Cooking with Foxfur: Free Tatas!


We buy our eggs fresh from a farmer friend down the road. We’re always eating eggs; fried, scrambled, omeletified, in fried rice, etc. My favorite way, by far, is to use them in frittatas!

A frittata is kind of like an omelet but has the fixins throughout the eggy goodness instead of atop or inside. I call ’em garbagepail omelets because I’ll throw in whatever’s handy. Too much veggies to fit in last night’s skillet? Have a leftover slice of ham? Is that damned neighbor still smothering you in zucchini? Chop ’em up, throw ’em in. For those of you who have been suffering through reading my blog for a while, you might have caught on to a recurring theme. Lotsa whatever combined creatively resulting in tasty vittles.

This frittata recipe is for four people and is cooked on a stove instead of in an oven. As is usual with my recipes, this recipe is merely a guide that gives methods and theories. If you want to add a little of everything, great! If you want to load it with six bell peppers, wonderful!

Free Tatas!

4 Eggs
1 Small zucchini, diced
1 Small summer squash, diced
1 Small onion, sliced
1 Bell pepper, diced
1 Cup diced mushrooms
8 pieces crumbled bacon cooked to your preference
OR
1/2 Cup diced ham
OR
1/2 Can diced Spam
1 Cup shredded or grated cheese
2 Tablespoons Milk

Beat the hell out of the eggs and milk in a bowl or used quart yogurt container (Foxfur’s favorite). Add salt, pepper, etc to taste. I like to add 2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce and a teaspoon of mirin. Add the cheese and beat well. Set aside.

If you’re using bacon, reserve some grease to saute the veggies in. Spam will provide a bit of grease as well though not as much. You won’t need to drain it.

Spam. It’s what’s for breakfast!

I go for 1/2 inch diced cubes on the Spam.

When the meat is almost done, toss in the veggies (except mushrooms) and saute until crisp-tender. Add the mushies if you’re using them (you really should be…) and go for another 2 minutes.

Don’t worry if it looks like you have too much good stuff in the frying pan, it is simply not possible. The eggs will always find their way through.

Now beat the egg / cheese mixture once again and pour over the veggies somewhat evenly so the cheese is equitably distributed.

Shake the pan to move the veggies around and spread them a bit so as to preclude bitching about Timmy getting more meat than Susie…

Slap a cover on the pan and let it go on medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll have to figure out the heat and time that your stove works best at but unless you scorch the hell out of it, it won’t be a problem. We like the bottom of ours a bit past brown.

Here’s a peek at the tatas halfway through the thermal coagulation period:

You’ll notice I’m cooking on a hotplate. I actually do most of my cooking on it. Cooking on our electric range feels like I’m in a cave. I like cooking out on the island in our kitchen. I do the same for stir-fry cooking with a West Bend electric wok. Sometimes I’ll cook on an open fire in the front yard…

Once you no longer see any eggy goo on the top of your creation, it’s done!

DONE!

Let it sit for 5 to 10 minutes, quarter it up with a spatula, and sling onto plates.

I made one yesterday morning with red, orange, and green peppers, red and Walla Walla onions, squash, zucchini, olives, fried potatoes, bacon, prosciutto, crab, and avocado. Oh hot damn!

Frittatas are good for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re good at room temperature or cold from the fridge. I throw a coupe slices in a ziploc bag and carry ’em in my pack for a lunch on the trail. They’re great sandwiched between pancakes or waffles. They rock when topped with sour cream, ketchup, Tabasco sauce, more cheese, or any combination of the above.

This 4 egg frittata serves four people comfortably. I’ve never scaled it up as it’s just Sweetpea and I eatin’ on it. It should scale up just fine. Please let me know how it works out for you either as a 4 egg or an 18 egg monstrosity.

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Cooking with Foxfur: Kitsune Tofu Salad


This one is for Serenity, a fellow WordPress blogger, and my friend Jenny who saw the photo I put up on Facebook (I like to tease my friends with foodporn).

I had a tofu salad at a very nice Japanese restaurant 15 years ago. I was looking at what I had left for food stocks the other day and decided I’d try to recreate it. Not only did I come close, I surpassed the original.

