Saturday, June 30, 2012

Anaheim Chile Frittata with Sweet Potato Fries

Ben has done some very successful gardening this year!  He experimented with container grown pepper plants and his latest "harvest" included some wonderful Anaheim peppers.  They are similar to the "Hatch" chiles from New Mexico, but a bit smaller.  I like to use them because they have great pepper flavor, but aren't as hot as some varieties. 
Sweet potato fries are fun to make and since they are sweet potatoes AND you cook them in the oven, you can feel very virtuous eating them! 
Frittatas are one of those quick, easy, substitute-whatever-you-have type dishes.  I prefer cooking them to omelets because it's easier to get them done evenly without some places drying out while others are still runny.  If you don't want to roast and peel fresh chiles, you can substitute canned ones.  If you do roast your own though, your house will smell like a fall day in Santa Fe where green chiles are being roasted outside all over town.  That's a welcome image amidst a San Antonio summer!

Anaheim Chile Frittata
4 Anaheim chiles (each about 5" long)
1 medium onion, sliced thinly
5 large eggs, beaten with about 1/4 tsp. salt
1/3 cup grated Cheddar cheese
olive oil
To roast the chiles:  Wash them and place on a piece of aluminium foil on a cookie sheet.  Place under the broiler, set on "HI", at the level closest to the heat.  Keep the oven door adjar and roast them until they are blistered and blackened all over, turning as necessary.  Take the cookie sheet out of the broiler and fold the foil carefully over the chiles to seal them in.  Allow them to steam this way for 10 minutes.  Open the foil and let them cool down.  The skin will peel off easily and you can slit them open to remove the stem, seeds, and membranes.  The seeds are the hottest part so keep some of them if you like things really spicy!  I rinse mine under running water to remove all the seeds.  Some chefs think this is blasphemy, but I've seen other chefs do it, so I think it's no big deal!
Dice the chiles into about 1/4" pieces and set aside.
In a small, nonstick frying pan (about 7 inches across), pour about 2 Tbl. olive oil around the pan.  Saute the onions slowly over medium-low heat until they are golden and soft.  You don't have to stand over them if your heat is low enough.  Just go away and stir them now and then.  Add the chiles and about 1/4 tsp. salt. Stir to mix.  Set the heat to low.
Add the beaten eggs.  Let the mixture just sit for about 1/2 minute, then use a fork or spoon to lift the cooked edges of the frittata and let the uncooked egg run into it's place.  Cover the mixture with the cheese.  Put a lid on the pan (I just put a plate over it) and leave the whole thing alone again for about 2 minutes.  Put the pan under the broiler and watch carefully.  You'll see it puff up a little, brown in places, and it will seem set and not runny anywhere.  Remove the frittata from the broiler.  Run a spatula around the edge and remove to a plate to serve, cut in wedges.  Serves 2 generously. 
Note:  You can also cut the frittata into small squares, put a toothpick into each one and serve as a "tapa" like the Spanish potato and egg tortilla.  Served this way, for some reason, it seems very wonderful and extraordinary with a glass of wine!
Sweet Potato Fries
2 small sweet potatoes, washed well (I don't peel them, but you can if you want)
olive oil
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. granulated garlic
1 tsp. ground pasilla pepper (or mild chile powder)
Line a sheet pan with parchment paper.  Preheat the oven to 425F. Mix the salt, garlic, and pasilla pepper in a small bowl.
Cut the sweet potatoes into whatever shape you want, circles, wedges, or fries. Don't make them too thick though (not much thicker than 1/3" anywhere) or they won't crisp very well. Put the sweet potatoes into a pile in the middle of the sheet pan. Drizzle with olive oil, then sprinkle with the seasoning and toss them around with your hands to coat everything well. Spread them out into a single layer. Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until crisp and cooked through.



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