(My apologies if there is a delay in answering questions or comments this week, since I will be in California sans a computer. But, don't fret -- I haven't forgotten about you! I've planned some posts ahead to keep you entertained until I return... freckled and at least five pounds heavier. Enjoy!)
Did the words iron and maiden really just appear in the same sentence/title? Yep, yep they did, but this post is certainly not about an English heavy metal band from the 1970s. Nope, it's about the very first use for my early birthday gift (thank you, again!) -- the cast iron skillet!
In fact, it's so heavy that the next bigger size (12") no longer qualified for free shipping on Amazon. Whew, just under the wire. (Also, I wouldn't advise kicking the box into your apartment... not a great idea.) Anyway, back to the skillet's advantages. I guess I've been singing its praises for a while now because, when I told Matt I was using a gift card to finally purchase one, his response was, "Finally. I was about to just go out and buy one." Apparently I mentioned it on a weekly basis. Obsessed much?
My first order of business was to read the little care card attached to the skillet. (Somewhere, my engineer of a dad is cringing at the thought of reading any type of instruction manual.) Never ever ever ever EVER under any circumstances use soap or detergent on one of these. Hot water and scrubbing salt is recommended for cleaning visible grime off of the skillet. Immediately dry and lightly coat with nonstick spray or a little vegetable oil and store, covered, until its next use. Yes, sir.
What to make, what to make. A frittata has been at the top of my list for a while. Think quiche without a crust, but started on the stovetop and moved to the oven for finishing. Feel free to personalize this to accommodate your tastes and supplies. Broccoli would be a great addition, and cheddar or parmesan cheese are items I'm going to try next. The tangy goat cheese, slightly crunchy squash and spinach, and the sweet potato make for an amazing combination. We enjoyed the dish for dinner but I'd wager it'd be just as successful for a breakfast or lunch. Oh, and dare I even mention the h-word (healthy)... but it's so super packed with protein, vitamins, and you know, overflowing in the flavor department, too.
Summer Vegetable Frittata
(adapted from Iowa Girl Eats)
3 whole eggs + 3 egg whites
Ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon vegetable oil
1 small sweet potato, cubed and steamed
1 cup chopped yellow summer squash
2 cups baby spinach
1/4 cup water
3 ounces of goat cheese
(Note: I just chopped up my sweet potato and microwaved it for two minutes in a small bowl with a little water.)
Preheat oven to 450F (or, if you have a broiler big enough to fit a pan, heat that). In a small bowl, whisk eggs and whites together with salt and pepper. Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet (or oven-safe pan... that means no plastic handles!) over medium high heat. Add the sweet potato and a sprinkling of salt and pepper and cook until just beginning to brown around the edges.
Add the squash, broccoli, and water into the skillet and cover, allowing to steam for roughly 2 minutes, until the squash has softened a bit (but not completely, you want a little crunch still) and the spinach has wilted to about a quarter of its initial volume. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and spread it out evenly. Run a heat-safe spatula around the edges of the pan every minute or so to ensure the eggs don't stick.
When the bottom has set but the top is still slightly runny, add the goat cheese by dotting it all over the top, and place in oven (or under your broiler) for 3 to 4 minutes or until top is cooked and cheese has melted. Remove from oven to cool on wire rack. Cut radially like a pizza and serve. Enjoy!