A Mediterranean Father’s Day Frittata

I love my dad.

Many folks say their either a momma’s boy or daddy’s boy or whatever – personally, I love them equally. When I’m with my mom, I’m a momma’s boy – and vice versa with my pops.

So I like to do whatever I can for them to show my appreciation. Honestly, I think celebrating my birthday’s silly – WTF did I do? Shit, I actually tried to strangle myself in the womb, so its not like a whole lot of work went into my birth from my end. That was all my Mama, and partially my dad, so my birthday really should be me thanking them profusely for not just saying ‘fuck it lets try again next year’ since I was such a little pain.

Anyway, I digress. Last Saturday I picked up my dad’s dog Ralphie (sweet old boxer) and headed down to San Diego to see my dad.

From left to right - Ralphie, Myrddin (mer-thin), and Lady

This one’s for you Pops.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 20-25 minutes

Cook Time: 40-45 minutes

Feeds: 3-4 people

  • 1 large red bell pepper
  • 1 yellow zucchini
  • 1 roma tomato
  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 pound pitted kalamata olives
  • 8 oz cheese curds of some sort (ricotta or mozzarella)
  • 6 eggs
  • 1/4 cup half and half
  • cayenne
  • fresh cracked black pepper

The Puzzle

1. Preheat oven to 375

2. finely dice (very nearly mince) all your veggies except the kalamata’s. We want these roughly chopped.

3. Combine eggs, half and half, cheese curds, olives in a bowl and whip together vigorously

4. In a pan on high heat, saute your finely diced veggies with some oil, 1 tsp cayenne, and some fresh cracked black pepper until see through. No more than 5 minutes

5. In a deep casserole dish, ideally 7x7x4, place your sauteed veggies

6. top with the egg mixture and lightly combine. We still want most of the veggies on the bottom

I had some extra cloth bound cheddar sitting around, which i crumbled on top

7. Stick it in the oven for about 40 minutes, or until a knife stuck in the center comes out completely clean. It should puff up considerably.

8. Once done, let stand at room temperature at least 10 minutes

9. For an extra special kick, serve with tzatziki sauce. I’ll be doing my own version of this soon enough.

10. Remind your father just how much you love him, and enjoy!

YUMMM

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Apeshit Mac N’Cheese

Goddamn, this is easily one of my more…decadent…recipes.

Its delicious, don’t get me wrong, but this is something you eat once or twice a year – and i’m not being facetious.

So, if you’ve had a bad day, or you or a friend recently went through a breakup, or you just need some of the best fucking comfort food out there – this is your dish.

I’ll get more precise measurements, but this how I roll – approximately.

The Pieces

Prep Time: 5-10 mins, depending on how fast you can grate cheese…

Cook Time: 50 minutes

  • 1 box of elbow macaroni
  • half a full stick of butter
  • a generous amount of flour (lets say 1/2 a cup, for shits and giggles)
  • 16 oz each of: Mozzarella, Cheddar, Pepper Jack
  • 8 oz of: smoked gouda and brie
  • About a cup of whole milk
  • unflavored italian breadcrumbs
  • paprika
  • cayenne
  • salt and pepper

How its done

Have you ever made a roux? If not, go hang yourself in the bathroom with a used towel.

Or I can tell you how. If you don’t kill yourself. Which is still an option.

Roux 101

A roux is, very simply, a thickening agent used in many of the more traditional soups and stews. Its a combination of flour and fat – some cooks prefer oil, but most will tell you clarified butter (ghee) is the way to go.  The first thing you do is combine equal parts flour and fat over low heat, and stir to combine. As it thickens, it will go through a series of colors: white, blonde, beige, brick, fucking burnt and ruined you ass.

The color roux you end up with actually changes the flavor profile of the dish you’re cooking (and pretty drastically) – for example, a brick roux, which is used most frequently in gumbo, has a distinct nutty flavor.

For this dish today we’ll be using a blonde roux.