Kitsune Tofu Salad

1 14 ounce package extra firm tofu, drained
1/4 cup soy sauce
1 tablespoon mirin (sweetened rice wine)
2 teaspoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, minced
1 large tomato, seeded and chopped
1 small onion, sliced paper thin
2 Tablespoons chopped cilantro
Sesame seeds

Free the tofu from its plastic prison and slap it on a plate. Place another plate on top of Mr. Tofu and put a few cans on top to press it down a bit. It Mr. T starts to crumble, I pity you, fool. The idea here is to press lots of water out of the tofu so it will be able to soak up the yummy dressing it will eventually be bathed in. The ‘fu will need to be squeezed for up to an hour. Pour off the expelled ‘fu juices every 15 minutes or so. After draining, cut it up into 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes.

Mix the soy, mirin, vinegar, sesame oil, garlic, and ginger in a cup. I added a teaspoon of sugar the second time I made it. It was pretty good but I think I like it better without. If you have kids, they may be more likely to eat it. The second time I made it I also sauteed the garlic and ginger to see what it was like with them a bit crispity. Yum! It’s not necessary but kinda fancy…

Combine the ‘fu, tomatoes, and cilantro in a serving bowl. I like to get in there with my fingers to mess it up real good. Follow your heart here. Don’t worry it the ‘fu crumbles a bit. You’re never gonna get it Cooks Illustrated perfect. I sure don’t. Pour the dressing over the salad and mix it around a bit more. It’s just great right after you finish it and possibly a bit better after an hour or so in the fridge.Shake some sesame seeds on top of each serving before eating.

If you don’t have mirin, either don’t worry about it, or, go out and get some. I use it in everything from marinades to stir fry sauces.

Red onions give the dish a nice look. I ended up using Walla Walla sweet onions and it blew my mind.

By the way, kitsune is fox in japanese.

Enjoy

Cooking with Foxfur: Foxfur’s Black Bean Salad


Last month while blowing shit up at a friend’s house, his wife made the most deeelicious black bean salad I’ve ever tasted. Hers was much more involved than this recipe but again, my aim is to show those who think they can’t cook that they actually can and quite well at that.

Y’all know I’m not big on measurements. I play fast and loose when I make this stuff (much like I typically conduct my daily affairs). Well, Sweetpea likes it so much that she wants to make it when I go out of town so she made me calcumalate whatall it takes to do it right. Now you, dear reader, get to reap the benefits.

This is an easy one. If you can drive a spoon, you’ll do just fine.

Foxfur’s Black Bean Salad

  • 2 Cans black beans
  • 1 Can corn
  • 1/2 Red, orange, or green bell pepper, minced or chopped
  • 1/2 Onion (red is real purty), minced or chopped
  • 5 – 6 Grape or cherry tomatoes
  • 12 – 15 chopped black olives (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped cilantro
  • 2 Tbsp Oil
  • 2 Tbsp Lime juice
  • 1/2 Tbsp Lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Salt
  • 3 Shakes + 1 Dash Black pepper

First off, open the cans and rinse the veggies well! This is the secret to good bean salads. The thick goo in the bottom of the beans does not look good at all and will earn you detention with Foxfur. After draining, throw ’em in a great big bowl. One big enough to toss the stuff around in and lose less than a few spoonfuls.

Wash and slice up the onion and pepper. I like using Vidalia sweet or red onions. As stated above, reds are all purtylike. For peppers, red is really dazzling and gives the best contrast, orange will make your hair soft and silky, and green peppers will allow you to find parking spots up to 40% faster! Why no yellow? Because it looks like the corn, silly! Here’s a place where color coordination just doesn’t work. The only coordination I want to see here is in the form of manual dexterity adequate enough to ensure a complete absence of severed digits in your completed salad. When done, toss ’em in the bowl.

While we’re on the subject of peppers,

Get a good look now, kids. OK, let’s move on…

Olives: You can buy the pre-chopped kind but they’re three times more expensive than whole olives. After rinsing, smash them flat with the side of your knife or machete then chop coarsely. Then, yep, toss ’em in the bowl!

Tomatoes > Chop > Bowl.

Wash and finely mince the cilantro and then? The bowl? Nope. Set aside for the moment.

Now pour the oil, juices, sugar, salt, pepper, and cilantro into a container with a splatter-proof cap and shake the living crap out of it. Then pour it in the bowl.

Getcha a big spoon and stir well. Toss and turn to mix it all up. Now I’d suggest putting it in the fridge for an hour or two to let it stew in its juices and get all flavory but I’d never ask you to do something that I wouldn’t do myself. Hell, dig in! If there’s anything left over it’ll taste even better the next morning (if that’s even possible).

I highly recommend doubling this recipe. One batch doesn’t usually see the light of day at the Foxes den…