Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Baked Frittata with Green Peppers and Yogurt

I saw this recipe while I was perusing the New York Times. Yes, I know, NYT recipes never work out for me but this one was irresistible. It was described as “…an Iranian-style omelet.” I saw “Iranian” and had to try it. I’ve never eaten Iranian food. I also had no idea what a frittata was.

I took one look at the price of saffron in my local grocery store and decided that it wasn’t really necessary. Probably only used for coloration. Although I would have preferred chives (and I think they would have added more flavor),I bought scallions because there were no chives available. I bought two medium green peppers, as directed, and ended up with so much diced green pepper that I found myself wondering why the option of using large ones was even offered.

Heating a casserole dish before using it was definitely novel. I don’t know what I did differently, but this recipe came out perfectly. I was disappointed with the taste, or rather the lack of taste. The yogurt gave it an interesting texture and a slightly different flavor. But on the whole, this dish is rather bland. Very disappointing.

Verdict: Not bad, but I won’t be making this again.

Baked Frittata with Green Peppers and Yogurt

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium to large green bell peppers, seeded and diced
2 garlic cloves, pureed in a mortar with a pinch of salt
Salt to taste
6 large or extra-large eggs
¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
⅛ teaspoon powdered saffron, or a pinch of saffron threads dissolved or soaked in 1 tablespoon hot water
1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
¾ cup drained yogurt
½ cup chopped fresh chives or finely chopped scallion

Preheat the oven to 350°F. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy skillet and add the peppers. Cook, stirring often, until tender, about eight minutes. Add the garlic and salt to taste, and cook, stirring until the garlic is fragrant, 30 seconds to a minute. Remove from the heat.

Place the remaining tablespoon of oil in a 2-quart casserole or a 9-inch cast iron skillet, brush the sides of the pan with the oil and place it in the oven. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl and season with salt. Add the pepper, saffron water, flour and yogurt, and whisk together. Stir in the cooked peppers and the chives or scallions.

Remove the hot baking dish from the oven, brush the sides with the hot oil and pour in the egg mixture, scraping every last bit into the an with a spatula. Bake 30 to 35 minutes until puffed and lightly colored on the top. Remove from the heat, and allow to sellte for 10 miutes before serving. Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

Serves six to eight.

You can make this dish several hours before serving.

Recycle: olive oil bottle, yogurt container

Compost: pepper seeds and membranes, garlic skins, egg shells

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