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Kale, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Frittata

Community meeting demonstration dinner, 10/3/12

Wondering what to do with unfamiliar greens? Try them with familiar flavors in a big omelet called a frittata. Similar recipes: Broccoli, Bacon, Pasta, and Parmesan Frittata and Tortilla Española with Kale

  • 1 large bunch (8-12 ounces) kale or other greens
  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cooked cubed sweet potatoes (steamed, roasted, leftover – it all works) OR use leftover cooked pasta
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until almost tender (keep trying pieces to see how done it is). When kale is almost tender, remove to a colander to drain. Roughly chop.

Heat a large skillet. Add bacon and cook on medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon to a large bowl and leave grease in the pan. Turn off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To the bowl with the bacon, add chopped kale and cooked sweet potatoes. Add eggs, cracking each into a small bowl or cup before adding it to the large bowl (this is to make sure that a bad egg or pieces of shell won’t ruin your whole mixture). Add salt and pepper.

Turn the heat back on under the skillet with the bacon grease. When the grease is very hot, add the egg mixture and allow to cook over medium heat until cooked about halfway through, about 7-10 minutes.

Flipping the frittata: using potholders or oven mitts, place a large plate over the skillet. Take the whole business over the sink (just in case) and flip the half-cooked frittata out of skillet and onto the plate. Put the skillet back on the stove, then slide the frittata back into the pan, raw side down. Continue to cook until cooked through, 5-7 minutes, then flip or slide onto plate. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Serves 8.

Potatoes and Peas with Bacon

Community training dinner, 5/21/12

Frozen peas can be cooked right in a pan on the stove. In this recipe, they cook in bacon grease and pair up with boiled potatoes for a quick, easy, and tasty side dish.

  • 1 pound potatoes (red or yukon gold [waxy, firmer] work best, but regular baking potatoes [starchy, more crumbly] work too)
  • salt (divided between cooking water and final seasoning)
  • 3 strips bacon, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon black pepper (preferably freshly ground), depending on your preference

Wash potatoes. Cut into bite-sized pieces (you do not need to peel) and place in a pot of cold, salted water. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until just tender, about 6-9 minutes. Drain.

While potatoes are cooking, prepare the bacon: cook chopped bacon in a very large pan over medium heat until the bacon is crisp and the fat has rendered out. Add peas to the pan and cook until heated through, about 2-3 minutes.

Add drained potatoes to the peas in the pan, stirring, then add salt to taste and black pepper. Serve.

Serves 4-5 as a side dish.

Broccoli, Bacon, Pasta, and Parmesan Frittata (Spaghetti Omelet)

Committee meeting working lunch, 5/17/12

Frittatas are a great way to use up leftovers. The basic idea is that you can combine any pre-cooked ingredients (broccoli, bacon, and pasta, in this case) with enough eggs to cover them, then add seasonings (parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper, here) and cook until set. A different recipe that follows this basic idea is the Spanish Potato Omelet. Feel free to experiment with this recipe to see what vegetables and starches you like best with your eggs.

  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cooked broccoli (steamed, boiled, roasted, leftover – it all works)*
  • 3 cups cooked pasta, any shape (leftovers are perfect for this)
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Heat a large skillet. Add bacon and cook on medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon to a large bowl and leave grease in the pan. Turn off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To the bowl with the bacon, add broccoli and pasta. Add eggs, cracking each into a small bowl or cup before adding it to the large bowl (this is to make sure that a bad egg or pieces of shell won’t ruin your whole mixture). Add cheese, salt, and pepper.

Turn the heat back on under the skillet with the bacon grease. When the grease is very hot, add the egg mixture and allow to cook over medium heat until cooked about halfway through, about 7-10 minutes.

Flipping the frittata: using potholders or oven mitts, place a large plate over the skillet. Take the whole business over the sink (just in case) and flip the half-cooked frittata out of skillet and onto the plate. Put the skillet back on the stove, then slide the frittata back into the pan, raw side down.

Continue to cook until fully cooked through, 5-7 minutes, then flip or slide onto a plate.

Serve warm, room temperature, or cold.

Serves 8.

*Broccoli can be grown in your Nebraska garden.

Boston Baked Beans

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/9/12 – served with roasted sweet potatoes and whole wheat biscuits

Adapted from Simply Recipes

These baked beans take a long time to cook, but only a very short time to put together. If you have a slow cooker, you can let the beans cook overnight or all day long and return to a delicious meal with very little effort.

  • 1 lb (2 – 2 ¼ cups) dried beans, preferably white beans such as navy beans or great northern beans, but you can use any kind*
  • ⅓ cup molasses
  • 3 tbsp mustard, preferably Dijon
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground cloves
  • 3 cups warm water
  • 6-8 oz salt pork or bacon, chopped into ½” to 1” pieces
  • 1 onion, chopped*

Soak beans in a large amount of water for 12-24 hours. Drain beans.

If you do not have a slow cooker, preheat the oven to 250 degrees.

In a medium bowl, combine molasses, mustard, cloves, and water.

Place half of the salt pork or bacon in a layer at the bottom of a slow cooker, if using, or a heavy ovenproof pot. Then add half the beans. Add all the onions in 1 layer, then add the rest of the beans. Place the remaining salt pork or bacon on top. Pour the molasses mixture over everything.

Cover the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours. If using the oven, cover the pot and place in the oven for 8 hours.

When the beans are done, taste them, and add salt if needed (if you used salt pork, you probably won’t need to, but if you used bacon, you will). Serve immediately, or refrigerate, then reheat and serve later – this dish gets better the second day.

Serves 5-6 as a main dish, 10-12 as a side dish.

*Beans and onions can both be grown in Nebraska and, when properly stored, last a very long time.

Bacon Buttermilk Cornbread

Committee meeting working lunch 12/13/11 – served with butternut squash soup

Committee meeting working lunch 3/22/12 – made with butter, no bacon; served with sweet potato and bean soup

This recipe is delicious with bacon, but feel free to omit it and substitute butter for the bacon fat, if desired.

adapted from http://www.food.com/recipe/bacon-buttermilk-cornbread-188702

  • 4 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 ⅓ cups cornmeal
  • ⅔ cup flour
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 cup buttermilk (or use 1 cup milk plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar)

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a heavy ovenproof 9-10” skillet, cook the bacon over medium-low heat until crispy. Remove the bacon to drain, then pour off and reserve bacon drippings. Place the skillet in the hot oven.

In a large bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.

In a separate medium bowl, combine eggs and buttermilk, and bacon. Measure 3 tablespoons reserved bacon drippings (add butter or oil if you don’t have enough) and add to mixture.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and stir until just combined.

Using a pot holder, remove the hot skillet from the oven. Add the batter and return to oven to bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.