Monday, January 17, 2011

Day 7: Broccoli with Roasted Peppers, Capers, and Olives

It's day five of my 50 recipes in 50 days challenge, and I'm not enjoying this experiment as much as I thought I would.  I guess I'm not crazy about all the meal planning.  Usually I just cook what sounds good to me at the time, and what's in the fridge.  Speaking of what's in the fridge -- I'm facing a bit of a dilemma.  The ingredients leftover from some of the last five recipes are starting to pile up.  Luckily, not all of the 50 in 50 recipes I chose are main dishes, so tonight's dinner will feature a side dish from The Greens Cook Book, and a frittata so I can use up some of the leftovers.

Bacon and Green Pepper Frittata, and Broccoli with Roasted Peppers, Capers, and Olives is what's on the menu tonight.   The cookbook suggested this salad accompany creamy-textured foods, such as tarts and timbales.  The frittata may not be as creamy but it's a nice egg dish, and is a great dish to use up leftovers.  I've been using an uncured thick cut bacon, and it's delicious.  Unfortunately I can't remember the name, but you can get it at Fred Meyers.  It doesn't render a lot of fat, so I actually had to add some olive oil to the skillet.

And now for the substitution portion for tonight's blog:  I couldn't find any Nicoise or Gaeta olives, so I substituted with Kalamata.  Since they're so big, I only used five coarsely chopped olives.  Also, I didn't have any fresh marjoram, or yellow bell peppers, so I just left them out.

Broccoli with Roasted Peppers, Capers, and Olives
The Greens Cook Book
Yield:  Serves four to six

1 red and 1 yellow bell pepper
Light olive oil for the peppers
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
4 tbsp virgin olive oil
1 tbsp small capers
12 Nicoise or Gaeta olives, pits removed
3 scallions, white parts with some green finely sliced
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 tsp marjoram, chopped
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
Balsamic vinegar to taste
Salt and pepper
1 bunch broccoli (about 1 1/2 to 2 pounds)

Preheat oven to 400

     Halve the peppers lengthwise, remove the veins and seeds, and brush both sides with the light olive oil.  Set them on a baking tray skin side up and bake them until the skins are wrinkled and lightly colored.  When cool enough to handle, scrape off the skins.  Slice the peppers into strips 1/4 to 1/2 inch wide, and mix them with the garlic, virgin olive oil, capers, olives, scallions, parsley, marjoram, red pepper flakes, and the balsamic vinegar to taste.  Season with salt.
     Bring 3 quarts of water to a boil.  While it is heating, divide the broccoli into florets of equal size.  Trim the stalks by cutting off the tough, dried ends and removing the thick fibrous skins with a paring knife.  Slice the stalks diagonally into pieces about 1/4 inch wide.  When the water is boiling, add a tablespoon of salt, and cook the broccoli in two or three separate batches for about 30 seconds.  Scoop out each batch and set in a colander or on a tea towel to drain.
     Combine the broccoli with the rest of the ingredients and toss them together.  Taste for salt, add more oil or vinegar, if needed, and a grinding of black pepper.  If you don't plan to serve the salad right away, wait to add the final vinegar until just before serving to prevent the colors from fading.

Variations:  Use lemon juice and finely slivered lemon peel instead of vinegar.  Sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced into strips, may also be added to this salad.

Bacon, Green Pepper, and Onion Frittata
From Ann's Brain
Yield:  Serves four

2 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1/4 green pepper, diced
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
6 large eggs
1/2 cup grated Parmesan, divided
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to broil

     In a non-stick skillet cook bacon until almost crisp over medium heat.  Remove bacon and drain on paper towel lined plate.  Drain all but 1 tbsp of bacon grease, and add onion, sauteing until soft and translucent.  Add green pepper and continue cooking until vegetables are soft.  Return bacon to the skillet.
     Beat the eggs in a bowl, and whisk.  Add 1/4 cup Parmesan, salt, pepper, and stir.
     Add the egg mixture to skillet, carefully stirring to distribute the bacon and veggies in the eggs.  Cover, reduce heat to low, and cook eggs until almost set, about 10 - 15 minutes.
     Sprinkle top with remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan, and put skillet under broiler for approximately 2 - 3 minutes, until eggs are set, and cheese has browned.
     Flip frittata onto plate, cut into eight slices, and serve immediately.

Tomorrow night:  Filet Mignon Stew!

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