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Oaxacan Frittata

Oaxacan-Frittata_Yes,-more-please!

Frittatas are the best way to transform simple ingredients into a magnificent meal. It’s the goodness of pie without the crust. With their lightly crusty edges, creamy soft centers, easy comfort, and the fact that almost every ingredient can play and sing along embedded in custardy creamy eggs, frittatas are the perfect Summer companion, and this Oaxacan Frittata is the one you want this summer by your side.

This Frittata is all about the Oaxacan Jewel tomatoes I grew in my little garden. I love how the combination of custardy eggs and “Quesillo” a.k.a Oaxaca Cheese, compliment the flavor of the tomatoes with out masking them. Even when cooked, the tomatoes hold their fresh and juicy flavor. The melted strings of Oaxacan cheese along with fresh herbs and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt make this Frittata the object of my Summer affection.

A Frittata for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner, under-dressed, over-dressed, with a glass of Texas Rose’ wine or a glass of milk, crusty artisanal bread or a simple green salad, warm or cold, one gorgeous ingredient or with leftovers from your vegetable basket, a Frittata is a bare necessity,  a recipe you should always have under your sleeve.

Enjoy the Summer!

Oaxacan-Frittata-Ingredients

Oaxacan-Frittata-Stringy-Cheese--quesillo-Queso-Oaxaca

Oaxacan Frittata

A few tricks and bits, like using a cast iron skillet is a must, it makes for an evenly cooked frittata along with a good drizzle of oil in combination with butter to crisp up the frittata’s bottom and edges.
When frittatas are cooked slow and at low temperature in the oven or on the stove top it produces the most magical situation; a crusty bottom and edges while keeping the top and center creamy. Always cover with a lid if you want to avoid the flipping. If you like a crusty top, sprinkle some dry cheese like parmesan or manchego, or a combination of one of these cheeses and a few panko bread crumbs on top of the frittata right at the end of the cooking time. Place the frittata under the broiler or salamander for a quick 1-2 minutes until slightly golden brown, and you’ll have the so desirable crusty top.

Serves 4 hungry gardeners

1-1/2 lb Heirloom tomatoes I used a combination of Oaxacan Jewel “hint the recipe name”, Cherokee, and Cherry tomatoes
2-3 green Mexican onions, if using scallions use 4 including the white part
1 serrano, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons Sunflower oil
1 tablespoon butter

8-10 eggs
1/3 cup Mexican Crema, Oaxaca style if possible, or Crème Fraîche will do to.
2 cups shredded Oaxacan cheese, aka quesillo
1-2 fresh sprigs of Oregano remove leaves, and roughly chop.
1 fresh sprig of Epazote, or/ Mexican Marigold Mint. Remove leaves, and roughly chop.
Sea salt and Black pepper to season

 

Cooking Preparation:

1. Cut the tomatoes.
I like to cut each tomatoe differently so you and your guests can recognize each tomatoe when is cooked. Besides, the fact it looks more appetizing, they hold their shape better when cooked, and by removing some of the fleshy seeds your frittata will not get soggy. So, I sliced the large tomatoes, halved the cherry tomatoes, and cut in wedges, and removed the fleshy seeds on the the medium size cherokees.

Oaxacan-Frittata-Heirloom-Tomatoes
2. In a 9″ cast Iron pan quick sauté green onions, garlic, and serrano until bright green. Set aside to stop cooking.
3. Quick sauté the tomatoes. Set them aside.
4. Whisk the eggs, crema, black pepper a pinch of sea salt, sprinkle some of the herbs.

Egg-Frittata_Yes-More-please!
5. Into the cast Iron pan, add a drizzle of sunflower oil, a layer of half of the tomatoes, 2/3 of the sredded oaxacan cheese and half of the custard. Then add the rest of the tomatoes, on an even layer, and top with the rest of the Oaxaca Cheese sprinkle the rest of the herbs, crank some fresh black pepper, sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.

Oaxacan-Frittata_Easy-Comfort-Yes,-more-please!
6.Place the frittata in the oven, and bake at 325F for 12-15 minutes or until top and center is just set but slightly giggly. Remove from oven and cover for a few minutes. The remainder heat will cook the egg center, with out over cooking the edges.

 If you like a crusty top, sprinkle some dry cheese like parmesan or manchego, or a combination of one of these cheeses and a few panko bread crumbs on top of the frittata right at the end of the cooking time. Place the frittata under the broiler or salamander for a quick 1-2 minutes until slightly golden brown, watch at all times to avoid  burning, and you’ll have the so desirable crusty top.

