Friday, 15 August 2014

Kung-Fu Bubble & Squeak!

Frittata di Pak Choi, Patate, Peperone & Pancetta
Frittata with Pak Choi, Potatoes, Red Pepper & Bacon


Here's a little suppertime dish that is something of a cross between a British "bubble & squeak" and Spanish potato tortilla, by way of an Asian leafy green and some yummy bacon- and what's not to like about any of those things? Not much! They are all very, very good! Especially in combination with each other!

I even served mine with a rich and savory Hoisin sauce, as a "hat-tip" to the HP brown sauce that is such a favorite back in Jolly Old England... it's another cooking-trip around the world folks!

Cabbage, potatoes, bacon and eggs, fried together and enjoyed with a tangy brown sauce or even ketchup... is a great hangover for for breakfast and an embarrassingly enjoyable if somewhat trashy, guilty pleasure- there! I have admitted it! True... I may not eat it but once every couple of years... but I could always change that... I think I need to change that! In fact- I know I am going to change that and do this more often!

As you know, I hate to waste any good food, and at the end of the week, I usually end-up gathering together whichever odds and ends I may have in the fridge and improvising something out of them. And that's what I did this evening and to make this lovely little frittata, I needed: 2 eggs, 2 pak choi, a few very small potatoes, a small red pepper, a couple of Spring onions, a slice of ginger and a few rashers of bacon. You could also simply use 1 regular sized potato, 1 small onion, a half of a bell pepper and a little savoy cabbage and have the same basic flavors- is is just a good combination of ingredients that work well together... try them! You'll like them!


Another motivation to make this was the fact that it is sad to consider certain vegetables, in this case pak choi, as exclusively suitable for only one type of cuisine. Basically, pak choi is simply a different variety of a cabbage or leafy green. There is no real reason to not use a regular, savoy cabbage in a stir-fry, so why not use a mild-tasting Asian vegetable in a Western or Mediterranean dish like this- or even a little ginger for that matter? I would say, in answer to that- no reason! No reason at all not to- but many reasons TO do!


Wash and slice the potatoes (not too thinly), chop the ginger up finely and the pepper and Spring onion coarsely, and start a little water boiling in a small saucepan. I prefer to leave the peel on my potatoes, but that is of course a matter of personal preference... so peel yours if you like them better that way!

Whilst the water comes up to the boil, rinse the pak choi thoroughly and coarsely chop it... we are going to give the vegetables a little head-start before we start sizzling them in the pan...

Put the potatoes and the finely chopped ginger into your sacepan of boiling water and let them cook for 5 minutes, then add the stalks of the pak-choi first, followed by the leaves and then the pepper on top of that... put the lid back on and let them all steam away without stirring them for a further 3-4 minutes. then drain and set to one side whilst you, a.) turn on your oven to 200°C and b.) pop a small non-stick frying pan onto the stove top, ready for us to start sizzling away that bacon!


Fry the bacon and the chunky-cut onion for 3-4 minutes, until the bacon has all changed color but has not yet begun to darken and crisp.


Now add the other ingredients, season with just a hint of salt (on account of the bacon being salty in itself), plenty of freshly-ground pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg.

Beat the eggs together, season with a hint of salt and pour over the mixed vegetables and bacon, add a last touch of pepper and allow to fry and set for 3-4 minutes before transferring the frying pan to the oven to finish.


And after 10 minutes in the oven, your frittata will look something like this! And it is pretty-much a thing of beauty!

As you can see, I used my trick of covering the plastic handle of my frying pan with aluminum foil, which allows me to use them for no worries for easily up to 30 minutes... just sayin'   ;-)

And yes, this really is a full-meal in its simplest and reduced form... you have meat, potatoes, vegetables and potatoes all rolled-into-one.


To be honest, it is only the ginger and the red pepper that makes this any different to an Italian or Spanish egg omelette- but a little added difference is always a lot of added fun!

And don't forget some kind of rich and savory sauce! I think that Hoisin sauce really went well to be honest- it brought out all of the best flavors of each and every one of the ingredients I used and let each individual flavor speak for itself!


 A perfect couple!


And for sure this would still taste great cold in the morning! Well- it might have done if I hadn't wave eaten it all up at suppertime! And who can blame me?!?!

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