In my opinion, cooking and kitchens are meant to be messy. They’re meant to be wrecked, cleaned, and torn apart again. It seems to be the one place and the one activity in life in which chaos is not only permissible but ideal for creating masterpieces. That’s just my opinion, however. I know with much certainity that my husband, the professional chef will read those sentences and begin mumbling, quietly at first, “Owww. Owww.” I will ask with compassion what the source of the ailment seems to be. He will continue to persist with his “ow” and “ouch” moans, growing ever louder while he reads. This, is how he communicates to me that my “active” thought patterns are causing him a headache. Which is precisely why tonight I was entirely grateful that his kitchen schedule keeps him away from home in the evenings.
The recipe is simple: spicy chicken avocado enchiladas. But I didn’t start it until just after 8:00, and all my chicken was frozen solid. I employed a common defrosting trick, submerging the Ziploc bag in warm running water for several minutes. While it was soaking, I filled my favorite turquoise Le Creuset dutch oven and set it to boil, so I could quickly cook the once frozen poultry. I was struggling, however, to separate my chicken breasts from their frozen mass, and, immediate as I am, I decided the best solution would be to just go ahead and dump the entire conglomeration of fleshy bird bosom into the near boiling water.
Spacial relations has never been quiiiite my forte, and, per usual, neither has a light or gentle touch. So, my means of carefully placing the kickball sized breast mass in the water, I just sort of… dropped it. Violently. And, as I watched the water gush out of the confines of the pot and flood the gas range, effectively dousing and putting out the flames, I just… well, I just sort of stood there muttering “shit,” several times in succession. And then, I decided that I needed to clean it up with paper towels. So, shortly after that, I ran my burned palms from that experiment under some water, turned the still-running eye off, turned on a Netflix documentary and pretended it didn’t happen. Then I tried again. And now it’s boiling nicely with chicken snugly fit under the water.
Good thing I have the frittata thing under better control. Frittatas serve to support my thesis in this post’s opening paragraph. The less organized or planned you are about the egg-y dish, the better the result. I’m convinced that you can enrobe literally anything in beaten egg, position them warmly in cast iron, and magic will ensue, which is why this is the second frittata I’ve posted in the past month. But, long hair don’t care.
Cremini Mushroom + Bacon Frittata
8 eggs, beaten
3 T. plain yogurt or Greek yogurt
12 cremini mushrooms, sliced
5 cherry tomatoes, sliced
1/2 slab of bacon, diced
2 links chicken sausage, flavor of choice, I used Trader Joe’s apple and chardonnay
1 c. swiss-gruyere or shredded havarti
Cracked black pepper
Preheat oven to 375. Place splash on olive oil in cast iron pan, and place cast iron pan in oven while it preheats. Beat eggs in large bowl and stir in yogurt (or cream). A small saute pan, heat olive oil, add cremini mushrooms and season with Creole, sea salt and pepper. Saute until rich golden brown and set aside on a plate. In the same pan, add bacon pieces and chicken sausage (if using). Brown several minutes. Allow to cool 3-4 minutes, then stir meat, mushrooms, cheese and tomato slices into egg and yogurt mixture. Remove cast iron from oven, pour egg mixture into pan, top generously with sea salt and pepper. Bake 30 minutes at 375-degrees. Top with salsa, if desired.