Oaxacan-Frittata-Ready-for-the-Oven
7. Let Frittata set for 5- 10 minutes before serving, it will help set and you can slice it easily. Serve along with a green salad, crusty bread, or what ever rocks your boat, Enjoy!

Oaxacan-Mexican-Frittata_Yes,-more-please!

Oaxacan Summer Frittata

Music Pairing: Jeepers Creepers 1958 Louis Armstrong and Jack Teagarden

One of  the best versions out there, ever recorded!

Print

Oaxacan Frittata

www.yes-moreplease.com

A few tricks and bits, like using a cast iron skillet is a must, it makes for an evenly cooked frittata along with a good drizzle of oil in combination with butter to crisp up the frittata’s bottom and edges.

When frittatas are cooked slow and at low temperature in the oven or on the stove top it produces the most magical situation; a crusty bottom and edges while keeping the top and center creamy. Always cover with a lid if you want to avoid the flipping. If you like a crusty top, sprinkle some dry cheese like parmesan or manchego, or a combination of one of these cheeses and a few panko bread crumbs on top of the frittata right at the end of the cooking time. Place the frittata under the broiler or salamander for a quick 1-2 minutes until slightly golden brown, and you’ll have the so desirable crusty top.

Course Breakfast, Brunch, Lunch, Main Course
Cuisine Mexican-Italian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4 Hungry gardeners!

Ingredients

  • 1-1/2 lbs. Heirloom tomatoes, I used: Oaxacan Jewel, Cherokee, sungold and cherry tomatoes.
  • 2-3 Green Onions, finelly sliced, include the green parts
  • 1 Serrano pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 Garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons Sunflower Oil
  • 1 tablespoon Butter
  • 8-10 large farm eggs
  • 1/3 cup Mexican Crema, or Crème Fraîche will do.
  • 2 cups Oaxacan cheese aka quesillo, shredded
  • 1-2 sprigs fresh Oregano, remove leaves,and roughly chop.
  • 1 sprig fresh Epazote, remove leaves,and roughly chop.
  • Sea salt and Black Pepper, for season.

Instructions

  1. 1. Cut the tomatoes.I like to cut each tomatoe differently so you and your guests can recognize each tomatoe when is cooked. Besides, the fact it looks more appetizing, they hold their shape better when cooked, and by removing some of the fleshy seeds your frittata will not get soggy. So, I sliced the large tomatoes, halved the cherry tomatoes, and cut in wedges, and removed the fleshy seeds on the the medium size cherokees.

    2. In a 9″ cast Iron pan quick sauté green onions, garlic, and serrano until bright green. Set aside to stop cooking.

    3. Quick sauté the tomatoes. Set them aside.

    4. Whisk the eggs, crema, black pepper a pinch of sea salt, sprinkle some of the herbs.

    5. Into the cast Iron pan, add a drizzle of sunflower oil, a layer of half of the tomatoes, 2/3 of the sredded oaxacan cheese and half of the custard. Then add the rest of the tomatoes, on an even layer, and top with the rest of the Oaxaca Cheese sprinkle the rest of the herbs, crank some fresh black pepper, sea salt, and a drizzle of olive oil.

    6.Place the frittata in the oven, and bake at 325F for 12-15 minutes or until top and center is just set but slightly giggly. Remove from oven and cover for a few minutes. The remainder heat will cook the egg center, with out over cooking the edges.

    If you like a crusty top, sprinkle some dry cheese like parmesan or manchego, or a combination of one of these cheeses and a few panko bread crumbs on top of the frittata right at the end of the cooking time. Place the frittata under the broiler or salamander for a quick 1-2 minutes until slightly golden brown, watch at all times to avoid burning, and you’ll have the so desirable crusty top.

    7. Let the Frittata set for 5- 10 minutes before serving, it will help set and you can slice it easily. Serve along with a green salad, crusty bread, or what ever rocks your boat, Enjoy!

    Happy cooking!

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Zucchini Goat Cheese Entomatadas

 

Zucchini-Goat-Cheese-Entomatadas_Zucchini-recipe-for-Summer_Yes,-more-please!

Entomatadas;//Adjective, En=in / tomat= from the word tomato /adas adjective termination that denotes action,”adas”
I would say that the closest translation of the word “entomatadas” or “entomatado” would be “smothered in tomato”.

