July 13, 2010

Sunday brunch: Black bean frittata

"You've been quiet," said Gina in a text exchange yesterday.

I know. Stuff going on, man. Class prep, Tour de France, and using the laptop as a DVD player have cut severely into my blogging time.

Sadly, Lance Armstrong got his ass handed to him on Sunday. But I hold out hope for Levi Leipheimer, maybe Cadel Evans. Actually anyone but that dick Alberto Contador. Because you guys sooo care about the Tour de France. Anyway...

Also on Sunday I decided to try a certifiably snooty-sounding late breakfast: black bean frittata. Well, actually I decided that on Saturday night, which is good because dry beans have to soak.

Black Bean Frittata

 What I used:
  • 1/2 cup dry black beans
  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • About 1/3 cup each onion and bell pepper
  • About 1/4 cup tomato
  • 4 eggs
  • Splash of milk
  • Tasty herbs and spices (I know I used marjoram, garlic powder, salt, and black pepper.)
  • Handful of mozzarella
So like I said this recipe started on Saturday night, when I measured out and sorted a half cup of black beans. Theoretically, sorting beans just means making sure you get all the rocks out. I also prefer to pull out any broken or shriveled beans -- they just don't cook up right in my experience.


Next I give them a good rinse right in the pot.

Still feeling for rocks, by the way

Then pour off the rinse water.

 Also still checking for broken beans

Now the beans go back in the pot with 2 cups of cold water. I stuck a lid on there and left it to soak overnight.

First thing Sunday morning, I did another quick rinse and sort, before adding a fresh 2 cups of water. Then the pot went on the stove with its lid tilted. I simmered the beans over low heat for about 2 hours. Now you see what makes this a lovely brunch, but a lousy breakfast. That is, unless you pre-cook the beans or (gasp) just open a can.

The picture with the lid was useless.

Fast forward through a couple of hours of Tour de France coverage. Now, I know the ingredients gave actual measurements for these veggies, but I have to admit that was pretty much a guess. "What was left in the fridge" sounded super lame, despite its truth. How about...

...this much?

I poured a generous amount of olive oil into an enameled iron skillet. Then I let it get hot enough for a sprinkle of black pepper to sizzle.

Possibly the best trick I ever learned

Meanwhile I combined the eggs, milk, and spices. Basically it's just like mixing up scrambled eggs, except for the addition of the garlic powder and marjoram. Into the skillet went the onion and green pepper.

Just the lightest sautee

Next went the tomatoes and about half* of the black beans.

Don't waste time here, lest the tomatoes turn to goop.

As soon all those ingredients were stirred together good, I poured in the egg mixture.

Okay, this bit isn't tricky, but kinda hard to describe (and a nightmare to photograph). Basically, once the outside edges of the egg get solid, you want to carefully run your spatula between the egg and the skillet. Then gently pull the solid egg away from the edge, and let the liquid part from the middle run down in there.

The best of probably 15 pictures

Making frittata is basically repeating this step over and over. I stopped when the most dramatic pan-tilting no longer produced any eggy runoff.

Almost done!

Next, I sprinkled on a generous helping of mozzarella, and some parsley to make it pretty.

In hindsight, I shoulda used basil.

Here's why I love that enameled cast iron. It's small across, but deep, which is perfect for this recipe. It has a nonstick coating inside, but not a wussy one like T-Fal or whatever. You can even use metal utensils in it! Most important, it's safe to put in the toaster oven.

Rapidly becoming my new BFF in the kitchen

It just takes two or three minutes to melt the cheese. And then?

Mmmm... melty...

I cut it into quarters and served it with some crazy farmer's market bread Doug picked out.

So this bread? Had seeds in it! I felt so betrayed.

But who was I kidding with that one-egg portion? I went back for seconds without a second thought.

One important note: I meant what I said above about using basil. I mean, this was yummy and all, but my mouth could just imagine a little extra, awesome kick. Sadly, I'm not convinced Doug was as impressed as I had hoped he'd be. Next time, if there is a next time, basil is in.

I am sad to report, by the time I finished typing this, Cadel Evans cracked on the slopes of the Alps, falling out of contention in the Tour de France. Gonna have to put my money on Alex Andy* Schleck I guess. Cuz I'm serious. Anyone but Contador. That guy is a dick.

*Edited July 17: My husband read this post, and called me out on two bonehead mistakes. I only used about half the cooked beans in our frittata. We had the rest later as burrito filling. Also, it's Andy, not Alex, Schleck. Oops...


  1. Hey Misty-it's Cory. I had to share this terrific food blog site with you. I stumbled on it, and the photos are amazing! And I have SO many recipes that I want to try.
    It's called Annie's Eats and here is the address.
    Check it out and tell me what you think.

  2. I am actually going to cook this sometime exactly as you described. I love frittatas! The best one I ever had was in Lexington. It had shrimp and andouille sausage..

  3. Cory: I just scanned over this home page and O.M.G. Thanks for the tip girl! I'm excited!

    Casey: You make me wish my husband didn't hate shrimp. Sigh... When you cook this, I hope you'll let me know how it turns out. Hell put it on your blog and I'll link to ya. :)

  4. Don't you love this site? Just the ice cream section alone is enough to send me digging out my ice cream machine. I just wish I had more room in my freezer!
    Her photos are terrific, too. This woman amazes me. She's a resident at a hospital, does this website, is a mom and a wife, etc. Makes me feel a little inferior!


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