Zucchini and Feta Frittata

1/2 small white or yellow onion, finely diced
1 small zucchini, chopped into matchsticks
4-5 cremini mushrooms, stems removed, finely sliced
3 tablespoons butter
10 eggs
1/3 cup cream
salt and black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup crumbled feta

1. Preheat the oven to 400°.

2. In a large non-stick skillet (I use cast iron), melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and sauté for a couple of minutes until translucent. Add zucchini and mushrooms and continue to sauté, stirring frequently, until done (about five minutes).

2. Meanwhile, in a medium mixing bowl, crack all eggs. Add salt and pepper, and whisk lightly. Drizzle in cream, continue to whisk for about 30 seconds.

3. Pour beaten eggs into pan over vegetables and cook until they just start to set (about 8-10 minutes). Add feta, distributing it evenly across the pan.

4. Remove from heat and turn of burner. Bake entire pan in the preheated oven for about five minutes, or until the frittata is golden brown and firm.

5. Remove from oven and allow to cool for a couple of minutes, then slice and serve. Garnish with additional feta, hot sauce, or sundried tomatoes.

Serves 4. Can be refrigerated for eating later, either cold or reheated.

Pizza Eric

This recipe was inspired by the Pizza Sagra at—you guessed it—Sagra Trattoria and Bar. Now that Eric has mastered the fine art of a crispy thin crust pizza, we decided to try one at home, complete with our not-so-secret favorite ingredient: eggs!

The first time I ever encountered the eggs-on-a-pizza thing was at Pizza Express, a chain in the UK. Their Fiorentina pizza with spinach, grana padano, garlic oil, black olives, and a cracked egg blew my mind. This is how unsophisticated my palate was! So, you see, I’ve actually come a long way! (Besides, I never said I was a role model.) And now I’ve convinced Eric that eggs are the ultimate pizza-perfecting ingredient.

At a loss as to what to name this one, and considering that it includes some of his other favorite inclusions (like fresh kale and homegrown herbs), I’ve decided to christen it simply “Pizza Eric.”

First, make Eric’s Easy Pizza Dough.

Pizza Eric
Dough (as prepared ahead, above)
6 oz. tomato paste (small can)
1 tsp fresh chopped oregano
two eggs
fresh mozzarella, too taste*
1 cup shredded kale
1/3 cup chopped basil
1/4 cup finely grated parmesan
2 Tbsp olive oil, halved***
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 300°. Meanwhile, drizzle one half of the olive oil on the pizza stone and spread with your fingertips.

2. Next, take the ball of pre-made dough in your hands, and spread it out on the stone so that it covers the whole thing thinly and evenly, curling up at the edges. You can make the crust as thin or as thick as you like, but for this recipe (and according to my personal taste), you will want to spread it comparatively thin.

3. Once dough is evenly spread on the stone, bake it in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes.

4. Remove the stone from the oven and turn up the heat to 425°. Meanwhile, spread the remaining olive oil evenly over the dough using a spoon. Next, spread tomato sauce. Crack the two eggs over the pizza, and add oregano, salt, and pepper as desired. Bake for 10-15 minutes.

7. Remove the stone from the oven; add mozzarella, basil, and kale, and return entire to oven. Bake at 425° until the crust is brown and crispy around the edges and the center looks firm.

9. Carefully remove the pizza from the oven, sprinkle the parmesan over it, and let it cool for a few minutes. Cut with a pizza cutter or wheel, then serve immediately.

You won’t have any leftovers.

*Enough to cover the pizza, as desired. Here, we used a couple of mozzarella balls, sliced and spread out over the pizza. You could grate it if you prefer.

Eric’s Easy Pizza Dough

3 cups bread or all-purpose flour
1 cup of lukewarm water
1 Tbsp of salt
Drizzle of olive oil
1 packet of instant yeast (~1 tsp)

1. Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Cover, and let it sit as long as you want (the longer it sits, the more sourdough flavor it will have).

2. About an hour before baking, remove the dough from the bowl and place in a foil “tent” (get a couple of large pieces of foil and wrap your dough up in them, with enough extra space for the dough to rise further – they tent does not need to be completely sealed).

3. Before preparing pizza base, flour your hands and work surface to avoid sticking. Fold the dough over a couple of times with your hands, and then make a medium-sized dough ball – this will become your pizza crust. The size of the dough ball will depend upon the size of the pizza you plan to make and the diameter of your pizza stone, so results here will vary.

Conchigliette with Ground Lamb and Summer Squash

2 large summer squash, diced
2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 lb. ground lamb
1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 tomato, chopped
2 cups chicken broth
1/2 lb. conchigliette pasta (baby shells)
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
grated parmesan, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400°F. In a baking tin, mix squash, half the olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from oven, turn off heat, and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, heat remaining olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. Add ground lamb and onions; sauté until the meat browns and onions soften, about 10 minutes. Add garlic, cumin, cinnamon, and chili powder; stir and cook for an additional minute or so. Stir in tomatoes, deglaze the pan with chicken broth, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer until mixture thickens, 5-10 minutes. Add squash to skillet, stir, and taste. Season with additional salt and pepper if desired.

3. While lamb is simmering, cook the pasta. Bring about four cups of water to a boil in large stock pot. Add pasta and cook for approximately 8 minutes, until al dente. Drain and sppon pasta onto serving plates.

4. Add lamb mixture, cheese, and mint, and serve immediately.

Serves 2-4, depending on how hungry you are! We made double this amount and had four nice-sized bowls of leftovers to freeze for later!

Another happy hour at Sagra

If you haven’t checked out the Sagra happy hour yet, do it today!  I’m partial because it’s a block from my house (at 17th and San Antonio), but it’s also worth a walk, ride, or drive—and there’s ample parking, either in their back lot or on San Antonio Street.

Happy hour is from 4:00-7:00, Monday through Friday, and features half price pizzas and two dollars off all wine, beer, and specialty cocktails (and, boy do they have some great cocktails).

Last night, we split the Pizza Calabrese Vesuvio (a folded pizza with spicy salami, mozzarella, capers, olives, pepceroncini, tomato sauce, and a dusting of parmesan—a ridiculous $6.00 during happy hour!) and had three beers for a grand total, with tip, of $15.00!  You can’t beat that.  And look at this pizza!