Breakfast for Dinner: Bacon & Potato Frittata ….

There is something deliciously naughty about having breakfast for dinner.  It’s like wearing your PJs all day or when you opt for a “liquid lunch”.  Frittatas have long been a staple of my weekend entertaining thanks to their ability to be made in advance, eaten at room temperature and the almost limitless combinations of ingredients.  Plus, it’s a one pot meal if you have an oven-proof skillet and I don’t think there is anything prettier than a cast iron skillet fresh from the broiler with a perfectly golden and puffy frittata placed on a table.

Okay, my mouth is watering ……….

Bacon & Potato Frittata

Frittata

Ingredients

  • 6 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup Parmesan, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon butter
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup cubed potatoes (Yukon Gold)
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 4 stripes of chopped country bacon (ham can be substituted)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped chives

Directions

  • Preheat oven to broil setting.
  • Place bacon on baking sheet and broil until crisp. Remove and place on paper towels to drain.
  • In medium size bowl, using a fork, blend together eggs, Parmesan, pepper, and salt. Set aside.
  • Heat 12-inch, oven safe sauté pan over medium high heat. Add butter & olive oil to pan and melt. Add potatoes and onions to pan and sauté until onions are translucent and potatoes are fork tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Cut or crumble bacon and add to pan.
  • Pour egg mixture into pan and stir with rubber spatula. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes or until the egg mixture has set on the bottom and begins to set up on top.
  • Place pan into oven and broil for 3 to 4 minutes, until lightly browned and fluffy. Remove from heat and let sit for 3-5 minutes to allow eggs to set.
  • Sprinkle with chives and cut into 6 servings. Serve immediately.

Now if you will excuse me, I need to wipe the drool from my chin and figure out if I can justify popcorn and ice cream as an adult substitute for dinner.

For other recipes, you can see all my random kitchen musings here……

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Gettin’ Your Brunch On……

Y’all know I love me some brunch right?  (And evidently hate proper English by the looks of that last sentence)  Well I am guest blogging over at Centsational Girl today on this very topic……

Check out my tips and ideas on how you can throw an easy, chic and enjoyable brunch without breaking your back or the bank!

And check back later today to see how I created a planter out of a tree stump!

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Recap: Bright & Light New Year’s Day Brunch Table Setting

During the winter months, I crave brightness.  Some people call it seasonal affective disorder or some other fancy name, but I just know that by the end of December, I want bright, light and cheery.  This need has manifested itself in different ways throughout my life ranging from an inherit need to dress in bright patterns during the winter months to turning on every light in the house come dusk.  Fortunately for my electric bill, this year manifested in a need to create a bold and lively table setting for our anticipated New Year’s Day brunch.

Since most of our friends are parents of infants, a night of partying isn’t in the cards anymore. Instead, this year we have opted for a low-key New Year’s Day brunch.  The gathering is low-key, informal social gathering where we all wear jeans, the wee ones are fed and placed to play on the shag rug and the occasional tiny dog or two a sneaked a treat of breakfast sausage under the table.  The brunch is my idealized concept of effortless perfection and  I wanted the table to reflect this mellow vibe.   Think mellow but still fun as it’s still a party (even if sparkling cider is subbed for champagne for some members of the group).  After all, it is the first “official” social gathering of our friends, so we have to set the tone for the remainder of the year!

To achieve this feeling, I opted to go with a  non-traditional color palette – colors you would not typically find on a holiday table.  Don’t get me wrong – I am a dude who loves all things shiny and silver.  But when I tried it out a color scheme like that, it felt too stuffy for a brunch.  So I opted for a palette that was zippy and straight out of a Technicolor dream: turquoise, purple and orange.  This color scheme allowed me to do two things: (1) fulfill my innate  need for punchy colors and (2) mix pieces from my collection that don’t necessarily “match”.

What I ended up with was a super-saturated table setting that let me run a bit wild.  It’s fun,  bright and I think I may have my first table setting “crush”…….

