Monday, March 23, 2009

Chorizo and Potato Frittata: 'Til We Meat Again

(You guys! My column over at Serious Eats today is on Daniel Boulud’s recipe for Red Cabbage with Honey and Apples. I loathe red cabbage with the white-hot intensity of a thousand angry suns, and still thought this was DELICIOUS. We have enough to feed the entire block until 2022. If you get the chance, check it out.)

One of the trickiest things about healthy cooking is figuring out how to use meat. Lean cuts like chicken breast, pork tenderloin, and flank steak aren’t too terrible of an issue. In general, they can be consumed in greater quantities without causing crazy damage to your diet. On the other hand, while undeniably delicious, overdosing on fattier meats like pork belly and sausage will end your newest bout with Weight Watchers faster than you can say, “I’d like another serving of Bacon Explosion, please.”

That’s why it’s always a pleasant surprise to discover a healthy recipe that features fatty meat in a way you can actually taste it. Like say, my slightly altered version of Jamie Oliver’s Chorizo and Potato Frittata (found via Serious Eats). Chorizo is a Spanish sausage with a distinct, spicy flavor, and it permeates the entire dish without overwhelming it. Even better, since the sausage is cut up into small pieces, you’re guaranteed to get a chunk with almost every bite. Really, it’s like having your cake-izo and eating it, too.

It should be noted, though, that the sausage isn’t the frittata’s only highlight. While the potatoes are cooking, Oliver asks you to prepare an easy shallot/parsley/lemon topping that’s added to the dish at the very end. Having tried it, I have to say - it’s absolutely indispensible, and will probably make appearances on various meals in the future. Yum squared, dude.

As always, there are a few notes, should you attempt the frittata yourself:

1) The potatoes make this thing dang hearty. Thusly, it’s suitable for breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, or late night after you’ve had a few brews. Go crazy.

2) To save fat and calories, I substituted 6 egg whites for 4 whole eggs, cut the chorizo by 1-1/2 ounces, and subtracted a potato. I think I lost about 9 grams of fat per serving that way, and it still worked out VERY nicely.

3) Use an oven-safe pan, and be careful with the handle once it’s finished. That thing is HOT, and twice in the last week, I’ve barehanded a fresh-from-the-oven vessel. NOT GOOD.

4) My sister liked this. She only likes: gum, Diet Coke, spaghetti. I consider it a coup.

5) I’m not ashamed to admit: I ate my piece with my hands, as if it was pizza. I highly suggest trying this, but waiting until it cools off a little first. Good times.

Readers – how about you? Any healthy recipes where bacon/sausage/filet mignon is prominently featured? Do tell.

Chorizo and Potato Frittata
Serves 4
Adapted from Jamie Oliver

3 small red potatoes, scrubbed and cut into small chunks
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large eggs
6 large egg whites
2-1/2 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage, chopped into 1/3-inch pieces
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
2 small shallots, peeled and very finely sliced
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil, divided
A bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked, very roughly chopped

1) Boil potatoes in salted water until tender enough to pierce through with a knife. Drain. Pour back into pot. Let dry out a bunch.

2) Preheat oven to 375°F.

3) In a large ovensafe skillet, heat potato and chorizo over medium-high. Saute 5 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Chorizo should have rendered its fat by the end.

4) While the chorizo and potatoes are cooking, add eggs, salt, and pepper to a bowl. Whisk 'em all together.

5) After that, slice up the shallots. In a small bowl (separate from the eggs), combine shallots, lemon juice, ½ teaspoon of olive oil, and a little salt and pepper. "Pinch shallots with your fingers to dress." Marinate a few minutes.

6) Okay. By now, the chorizo and potato should be done. Put them on a plate. Add the remaining ½ teaspoon of olive oil to the pan. Add rosemary and jack heat up to high. Cook until a little crispy. Add eggs. Quickly add chorizo and potato pushing them around so they're evenly spread out. Put pan in oven. Cook until the eggs are set, a little puffy, and are ever-so-lightly browned on top. Remove from oven and immediately remove frittata from pan.

7) Add parsley to shallot mixture. Sprinkle over frittata. Serve right away.

Approximate Calories, Fat, and Price Per Serving
215 calories, 10.7 g fat, $0.85

3 small red potatoes: 190 calories, 0.4 g fat, $0.47
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper: negligible calories and fat, $0.02
2 large eggs: 147 calories, 9.9 g fat, $0.25
6 large egg whites: 103 calories, 0.4 g fat, $0.75
2-1/2 ounces Spanish chorizo sausage: 323 calories, 27.2 g fat, $1.07
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked: 2 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.18
2 small shallots: 41 calories, 0.1 g fat, $0.53
Juice of 1 lemon: 13 calories, 0 g fat, FREE (I paid for the zest in last Friday’s recipe)
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil: 39 calories, 4.5 g fat, $0.04
A bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley: 2 calories, 0 g fat, $0.10
TOTAL: 860 calories, 42.6 g fat, $3.41
PER SERVING (TOTAL/4): 215 calories, 10.7 g fat, $0.85

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Elizabeth said...

My personal favorite healthy bacon-flavored dish is Hoppin' John. A friend gave me this recipe as a solution for cheap, tasty eating in grad school. With only 2 slices of bacon, you get about 4-6 servings, which I think is a very manageable amount of bacon per meal. This recipe is adapted from a recipe found on Epicurious.

1 cup small black-eyed peas
6-7 cups water
1 jalapeno or 2-3 dried hot peppers (optional)
several tsp dried herbs (plus fresh if you have them)
2 slices bacon
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup long-grain white rice
2 tbl olive oil (if needed)

Fry the bacon, remove and chop. Add oil to bacon grease and sautee onion, peppers, and herbs. Add water, bring to a boil. Add black-eyed peas, simmer ~1 hour. Add rice, cover, steam on low for 20 min. Add salt+pepper, fluff, and eat! Also tasty with a sprinkle of cheese.

AJP said...

That looks really yummy. I would just comment that there is a difference between Spanish (from Spain) chorizo and Mexican/Latin American chorizo. You can find Mexican chorizo pretty easily, but it's not in a sausage casing, it's in ground sausage form. The two are very different in flavor. Though my guess is that the dish would turn out fine with either one, just taste different.

Charise said...

hey, i made this for lunch this weekend! i made some of the same lighten-it-up substitutions you did - 1 less potato, 1 oz less chorizo, 4 eggs instead of 6. It was perfect bc I had part of a chorizo link, 3 potatoes left in the sack, and some eggs that needed used soon. Talk about the ultimate cheap leftover meal! I also didn't have the shallots and parsley to do the topping, but did carmelize a leek that was languishing away in the fridge. It was a pretty delicious adaptation as well.

Meghan said...

fiancee and I made this last night -- easy, and fairly cheap! The only thing that took any time at all was boiling those potatoes! We put salsa, and a little cheddar on top alongside the shallots. Will definitely be making this again -- I often have eggs, potatoes, and some sort of tidbit of breakfast meat in the fridge somewhere! Thanks!