Friday, September 21, 2012

Pepper and Sweet Potato Frittata

While Callie and I were sad for many reasons that we had move from our cool loft in downtown LA, not the least of which reason was that our new place was too far away to participate in the CSA which had fueled so many of the great recipes I've posted on Curio. The recent opening of a small farmer's market less than a block's walk from our new place in Palms has brightened our week, so I've got a couple recipes to share to brighten yours! It's no Wednesday Santa Monica market (the market where most of the best restaurants in LA shop) but having access to local, seasonal produce is the vital to me because of the constant challenges the ingredients create for me in the kitchen. 

This recipe, which would be perfect for this weekend's brunch, uses two of those ingredients, Japanese sweet potatoes and Italian curly peppers. I've eaten Japanese sweet potatoes every fall, roasted directly over hot coals by street vendors in Little Tokyo. They are firmer in texture and higher in sugar than the normal variants. As for the Italian peppers, had never even heard of these weird, gnarled red and green curls. Almost as mild as a bell pepper, they have only the mildest bite and are light in flavor. I decided to turn them in to a gloriously simple but amazingly rich frittata the moment we got home from the market.

I would serve this with a simple salad with a champagne vinaigrette with plenty of ripe cherry tomatoes heaped on top, a glass of prosecco or vinho verde, and some great jazz on the record player.

Pepper and Sweet Potato Frittata 
Serves 4

1 tbs olive oil
1 lb Japanese sweet potatoes, peeled and sliced in to 1/8" thick half moons
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1/2 lb Italian red and green sweet peppers (or a 4:1 mix of red bell peppers and Anaheim chiles)
1/4 cup whole milk (or cream)
5 eggs
salt & pepper to taste
fresh basil, cut in to thin ribbons (cilantro would work too)
sour cream 

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Beat the eggs and the milk together.

2) Parboil the sweet potatoes. Parboiling means "partial boiling", which is easy to do. You just put the potatoes in a pot covered with plenty of water, then cover and bring to a boil and then boil for about 5 minutes so the potatoes are still firm. Drain and set aside.

3) In a small oven-proof skillet, heat the olive oil of medium heat. Saute the onions with a pinch of salt until they are soft, about 5-6 minutes. 

4) Add the peppers and saute until soft, an additional 5-6 minutes. (Make sure the onions don't burn, so feel free to turn down the heat as needed). 

5) Turn off the burner and season the saute with salt and pepper. 

6) Place the paroiled sweet potatoes on top in a layer.

7) Pour the egg mixture on top and gently shake the pan so the mixture settles in.

8) Bake for 20 minutes — until the eggs are cooked through and the top is lightly golden. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing and serving. 

9) To serve, place a dollop of sour cream and a smattering of basil on top of each slice. 

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