These Entomatadas are the mellow cousins of the Enchiladas. They have the same concept and construction, rolled tortillas filled with infinite possibilities and covered with a sauce made with dry chiles.  The sauce used in entomatadas is made with red tomatoes, as its name suggests. Roma, or Tomboys tomatoes, or jitomate “bola” in Spanish is usually the tomatoes of choice when making this sauce, but certainly any red round meaty and juicy tomatoes, along with mild herbs and spices will work.

The basic Entomatada sauce is very mellow and showcases the best in tomatoes. In this version of mine, I rock it out a little bit by adding a single serrano, that mimics the black pepper and adds deep of flavor to the sauce. The sauce consist of boiled tomatoes, that are skinned, blended, and then sautéed with onion, garlic and fresh epazote or mint. Then its pureed for a second time to produce the most velvety and creamy tomatoey sauce. The creamy sauce contains no dairy however, which makes the sauce light and fresh. Also on the virtue of looking for a healthier, lighter version of the classic way to make entomatadas which calls for frying the tortillas, I warmed up the corn tortillas and I drizzled them with a bit of a delicious green… a grassy extra virgin olive oil! This step not only adds another layer of flavor, but also prevents soggy tortillas when the salsa is added.

Zucchini-Goat-Cheese-Entomatadas_Entomatada-Sauce-Salsa-para-entomatadas_Yes,-more-please!

 

These Entomatadas of mine are filled with sautéed zucchinis, onions, sweet corn, and goat cheese. Once I roll them up, they are smothered with the piping hot tomato sauce which warms them through. These Entomatadas are best eaten warm almost tepid temperature.
Pouring the sauce separately when making any kind of enchilada is my favorite way to make them; It avoids enchilada uni-blocks. Best of all, by using this technique on these Entomatadas, is that it makes them BAKE-FREE!!! keeping you and your house odor free when you have closed the windows to run the A/C. If you don’t understand how that works, then come further South.

Zucchini-Goat-Cheese-Entomatadas_ready-to-serve!

Entomatadas are great for entertaining. I usually have them rolled up and when its time to serve them. I pour the piping hot tomato sauce all over, drizzle of Mexican crema or in this case I use a diluted Greek yogurt and sprinkle of queso fresco to keep them on the lighter side. Take them to the table and serve on a bed of shredded fresh lettuce and avocado wedges. I’m telling you, these Zucchini Goat Cheese Entomatadas scream Summer out loud! Whether its a midweek dinner or a potluck this recipe, its a must try! I know you will like them as much as we do!…

To make this Entomatadas you will need….

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Cucumber Avocado Pico de Gallo Salsa

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Hello friends, a quick recipe for your weekend. This is a great fresh salsa-guac! It is not a guacamole, it is not your usual Pico de Gallo, its both! The cucumber adds crunch and extra freshness and the avocado adds a bit of creamy goodness. What else could you ask for?… It is a quicky to make just what you need on a long weekend, something fresh to snack on along with some refreshing drinks, perhaps like this fabulous Texas Caipirinha… ehehm…

Besides the recipe which is so easy to make, I would love to share with you a few of my tips when making Fresh chopped Salsa fresca, mostly known here in USA as “Pico de Gallo”. Enjoy!

Sharp knife:
Everything has to begin with a sharp knife. Nothing ruins good salsa more than a dull knife. Mushy cuts do not make a salsa very appealing and ruins the texture. So, sharpen those blades, baby!
Tomatoes:
Mix them up! Juliet, Cherry tomatoes, Sun golds, Lemon Boy, Roma, Heirloom, right now is the right season were there is plenty tomato goodness to choose from. 
My favorite Tomatoes in Austin, TX are the ones that Boggy Creek Farms produce. Click here to visit this beutiful Austin Urban Farm is one of the best.
Cucumbers:
English cucumber, or Jade are my favorite since they don’t have to many seeds, thin skin, they keep their crispy texture when marinated.
Red Onions:
Red onions  are  sharp in flavor. My advice is after dicing the onions give them a quick rinse, drain them and add them to your salsa. Rinsing them will make them milder by washing away that milky pungent liquid. You, your loved ones and your guests will appreciate the little extra care!
Avocado Hass:
This kind is the creamiest of all avocados. They have a fleshier inside and small oval pit. Choose the ones that are firmer to the touch it should feel like well done steak. These level of ripeness will hold better in this kind of salsa-guac, creamy, not mushy.
Dicing Jalapeños:
Rub a bit of cooking oil in your hands before cutting a jalapeño, this will protect your hands from the spicy burn.
Remove seeds and vein or leave them up to how spicy you want it!
 A good way to know when a pepper is spicy, is to smell the pepper. Cut the pepper length wise. Smell it. If it smells like fresh-cut grass it will be very mild. But, if it smells like fresh cracked black pepper you hit the jack pot is a spicy one. Watch out! maybe you just one one jalapeño in your salsa…
Limes:
Use limes, instead of lemons. They have a sharper acidity that balances great with the sweetness from the tomatoes.
Sea salt:
Why Sea salt instead of Kosher? It tastes fresher and the salt crystals brighten up the salsa flavor.
Fruit:
You can add other fresh fruit if you feel adventurous like Mangos, Strawberries, Green papaya, Pinneapple, Jicama, Peaches, the world is your canvas!

