Thursday, September 8, 2011

Caramelized Leeks, Tempeh Bacon, Goat Cheese & Basil Frittata

Frittata in the Hizzy! 
Another Frittata!  So simple and delicious, there is no end to the creativity. Saturday morning I woke up to my beautiful boyfriend who had come down with a case of the sniffles. He loves eggs, so I happily popped up and told him to stay in bed while I went to the farmers market to get healthy vegetables and local eggs to make us omelets.

Of course when I got to the market my brain started tinkering with other ideas, and I decided to make a frittata. I've been wanting to work with leeks for a while but been waiting until I could try local ones. Leeks are from the onion family, and since I have an obsession with caramelizing things I figured I should do that with leeks. There isn't much difference in caramelizing leeks and onions, except leeks have less moisture so may require a bit of water, to avoid burning. I added the basil, because Im trying to basil it up while I still can, anticipating the many winter months where basil is unavailable and/or super expensive.

The goat cheese and tempeh bacon where items I had in the fridge and both added a delicious flavor. In fact they worked so well I used both in a pizza I made on Monday(that post soon to come).
Leeks! Only use the bottoms, the tops are too tough
When cooking your leeks be sure to use a pan that works on the stove top and in the oven. Frittatas cook best when cooked both on the stove and oven, making sure the top bakes without burning the bottom. As always use ingredients you have and BE CREATIVE. Frittatas are a great way to use up eggs and vegetables that are headed for the trash can. They also sound fancy, while being easy as egg pie.

Caramelized Leeks, Tempeh Bacon, Goat Cheese & Basil Frittata

The Goods: Serves 3-4
6 extra large eggs
5-6 large leeks, leaves removed, white and light green parts thinly sliced
4 slices hickory smoked Tempeh bacon
1/4 cup goat cheese
1/4 cup basil, thinly sliced
2-3 tablespoons 1/2 & 1/2
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons grapeseed oil (olive oil is fine)
Salt and Pepper to taste

The Deal:
1. First you need to caramelize your leeks. Place 1 tablespoon of butter in a medium saute pan over medium heat. Once butter is melted add your leeks and evenly coat with butter. Saute, stirring occasionally until lightly browned. Reduce heat to medium low, and add a teaspoon or so of brown sugar. If the leeks are sticking, you can also add a splash of water. Saute leeks until lightly browned, 30-40 minutes.
Leeks part one
Brown and Caramelized
2. While your leeks are sautéing prepare tempeh bacon. Heat a tablespoon of grapeseed oil in a medium saute pan until the oil is shimmering. Fry your tempeh until browned on each side, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Crumble into bits. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

3. Once your leeks are crispy, start to prepare your frittata. Whisk eggs, 1/2 & 1/2, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Add goat cheese, basil and crumbled tempeh and lightly mix. Pour egg mixture into the leeks pan, then slowly move the eggs around to make sure they coat evenly. Once the bottom sets, place egg pan in the oven and cook until the top sets, 5-7 minutes. Watch carefully, a frittata is easy to burn.
Move the eggs around until a bottom forms
4. Once the top is set, remove frittata from oven and place on a plate. Cut into slices and serve warm or at room temperature.

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