep all my recipes, including those created by others, along with early ideas for new recipes, in the Notes program that comes on the iPhone, iPad, and Mac (and syncs among the devices). It’s handy to have my iPhone or iPad in the kitchen to refer to a recipe as I am cooking. But any app that that provides for the creation and storage of separate notes or a dedicated recipe app could be used.

Corn chowder with sausage

Corn chowder with sausage

I know this is a blog about salads and frittatas. But I made this chowder and the result was so attractive that I had to take a picture and include it here. And it also tastes great and is especially satisfying in colder weather.

This was adapted from a recipe I found for summer corn chowder with cod (and it’s also good made with cod instead of the sausage). For the sausage, I have used Hillshire Farms smoked sausage, both the beef and the turkey. Sometimes I have sliced the sausage quite thin. This time, I did somewhat thicker slices, cut in half.

Be sure to use fresh thyme, and include the full amounts of the bacon, scallions, garlic, and thyme. This soup gets its great taste from the combination of those ingredients.

Corn chowder with sausage

5–6 slices bacon cut in quarter-inch pieces
8 scallions (more if very thin) thinly sliced, white and green parts separated, with lots of the green
1–1/2 teaspoons garlic, minced
2 tablespoons flour
2 cups chicken broth
2 cups milk
2 cups potatoes in half-inch cubes
2 teaspoons fresh thyme, chopped
fresh ground pepper
3/4 pound smoked sausage, sliced
2–1/2 cups frozen corn
1/4 to 3/8 cup cream

Cook bacon until crisp in saucepan to be used for making chowder. Remove with a slotted spoon, leaving bacon fat in pan. Drain on a paper towel.

Over low heat, cook white parts of the scallions for 2 minutes. Then add garlic and cook for one more minute. Add flour and cook for 2 minutes while stirring.

Add chicken broth, milk, potatoes, thyme, and pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add sausage, corn, and over half of the bacon, again bring to boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 5 minutes. Add cream and over half of the green parts of the scallions. Simmer for 2 minutes.

Serve, topping with the remaining bacon and green parts of the scallions.