Here is a breakdown of the items used:

Tablecloth: 90in round cotton Crate & Barrel
Napkins: Pier One
Dishes: Plate and salad plate are from Anthropologie
Champagne Flutes: Clearance pieces from Ross Dress For Less
Juice Glasses: Pressed antique glass
Silverware: A combination of antique mother of pearl pieces & every day stainless steel flatware
Flower vases: Ikea drinking glasses
Centerpiece: Dollar Store, found branches and holiday ornaments & keepsakes
Mercury Candle Holders: Michael’s Craft
Tea lights: Ikea

Tomorrow, I will highlight the “big sister” version of this table setting……

PS: You can get a sneak peek of the Big Sister version if you visit the lovely ladies over at Living Livelier!

Brunch is the Most Important Meal of the Day

There are certain traditions that should not be messed with like how one sings the national anthem or addresses the POTUS.  This is also how I feel about brunch.  Sunday brunch is like an institution that should be respected and revered for all its deliciousness.  Breakfast I normally skip.  Lunch tends to be something on the go.  Dinner, well in today’s day and age, it is a meal that many of my friends (and I too on occasion) eat while standing over the kitchen sink.  Brunch is a meal that is not rushed.  It is normally thoughtfully planned and executed.  And most importantly, it is a meal that is meant to be shared.  While I am positive it happens, I have yet to hear of a person who makes “brunch for one”.  

When I moved into the new house, one of the first parties I had was brunch for my friends.  I find the pace of brunch to be a leisurely and calm.  Just a gathering of friends enjoying good food and company.  That is what happened this past Sunday when I had two former co-workers, now friends, over for a SIX hour brunch.  Yes.  Six hours.  Who knows what happens during that magical time between mimosa #2 and mimosa #??? but we caught up, laughed way too much and learned a little more about each other. 

This was somewhere after Mimosa #2 .....

 

As I mentioned, I am a traditionalist at heart when it comes to brunch, but traditional should not mean boring.  The menu on Sunday was a bacon, cheddar and broccolini frittata, waffles with blueberries and whipped cream, mixed berry salad with mint and Grand Marnier and a green salad with pickled red onions, roasted yellow peppers &  mozzarella dressed with a lemon vin.  However, each of the dishes had a little something to them to bring out their “wow” potential from lemon zest and rosemary in the waffles, the artisanal bacon in the frittata, the homemade roasted peppers and pickled onions in the salad and the booze in the fruit salad.  You can make the ordinary extraordinary with a few key ingredients.  

To prove my point, here is the recipe for the frittata.  Hope you enjoy: 

Bacon, Cheddar and Broccolini Frittata
Serves: 4-6
Total Time:  45 minutes
 

Ingredients
4 tablespoons olive oil
1 (7-ounce) potato, peeled, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1/2 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
7 large eggs
1/4 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated Cheddar cheese
3 ounces (3-4 slices) thick cut bacon, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil leaves
1 1/2 cup blanched broccolini
 

Directions
Bring a large pot of slated water to a boil.  While the water is coming a boil, cut the broccolini on the diagonal reserving the tips.  When the water is at a boil, add the stems only and blanche for 3 minutes until crisp tender. Once cooked, remove stems and place in a cold water bath to stop cooking. 

Heat a heavy cast iron skillet or similar (9 1/2-inch-diameter) over medium heat. Place bacon into skillet and cook about 5-7 minutes until fat has rendered and bacon pieces have nicely browned.  Remove bacon and place on paper towels.  Add the additional olive oil, potato, onion, and garlic to the skillet. Season the potato mixture with salt and pepper, to taste. Saute over medium-low heat until the potato is golden and crisp on the outside, tender inside, about 7 minutes. Add the broccolini including the tips for 2-3 minutes.

Preheat the broiler. Whisk the eggs, cream, cheddar, and basil in a medium bowl to blend. Stir the egg mixture into the potato mixture in the skillet. Add back the cooked bacon and stir.  Cook over medium-low heat until the egg mixture is almost set but the top is still loose, about 3 minutes. Place the skillet under the broiler. Broil until the top is set and golden brown, about 3-4 minutes.

Remove skillet from broiler and allow frittata to cool for 5 minutes.  Frittata can be served directly from pan or can be loosened and placed on a plate.

Note:  If the skillet you are using has a plastic handle, wrap handle with several layers of aluminum foil to protect while under broiler.