Brunch amongst friends: Quick and Easy Frittata

frittata.TheCubanReuben.com I love the holidays for many reasons, but mostly because, for me, this season means lots and lots of visitors. This past weekend, my friend and editor of The Nosher, Shannon, came to visit. When she asked me what we could do that was fun and food-related, I suggested that there were few things more fun and food-related to me than cooking with friends! So, we made a date for brunch, and planned what we’d cook together.

I knew the main event would be our cooking adventures, but we would need some nourishment to get our creative juices flowing. Not wanting to stress too much about what to make, I decided to peruse my fridge for inspiration. Cue the frittata.

Frittatas are a fantastic breakfast/brunch food, because they take very little effort, can help you use up some of your leftovers, and easily impress. While many frittatas call for diced potatoes, I decided to use up some of my leftover potato latkes as my main filling. Leftover baked potatoes work great in here, too. After rummaging through my vegetable crisper that seemed filled to the brim with different types of lettuce, I found the crowning jewel of this dish in some cherry tomatoes. I was looking for an ingredient that offered both visual stimulation, as well as a taste boost, and loved the way that the cherry tomatoes contrasted with the yellow of the egg. Of course, no frittata is complete without fresh herbs, so I chopped up a bit of Italian Parsley, and called it a day.

Served alongside fresh fruit and some authentic Cuban-style cafe con leche, this was the perfect start to the “fun and food-related” day ahead.

Quick and Easy Frittata
 
Author:
Recipe type: Brunch
Serves: 8-10
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Use up your leftovers in this easy brunch favorite!
Ingredients
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 2 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 cooked russet potato, diced (can be a baked potato, but I used leftover latkes)
  • 10 large eggs
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • ¼ grated parmesan cheese
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved and seeded
  • 1 Tbs. chopped Italian Parsley
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375.
  2. In a large oven-safe skillet, add butter and olive oil, and warm over medium heat.
  3. Add the onions, and saute until light brown (about 5-7 minutes). Add the potatoes, and stir gently to fully incorporate. Cook for 3-5 minutes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs and half and half until well-combined. Season generously with salt and pepper. Stir in parmesan cheese, and pour over onion and potato mixture in skillet.
  5. Cook for 3-5 minutes, until edges set.
  6. Add tomatoes, cut-side down, and bake frittata in oven until it sets completely (about 10 minutes).
  7. Remove from oven, and let rest for 2 minutes before unmolding from skillet and slicing.
  8. Can be served hot or at room temperature.
Notes
This recipe is easily adaptable and can include almost any filling you want. Feel free to experiment with last night's leftovers, and see for yourself!

 

Mis Abuelos and the No Dilemma December: Frituras de Malanga (Malanga Fritters)

Malanga Fritters.TheCubanReuben.comMost of the Jewish kids I knew growing up partook in a handful of familiar traditions during the holiday season. They would light their menorahs, eat latkes and jelly doughnuts, and squeal in delight at the gelt they’d win from a few festive rounds of dreidel before bedtime. In my house, the traditions were very similar, except we sometimes swapped Cuban-style malanga fritters for potato pancakes. Despite the fact that my extended family represents many different religions, my parents made it clear from the start that in our Jewish home, we celebrate Hanukkah.

Conversely, my abuelos, or grandparents, native Cubans and devout Catholics, hosted an annual Christmas party, and as it was the one time in the year where every single member of my large extended family would be in attendance, my parents felt strongly that we accept the invitation, as well. These parties boasted beautiful decorations ornamenting the entire house, piles of colorful gifts for the grandkids under the tree, and echoes of laughter and warmth from family members reuniting. Of course, these elements were certainly a big draw, but the main event was always the food. Oh, the food! My abuela, the original culinary matriarch of the family, made sure nobody left hungry, and always had enough food for everyone to take home leftovers of the scrumptious Cuban feast she’d make. Her Christmas parties offered the all-star dishes from her culinary arsenal: succulent roasts, creamy black beans spooned over white rice, a variety of seasonal vegetables, and just like our Hanukkah dinners, Abuela’s Christmas parties would not be complete without malanga fritters.

As featured on Jewish&, a collaboration between Be’Chol Lashon and MyJewishLearning.com

My Hanukkah malanga fritters, sitting in front of the "famous" family cookbook my mother gifted me.

My Hanukkah malanga fritters, sitting in front of the “famous” family cookbook my mother gifted me.

As dinner ended, my abuela found immense joy in passing out the Christmas gifts, and she went to great lengths to make sure that her Jewish grandchildren were not overlooked. She always had a little something for my brother and me under her tree, and unlike the gifts for my cousins, ours were always wrapped in Hanukkah paper. This small gesture not only made my brother and me feel extra special, but it was an expression of the support she showed my mother about her decision to convert to Judaism.

Through the years, I’ve attended countless family Christmas parties, baptisms, first communions, and so on, just as my family has shown their support at my traditionally Jewish life-cycle events. I’ve always loved learning about my family’s different religions, and fondly remember many a time when I stayed up late with my cousins, explaining the significance of some of the Jewish traditions I practiced. I took great pride in being the authority on all things Jewish, and made sure my explanations were always as authentic as possible. As an adult, I have a deep-rooted fascination with the world’s major religions, mentally noting the similarities and differences between them and my native Judaism every chance I get. This fascination, coupled with my early exposure to other religions, has only helped to foster my strong identity as a Jew.

I recognize that I am incredibly lucky to have been born into such a supportive and engaged, albeit religiously diverse, family. This spring, as my husband and I welcome the newest member of the tribe to our family, I hope to teach our child not only of our Jewish traditions, but to encourage respect and admiration for others’ traditions, as well.

5.0 from 1 reviews
Frituras de Malanga (Malanga Fritters)
 
Author:
Recipe type: Appetizer
Cuisine: Cuban
Serves: 35 fritters
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Take an international bite this Hanukkah with Cuban-style malanga fritters.
Ingredients
  • 1 lb. malanga, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • ½ lb. yuca, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tsp chopped Italian parsley
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups vegetable oil (for frying)
Instructions
  1. Heat oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
  2. In a food processor, grind together the malanga, yuca, and garlic. Transfer to a medium bowl.
  3. Add lemon juice, baking powder, eggs, parsley, salt and pepper to the mixture, and stir until well combined.
  4. Test the oil with a tiny drop of the mixture. If oil bubbles, it is ready to fry.
  5. Using two kitchen spoons, drop one spoonful of the mixture into the hot oil, and fry for two minutes or until the bottom side starts to brown. Turn the fritter over, and continue to fry until golden brown throughout.
  6. Taste fritter to determine if it has enough salt and pepper for your liking. Adjust batter accordingly, and continue frying. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan.
  7. Remove the cooked fritters from the oil, and drain on a platter lined with paper towel.
  8. Serve immediately.