Sunday, October 5, 2008

Eat Local Challenge, Week 1, or "Who You Callin' A Quiche?"

For this, the first week of the Eat Local Challenge, we're not doing bad so far. But I have to admit, after the first few days of trying to dine on mostly local fare, well, it's harder than I thought. First off, there are those days that you can't help but not eat locally because you have to go to a friends birthday party or a benefit dinner. But hey, that is what those exceptions are for, right?

The hardest part for me has been lunch during the week, hanging in that gulf between breakfast and dinner. Without taking steps to bring the raw materials for lunch from home, I am faced with two choices: Bring a frozen meal or eat at one of the less than exceptional (and less than local) eateries near work to stave off hunger until dinner comes around. In addition to tasting better than the food sold nearby, the vegetarian meals we keep frozen in the Tiny Kitchen can actually be considered local. Produced by Amy's Kitchen of Santa Rosa, the company states on their website that over fifty percent of their vegetables are grown within 200 miles of their facility.

And what do you do on those nights when you don't get home until 8:00 and have no time to cook an actual dinner? Well, there are always leftovers, provided you had anything left over, or you can turn once again to those handy pre-made meals. (I know, for someone who loves to cook, there doesn't seem to be a whole lot going on in the kitchen, but don't worry, I'm getting there.) The handy ready made meals we have been foraging on recently were all made locally, however I cannot vouch for their ingredients. Two of our staples are tamales from Primavera of Agua Caliente, California and papusas from Casa Sanchez in San Francisco. These delights can be found at local gourmet markets such as Rainbow Coop and Andronico's.

Dinner, on those nights where cooking is actually an option, has been an adventure. Finding locally grown produce has yet to be difficult this fall, and so in keeping with needing options for workday lunch I wanted to make something that would provide plenty of leftovers. The frittata, or "man quiche", is a mix of potatoes, tasty veggies, sausage and egg cooked into a delicious, gigantic savory pie. Here goes nothin'.

Tiny Kitchen Frittata
4 Chicken Apple Sausages, sliced into rounds (Aidell's Sausage Co.)
2 Large or 3 small bell peppers, chopped
2 Large red potatoes, chopped into large chunks
1 Red onion, chopped into chunks
1 Poblano pepper, chopped
8 - 10 large organic eggs (Rock Island Eggs, Sonoma County)
1/2 Tbs. fresh Rosemary, chopped fine
1 Tbs. Olive oil (Bariani Olive Oil)
2 - 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
Salt & pepper to taste
(Vegetables were purchased at Rainbow Coop)

Mix 1/2 Tbs. olive oil with the potatoes and rosemary and set aside. Heat oven to 375 degrees. In a large, high walled, flat bottomed skillet, add the potatoes and cook for a few minutes until aromatic. Add the sausage and the rest of the vegetables and stir. Cook the mixture until it begins to brown.

Whisk the eggs together in a large bowl, and add to the mixture. As the egg filters through the vegetables, move them around gently with a spatula to allow the egg to cover the mix as completely as possible. Remove from the stove and place in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the top of the frittata is browned and the egg is fully cooked.

The varieties and generous portions of vegetables can be adjusted as you see fit; it's one of the great things about this dish. I may have been a little over zealous with the amount of veggies in this preparation, but it was yummy none the less. If you do use fewer vegetables, adjust the amount of egg accordingly. It's also an easy way to get rid of those extra veggies or eggs that are about to expire sitting in your refrigerator. This frittata will keep you stocked in leftovers for several days, making a great lunch for work or a quick no hassle dinner.



Corinne said...

Who said it was a man pie? That looks great! We can't always eat dainty little quiches full of spinach and delicate cheeses. :)