1. Clarify your butter. To do this, throw your butter in a sauce pan on low heat. Once it has melted, tilt the pot towards yourself and skim the fat off using a large spoon – or whatever works I don’t give a shit.

2. Put some of your clarified butter, say 2-3 tbsp, into a new sauce pot on medium heat

3. Add the flour

4. Stir constantly until thick. We’re looking for a consistency similar to that paste you ate in kindergarten. No? Just me? Whatever.

5. Once it has reached a ‘blonde’ color, whisk in your milk

Though the pic's shit, the consistency you are looking for pre-cheese - nice and smooth

6. After the two have combined completely, begin adding your cheese in batches. This part is really up to you – if the sauce gets to thick, just add more milk. But don’t skimp on that cheese.

7. Add a lot (i’m talking nearly 1 tbsp) of paprika and a few pinches of cayenne

8. Thats pretty much it for your sauce – now you’ll want to add the cooked (just barely al dente) macaroni. And no, I didn’t include a step for that, because its common fucking sense. If I need to tell you to boil the goddamn pasta go find another blog – Rachel Ray could always use another reader.

9. Once the pasta’s fully coated in the sauce spread it out evenly in a casserole dish

10. Now, in a separate bowl, toss your breadcrumbs with a little more of that ghee and any remaining cheese you have the balls to use.

11. Sprinkle that glorious shit all over the top of your pasta, and pop the pan into a preheated oven (375) until golden brown and awesome.

If you don’t absolutely love this, refer to my drunk taters recipe and GTFO.

Or there’s still hanging yourself in the bathroom. I never took that off the table…

Spicy Stew – for that Sunday afternoon hangover

My favorite thing about the weekends, besides the different shenanigans I often find myself involved in, is actually the recovery period – spending so much time in the fetal position shaking uncontrollably, sucking down huge portions of water, I’ve learned to cope quite well.

Even going so far as enjoying it – setting up a process of detoxification where I consume huge amounts of liquid, veggies, go for a run/hike, etc.

So – what follows is a guideline. Use whatever you like – i’ve thrown as many as 13-15 veggies into this pot at a time. Its more about the seasonings and the cooking time that makes this an instant hangover cure.

I’d avoid cooking this if you are looking for a quick meal. As tasty as this is, we’re talking 2 1/2 to 3 hours cook time (I spent the time curled up on the couch, my 30 proof sweat soaking my snuggie). I highly suggest you have something else to occupy your time while this shit simmers.

The Pieces

Prep Time: About 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 1/2 to 3 hours

  • 1 quart veggie stock, low to no sodium preferred
  • 1 1/2 cups diced white onion
  • 1 cup celery, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 cup green beans, stemmed and cut in thirds
  • 1 bunch kale, roughly chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, chopped (leave the seeds)
  • 2 cans diced tomatoes, drained
  • 2 lbs small red potatoes, washed damn well
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt to taste
  • pepper to taste
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tbsps balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 cups brown rice
  • Some tasty soft bread, like a french roll or Challah

The Puzzle

1. Heat up your stew pot with the oil (heres a tip – to tell if the oils hot without checking the sizzle, turn your pan to the side. If it shimmers like the surface of water, its good to go)

2. Once the oil’s good and hot, add your onion, carrots, celery and spices. As soon as that shit hits the pan, drop the heat to medium and sweat those veggies til the onion is translucent.

3. Add the rest of your veggies, the veggie stock and bay leaves. Fill with water til everythings covered.

4. Bring to a simmer, not a boil, and cover.

5. Let sit for one hour – then, add your apple cider and red wine vinegars, and tomatoes.

6. After another 30 mins throw the balsamic in there, and let simmer for another hour uncovered.

7. In the mean time, cook your rice separately

8. Once the potatoes are super tender, and the sauce isn’t too bitter, serve over rice with bread.

9. After one bowl, notice your memories of the night before begin to return…

Some variation of this is usually bubbling away on my stove every Sunday. A helluva tradition I recommend you try.