Tuesday, June 16, 2009

it's actually much better than it looks

We (the yachstman and I) had a little pre-Flynn-show dinner party on Saturday night, where I may have served a gruel-on-separate-plates-is-tapas dinner to people I don't know that well. But they claimed to enjoy it.

I didn't take pictures of the actual event but I did photograph some actual leftovers.

Sweet Potato and Goat's Cheese Frittata

And since we (the staff here at GFD Headquarters International Ltd.) haven't posted any recipes in awhile, here's a three-fer. This frittata was pretty scrumptious, if I do say so myself -- a little savory, a little sweet -- both the first time around and as leftovers, and also as leftover leftovers.

The recipes below are from Skye Gyngell's cookbook A Year in My Kitchen, which is written in British. I would do the translations for you, but then you wouldn't find yourself frantically googling "23 cm = how may inches?" and ending up on a porn website twenty minutes before your guests arrive.

Sweet Potato and Goat's Cheese Frittata

1 medium sweet potato (or 2 small ones)
250 g fresh, rindless goat cheese (I don't know what the hell that means; I bought one with a rind and then cut it off)
1/2 cup Roasted Red Onions (see below, and please actually make these, because they're amazing, and useful every day, not just for this recipe)
75 ml Basil Oil (see recipe below, see parenthetical note above)
60 g Parmesan, freshly grated
10 eggs
1 tbsp olive oil

1. Run to the computer and google "170 degrees celsius = how many degrees fahrenheit?" then preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Peel the sweet potato, cut into chunks, and place in a saucepan. Cover with cold water, add a pinch of salt, and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer until tender while you wonder whether what you bought was a sweet potato or a yam, about 15 minutes.

2. While the sweet potato/yam is still warm, crumble the goat's cheese into the bowl. Toss in the roasted red onions, spoon over the basil oil, and sprinkle with Parmesan. Toss together lightly and set aside.

3. Break the eggs into a separate bowl and season generously with salt and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Whisk to combine.

4. Place a 20-23 cm ovenproof (preferably non-stick) frying pan over medium heat and add the olive oil. While the pan is hot, add the sweet potato and goat's cheese mixture, distributing it evenly over the base of the pan. Pour in the beaten egg and, using a fork, tease it between the sweet potato chunks, making sure it gets into all the nooks and crannies.

5. Lower the heat and cook gently for 3-4 minutes, then place the pan in the oven and cook a further 10 minutes until firm on the surface but still slightly soft and runny in the centre [all right, I'll help you out a little: centre is Britis for center. The frittata will continue to firm up as it cools out of the oven.

6. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Roasted Red Onions

[You're gonna be seeing lots of these in the coming weeks, as I have a shit ton of them in my fridge.]

5 medium red onions, peeled
110 g caster sugar, which I'm pretty sure is just sugar
200 ml [you don't need to consult your new favorite porn site Google for this one; there should be a ml measurement on your measuring cup] balsamic vinegar
50 ml extra virgin olive oil

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Slice the onions about 3 mm thick pinwheels [whatever, just slice them] and spread out on a baking tray. Sprinkle with the sugar and a generous pinch each of s&p. Pour over the balsamic vinegar and olive oil and mix together lightly with your hands. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or so [it was over an hour for me], tossing and shaking occasionally. When the onions are ready, they should be deep purple in colour [that's how she spells it, bitches] and glistening, tasting sweet and sharp at the same time.

Basil Oil

3 large bunches of basil [seriously big bunches]
1 clove of garlic, peeled
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
200 ml extra virgin olive oil

Pull the basil leaves from their stalks and put them into a food processor with the garlic and a good pinch of s&p. Process until the basil is finely chopped. With the motor running, slowly trickle in the extra virgin olive oil through the funnel and continue to blend until you have a beautiful, moss-green purée. Leave to stand for a few minutes, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Pour into a jar, cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Or just spill it all over your floor and lick it up; it's that good, people, and then you can say your floors are so clean you could eat off them. (If you have any left over, this basil oil will keep well in the fridge for up to a week.)


  1. Much as I appreciate the oblique reference, what I really want is a fancy name like "yachtsman"

  2. I'm just happy to be referred to as "guests I don't know well!"

    Amazing dinner, Kate - thanks so much:)

  3. Things this post brings to my mouth: general drooling & my utterance of the words "I desperately need a food processor." Even your leftovers look phenomenal!

  4. So THAT's how you find those porn websites.... Good to know.

  5. Did you find you had to look at/handle your 23 cm frying pan in a whole different way after your Google search?

  6. Anon & anon, I should have referred to you as "people I'd like to know better"! But if I were going to bestow nicknames, I'd probably start with Ida Pusher, as she was publicly referred to at the party where I first met her...

    EBiddie, I find most porn websites on recommendation from J Quizzle.

    Challah, how I look at/handle my 23 cm frying pan is private, although you could watch if you ever got yourself and your cute family to Vermont for a visit. I'll make a special gruel dinner just for you and yours, complete with lots of high fructose corn syrup, corn-fed beef, and Jim Beam.