Spinach, Artichoke, and Goat Cheese Frittata

final

If you’re like me, whenever you pass by the monster size organic spinach container at Sam’s club your insides scream “THAT IS SO GOOD FOR ME, BUY IT BUY IT BUY IT” and then your mind kicks in and says “You don’t need that much BUT IT’S 4.98!! YOU CAN’T BUY EVEN CLOSE TO THAT AMOUNT AT THE GROCERY STORE FOR THAT PRICE!”, you end up with a large excess of spinach and you have to find new ways to use it for every meal.

Spinach

After having Amish-made pecan, cinnamon rolls for breakfast every day this week, I needed something a little healthier.  Of course, I had my excess of spinach to use.  I also had some leftover french bread (also a Sam’s club buy that is 2 loaves for under the price of 1 loaf anywhere else), frozen artichokes (tastier than canned), eggs and my all time favorite, goat cheese.

artichoke

I wasn’t planning on blogging about this because it was just a thrown together breakfast but it was sooo delicious that I had to share.

I started with a small baking dish. I cubed the left over bread and covered the bottom of the dish.  In a small bowl, I mixed together 3 eggs with about 3/4 cup of milk and some salt. I poured the egg mixture over the bread and let it all soak in. I dotted the top with goat cheese- maybe 1/4 of the small log. In a skillet, I melted 2 tbs (ok 3 tbs) and mixed in a half a pack of frozen artichokes and 3 big handfuls of spinach. Once wilted, I placed it in the baking dish on top of the other ingredients.  Bake at 375 for about 45 minutes or until it’s set in the middle and you have a wonderful breakfast!!!  It also keeps nicely in the refrigerator so you have breakfast for tomorrow too!

Notes:

  • I’m not sure if this is really a frittata because I’m not really sure what that means
  • I like this because it has eggs in it without being eggy.  The bread works wonders

Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese Croutons

Ina (as in Ina Garten- the creator of the most wonderfully, foolproof recipes. ever.) is realeasing a new cookbook at the end of the month which I have been actively counting down the days until I get to carefully page through it, read every word, and cook every recipe. This recipe was pre-released and I couldn’t help but give it a go.  The cookbook is called “Foolproof: Recipes you can trust” and this one rang true.  It’s a light, easy dinner that warmed my insides and tasted delicious.

I’ve found the secret to any tomato based dish:

San Marzano Tomatoes.

This isn’t a brand. It’s a TYPE of tomato.  They look as pictured on the can- long and thin.  The flesh of these tomatoes is much thicker with fewer seeds, and the taste is stronger, more sweet and less acidic.

The less acidic part is particularly important because no one wants an acidic sauce.

So this recipe calls for crushed tomatoes but whole foods only had san marzano tomatoes in whole form (imagine that- whole tomatoes at whole foods). No problem- I whipped out my handy dandy food processor.

I heated some olive oil in a dutch oven (taylor only knows this term to have one meaning- we won’t discuss it here) and threw in 3 cups of chopped onions.  I simmered them on low-medium heat until they were brown and soft.  You want to give them a full 20 minutes or they will be too crunchy. At minute 19, throw in 3 cloves of chopped garlic.  At minute 20, put in the tomatoes, 4 cups of chicken broth, 1 tbs of salt (it sounds like a lot but it’s needed), 1 tsp pepper, and a large pinch of saffron.  I’m not sure how much the saffron added. It’s a pretty expensive spice so if it’s not on sale or you don’t have it on hand, don’t worry about it.

Now let this simmer for 15 minutes.  During this time, cook the orzo.  Boil it for 5 minutes in salted water.  It will finish cooking in the soup. Drain it and throw it into the soup.

Here’s where you pour in 1/2 cup of cream.  I forgot about this and didn’t realize it until I wrote this post.  I’m sure it would have made it a lot richer but it was still very good without it.

While the soup was simmering on low, I got the grilled cheese croutons ready. I sliced some french bread in 1/2 inch slices and buttered them (all the way to edges) and toped the non-buttered side with little pieces of gruyere cheese.

Ina used a panini press but I don’t own one (hint: christmas gift). If you are without one as well, heat a pan on medium- not any higher. You want them nice and brown, not black. Place them in the pan and let them brown.

Cut them into halves or fourths.  You can either place them in the soup or serve them along side.

I put on Frank Sinatra pandora, poured myself a glass of red, french wine and flipped through every page of the mega thanksgiving issue of the food network magazine. I highly recommend it.

Here’s the full recipe: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ina-garten/easy-tomato-soup-grilled-cheese-croutons-recipe/index.html