Happy Birthday to Me

Red Pepper and Baked Egg FrittataToday is my birthday and my DH got me two cookbooks per my request, both winners of James Beard Foundation Awards: ┬áPaula Wolfert’s “The Food of Morocco” and Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi’s “Jerusalem: A Cookbook.” Right away I dove in, relishing the gorgeous photos, vivid word pictures of the cuisine and culture, and of course the recipes.

It was breakfast time, and the cover photo of the Jerusalem volume was calling to me: Red Pepper and Baked Egg Galettes. A quick ingredient check told me I would have to change things up a bit because I didn’t have any puff pastry. Fortunately, substitutions don’t bother me a bit, and just get my creative juices going.

So, how about bread as a base for this galette instead of puff pastry? Sure! In a cast iron skillet with some butter, it’ll be like a hole in one but soooo much better! I love the Trader Joe’s whole wheat bread we’ve been getting . . . uh-oh. Haven’t been shopping lately and we’re out of bread.

No problem! It will be a frittata, no bread required and those red potatoes that have been languishing in the pantry will serve as the perfect side once I make them into crispy home fries.

And so a breakfast was born and I was in my happy place. My thanks to the amazing chefs who wrote these beautiful cookbooks, and of course thanks to my DH, who always indulges me in my passion for cooking. I see many creative and delicious cooking adventures in our future!

Red Pepper and Baked Egg Frittata (serves 2)
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 red bell pepper, cut into strips
1/2 small onion, cut into slender wedges
1/4 tsp. dried thyme
1/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
Salt and pepper to taste
2 large eggs
1/2 Tbsp. flat parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp. crumbled feta (optional)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In small cast iron skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add next five ingredients plus salt and pepper to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and browned with somewhat crispy edges (about 10 minutes). Push vegetables to edges of skillet, add a little oil or pan spray if needed, and crack eggs into the center of the pan. Reduce heat to low and cook gently until partially set, about 5 to 6 minutes. To finish cooking, place skillet in oven and bake for an additional 5 minutes or until eggs have reached desired doneness. Remove from oven, add additional salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle with parsley and (if desired) feta cheese, and serve.