I hope these simple tips help you to get inspired and give a refresh spin to your salsa. Do you have any tips when making salsa? I will love to read about them.
Share them here and shoot us a comment!

Relax and have a great weekend!

Cucumber-avocado-Pico-de-Gallo-and-Salsa-tips-chips

Cucumber Avocado Pico de Gallo Salsa

Makes 1, 2, 3 or 4 people dance!

2 cups diced fresh tomatoes of your choice, check out my tips above.
2 cups finely chopped cucumbers
½ cup finely dice white onion
1 medium size avocado Hass chopped in small cubes
1-2  jalapeños small diced one with seeds one with out.
1 small bunch of cilantro, finely chopped
2 large juicy limes
2 good pinches of dry mexican oregano
1 teaspoon sea salt

Corn Chips… lots of them!

Preparation:

In a large bowl combine all the chopped ingredients, season with salt and add the oregano by rubbing between your fingers like if you where to snap the oregano at it. This warms up the herb and makes it into smaller pieces which flavors the salsa better. Add the lime juice 
toss and serve with corn chips and your fabulous Texas Caipirinha like this on the side…Enjoy!

Cucumber-avocado-Pico-de-Gallo-and-Salsa-tips-make-salsaYes,-more-please!

Make your Salsa dance…

Music Pairing: Salsa – Tito Puente

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Bucatini a’ll Amatriciana a Roman story…

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Tomato Season in full bloom, but we have to move quick because here in Austin, July is the end of it. These red jewels do not handle triple digit temperatures. We have been eating them faster than I can come up with recipes to share; adding them to omelets, frittatas, salads, or as simple as slicing them with a bit of lemon juice and sea salt. Yes, I love them that much! I’m in tomato season heaven.

So the search for tomato inspiration involved going through my cookbooks. In search of a classic tomato recipe I ran into this pasta recipe that is very dear to my heart, Bucatini a’ll Amatriciana.
The first time we had this Roman classic, the way Italians intended, was in Rome. We spend almost one whole day at the Vatican Galleries walking and absorbing every single piece of art from the loooong corridors, from sculptures, tapestries, paintings, murals, jewels, did I say sculptures, murals, paintings? We finished the day at the Sistine Chapel, and Saint Pietro. Oh, my! we had an Art binge that day. After more than 6 hours, trapped and surrounded by the most amazing pieces of art and history we grew a voracious appetite. We felt like liberated lions in the Coliseum! Our stomachs were growling, we were in ‘art coma’. Hungry, thirsty and desperate, we noticed that we were surrounded by religious and souvenir stores…but we wanted food!!! We walked and walked the narrow Roman streets, searching for a non touristy dinner… And suddenly we were lost. Oh no, that was not good at all! Hunger does not let you think and makes you disoriented. We were getting grouchy and tired.

But as you know there is no harm that lasts a hundred years. Suddenly we saw a place with a big sign that said “Forno a Legna”, the most incredible arousing smell coming out of the door and a young man with a great smile (and the word buffalo mozzarella pizza). We felt like we had found the oasis on the desert, hypnotized and in a state of art coma, we sat down and this great polite man received us. We just told him “We need food; you feed us.” We had Caprese Buffalo Mozzarella Salad, Wood Fired Pizza Capricciosa, a Green Salad and we trusted him to bring us his favorite pasta.

When food arrived to the table it was incredible, everything looked and smelled so good, except for the pasta which did not looked very promising. At first sight it looked like “that famous Italian chef canned pasta” were the tomato sauce is kind of scattered and looked a bit under sauced. The noodles where very thick and they had sprinkled it with copious amounts of Pecorino Romano. I thought he was pulling a tourist pasta on us… I was so hungry that we did not care at that point.

