The greatest sin you can commit at any dinner party, as far as I’m concerned, is to not have enough food. ALWAYS, ALWAYS make too much. There are two reasons for this: 1. No one ever leaves a dinner party saying, “My oh my, there were far too many delicious things to eat!” and 2. Whatever doesn’t get eaten, you can use the next day.
And sometimes — not always, but sometimes — the thing that you make the next day is even better than the thing you made for the dinner party. Case in point: this tomato salad shakshuka which, hyperbole police alert, may be the single best thing that I’ve cooked this year.
Resourcefulness is a quality that emerges gradually as you get more comfortable in the kitchen. At first, you might make a panzanella salad–with big chunks of toasted bread, heirloom tomatoes, garlic, a little anchovy, some basil, olive oil, and red wine vinegar–eat most of it and then throw the rest away because panzanella doesn’t really keep. That’s level one of being a cook. But to graduate to the next level, you should put the leftover panzanella in the fridge and figure out something to do with it the next day. Option 1? Blend it into a soup (why not? It has all the makings of a gazpacho and a tomato bread soup combined). I went for Option 2: frying it into a cake.
Adam in the Bible was good at naming things, Adam the food blogger, not so much. I first called this “Caramelized Cauliflower Frittata with Onions, Cheddar and Nutmeg” then thought it was weird to emphasize the nutmeg, even though that gives you a clue as to the flavor profile. Next title was “Caramelized Cauliflower Frittata with Onions” which makes it sound very oniony though, actually, it is quite oniony: golden brown onions in with the eggs, pickled onions sprinkled on at the end. Finally I settled on “Caramelized Cauliflower Frittata” because that’s really what this is, a chance to use up leftover cauliflower on a weekend morning. And you know what? It’s one of the best breakfasts I’ve made in a long time.
Sorry for the slow posting this week, folks; we had to take a California Driver’s Test yesterday and, based on everything we’d heard, we had to really study for it (a very smart friend, who shall remain nameless, failed the first time he took it). As we went into the written exam, Craig said: “Whoever does better will be the ultimate victor of our relationship forevermore!” Turns out, we each passed with only two wrong. We are both victors, which sounds like an Oscar Wilde play in the making. Needless to say, no time for big, thoughtful posts; but I did post those lamb burgers on Tuesday and here’s something fun you can do with the leftovers, should you make those burgers this weekend.
After mastering April Bloomfield’s recipe for Deviled Eggs, I woke up the next day–a Saturday, as a matter of fact–and thought about the ingredients I still had on hand from the previous day’s venture: homemade mayo, eggs, those same pickled chilies. I also saw English muffins. What if I made a Deviled Egg Salad and put it on the English muffin? Wouldn’t that be a treat?
Waking up on the weekend, one doesn’t want to get dressed. One wants to throw on a pair of shorts, veg out on the couch, listen to music and possibly read the newspaper. One–and I’m pretty much talking about myself here–definitely doesn’t want to go to the grocery store to buy breakfast ingredients. So what to do when there aren’t enough breakfast ingredients to make a normal breakfast? You make breakfast anyway.