Friday, May 30, 2008

Curried pea and green onion frittata

When we left my grandma's house after Memorial Day weekend, she spent the last hour steadfastly heaping up a mound of food we absolutely had to take home with us. "It's a long drive," she said, putting enough vegetables in baggies to last us all week.
I understand the motivation; for me, too, food is an expression of love. Still, we could not help but laugh as the pile grew higher and filled one bag, then another, then another. "What kind of cookies would you like, oreos or macademia nut?"

"Grandma, we don't need any cookies. We don't want any cookies!"

"Okay, how about oreos?"

My aunt, meanwhile, offered us not only food, but EVERYTHING. Not just strawberries and brownies and cheesecake, but also science fiction novels, massive blue beanbag chairs, a full-length mirror, a cheese grater, a stack of magazines... any time I complimented something, it seemed her next words were, "Do you like it? Do you want it? I'll buy another!"

I did give in when it came to the magazines and the books... because, books! I can't turn down books. I think it's coded in my genome that I am a sucker for books. And the magazines were, more specifically, issues of Bon Appetit. For the cover pictures alone, I had to take them.

And from the very first one I opened, I found a keeper! Curried Pea Frittata with Fresh Tomato Chutney. Or in our case, without the fresh tomato chutney, as we lacked fresh tomatoes.

The real miracle here is that we had just gotten back from a weekend away, and hadn't had a chance to go shopping, and the recipe happened to call only for ingredients we had. Even the green onions -- a couple of weeks ago there was a huge bunch at the dollar store, in one of those special breathing bags for vegetables. As it hadn't been opened, they were still good, which is both impressive and scary, if you ask me.

So I basically followed the recipe, something I've been doing rarely enough lately, and it turned out pretty excellently. I used a little less curry powder than the recipe called for, since I only had Madras curry powder, which is rather on the hot side. Alas, my adjustments were unnecessary; I could have used the full allotment just fine. Heat and quantity aside, adding the curry powder is a stroke of genius.

And I'm sure the chutney would have been delicious.

Curried Pea Frittata with Fresh Tomato Chutney
, from Bon Appetit, June 2008.

1 12-ounce container grape tomatoes
1 tablespoon packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 small garlic clove, peeled
1 1/8-inch-thick round peeled fresh ginger, chopped

8 large eggs
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons curry powder
1/4 teaspoon (generous) salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 green onions, chopped
1 cup frozen peas, thawed

Preheat broiler. Place tomatoes, brown sugar, cumin, garlic and ginger in processor. Using on/off turns, blend just until tomatoes are coarsely chopped. Transfer chutney to small bowl; reserve processor bowl. Season chutney to taste with salt and pepper.

Beat eggs thoroughly with a whisk. (The original recipe called for a food processor, but definitely not necessary. Add the cheese, curry powder and salt, and whisk until completely blended.

Heat oil in large, broilerproof nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add green onions and peas. Saute until onions wilt, about 1 minute (Or two, maybe three. Just saying.) Add the egg mixture. Cook until top is almost set and the bottom is golden, lifting edges to let uncooked egg flow underneath, about 7 minutes. (Mine took a tad longer.)

Place frittata in broiler until top is set, about 1 minute. Run heatproof rubber spatula around frittata to loosen and slide out onto plate. Serve warm or at room temperature with tomato chutney.

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