Friday, May 23, 2008

Breakfast for dinner

I spent much of this week in Boston on a trip for work, and I returned exhilarated but exhausted. I was looking for a meal that would wake me up, and what could be better than breakfast?

I had been thinking about hash browns ever since I saw this photo on tastespotting last week, but I wanted to use Jon's favored sweet potatoes and to bake them instead of frying. I found a recipe for oven-baked latkes at slashfood, and subbed in the orange tubers. Then I spiced up the mixture with ginger, cumin, chili powder -– and curry powder, since Jon's mom brought us an incredible jar of the stuff from her trip to Turkey -– baked them with a bit of butter, and served them up with curry ketchup and some sour cream.

Where potatoes go, eggs will follow -– and so I felt a frittata was in order. I found this recipe for a frittata with pecorino and ramps, accompanied by a gorgeous photo, but when Jon went to Whole Foods, there were no ramps to be found, so I had him grab a bouquet of asparagus instead.


Time: 45 minutes

2 sweet potatoes
1 russet potato
1 small, sweet onion
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
lots of freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp curry powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp chili powder
4 tbsp white whole wheat flour
butter (to grease the baking sheet)

1. Preheat oven to 425F.
2. Peel sweet potatoes, potato, and onion, and grate in a food processor (or by hand, oy!).
3. Transfer potato mixture to a large bowl and stir in the eggs, flour, and all spices.
4. Drop latke mixture in 2-3 tbsp measures, forming 2-3 inch pancakes that are about 1/4 inch thick (sightly thicker is ok), on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes, then turn the pancakes over, and bake for an additional 10 minutes. Latkes should be deep gold on both sides when done, so add a minute or two to the baking time, if necessary.
The latkes can be served immediately, but will stay crisp a bit longer than their fried counterparts and can also be served at room temperature.

Yield: 4-6 servings


Time: 15 minutes

8 eggs
1 tbsp butter
1 bunch asparagus, chopped
1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
freshly-ground black pepper

1. Turn on the broiler.
2. Beat eggs in a medium bowl.
3. Beat in cheese, along with a few twists of your pepper mill.
4. Gently stir in asparagus, reserving some of the tips for decoration.
5. Add butter to an 8" skillet over medium heat, swirling it around the skillet to ensure that it coats the sides. As soon as the butter stops foaming, reduce the heat to low, give the frittata mixture a stir and pour it into the skillet.
6. Allow the frittata to cook undisturbed for 4-6 minutes, until only the top of the frittata remains runny, but the rest of the frittata has set. Use a silicone spatula to check doneness on the sides. When the frittata is set, you should be able to easily run a spatula around the sides of the frittata and peak at the browned sides.
7. Place the reserved asparagus tips on top of the frittata in a flower design and place it under the broiler until the runny top of the frittata is cooked and beginning to brown just a bit, 1-2 minutes.

Yield: 3-4 servings


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