To our big surprise the first bite of that pasta was a revelation. I felt like the whole Vatican art collection pasted a slide show in my head. That pasta was the best pasta I’ve ever had. Bucatini a’ll Amatriciana. Ian and I looked at each other incredulous of this amazing feast, we kept eating and making sounds of extremely joy and comfort. When we finished, all sort of questions were bombarding my head. This was by far the best pasta we ever had. Perfectly cooked, this thick spaghetti-looking pasta had a hole in the middle that was filled with all the juices from the sauce. The most luscious, salty and tomatoey sauce I ever had. And as we ate it we tasted the occasional piece of rendered guanciale, a cured meat. The Pecorino Romano added a perfect texture, and the pasta was silky and had the perfect balance of utterly delicious tomato flavor. This pasta would be best described as an Aria to tomato flavor.

At the end of our dinner, Ian and I just looked at each other amazed by what we just had eaten. I wanted to know everything about this pasta. I called the young man and he introduced himself. His name was Luca and he was the son of the owner of the restaurant. Like in most cases this restaurant was family owned. Luca told us all about the pasta; Bucatini a’ll Amatriciana, his favorite pasta. He described the preparation and the ingredients. I was in awe of the fact that there where just four ingredients. This conversation brought me full understanding of the importance of pasta-sauce ratio, the importance of pasta shape and sauce type relationship, best pasta conversation of my life!.

We will always be grateful of Luca to have shared his pasta wisdom with us, to had been such a great hostess and to have enlightened us with this amazing experience.

This Bucatini a’ll Amatriciana brings us lots of great memories and what a best season to make this recipe than tomato season. Please Enjoy!

If you would like to visit Luca in Rome:
Piccolo Buco
Via del lavatore n.91, Rome Italy (Trevi area)

Yes, this place have some funny lettering on the outside … nevertheless please do not measure food quality by this matter…hehehe

Luca,-Picolo-buco_Rome_B&W

Bucatini-Pasta_Yes,-more-please!

Bucatini-a'llAmatriciana_ingredients

Bucatini a’ll Amatriciana a Roman story…

Serves 4 or 2 hungry, lost souls.

1 lb. bucatini pasta, I used Rustichella d’Abruzzo, De Cecco, Del Verde, Garofalo, Barilla will be all good options.

4 slices of thick not smoked-cured bacon or pancetta or guanciale, diced. Best option of the tree: Guanciale. I used Bacon that was what I had available.

1 lb. fresh ripe tomatoes, I used a combination of heirloom and red plum tomatoes, San Marzano will be idyllic, I just wanted to use what is in season and it turned out fantastic!

1 small or half a white sweet onion, thinly sliced or diced.

2 pinches of red pepper flakes

1/4 cup olive oil

½ cup of freshly grated Pecorino Romano.

1 sprig of fresh oregano. (if you can not get fresh oregano omit it, dry oregano has too strong flavor profile for this recipe.)

Notes:
Italians traditionally make Amatriciana sauce with Guanciale, salt-cured pork jowl. It is similar to pancetta, but not as lean, and therefore has a richer flavor. Pancetta is the second option and a little more meaty. The third option is cured / NON-smoked bacon. I used the bacon of a well-known organic brand that makes a great cured/non-smoked delicious and leaner bacon.

Preparation:

1. In a large pot, start by heating up your pasta water and a couple of good sea salt pinches.
2. Mean time, with the help of a cheese grater, grate your tomatoes, omitting the skins.

Bucatini-a'll-Amatriciana_Grated-Tomato
3. Cut your onions and Bacon.
4. In a non-reactive heavy bottom pan or a stainless steel pan add half of your olive oil and cook your bacon, pancetta or guanciale until crispy. Remove half of the crispy bits and add the onions.
5. Cook the onions until soft. And add the pinch of red pepper flakes. (see picture below)

Bucatini-a'lla-Amatriciana_onions,-bacon
6. Add your grated tomatoes, oregano sprig and cook for the same amount of time that it will take to cook your pasta.
7. Add your pasta to the boiling water and cook following the directions on the package to be ardent approximately 6-7 minutes or other wise.
8. Reserve some pasta water. Drain your pasta, and add the pasta to the sauce, add some pasta water if needed, add the rest of the oil and reserved bacon, adjust seasoning.
9. Marry the pasta by cooking for another 2 minutes…

Bucatini-a'll-Amatriciana_sauce_it!
10. Serve immediately and sprinkle with generous amounts of grated pecorino Romano.
*Sprinkle some fresh oregano leaves if desired…Roman people will kill me I know…but it tastes so good!

Bucatini-a'll-Amatriciana-with-pecorino-Romano_Yes,-more-please!

Bucatini-a'll-Amatriciana_Yes,-more-please!

Viva Roma!

https://youtu.be/3o15UTomYsc

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