Saturday, October 27, 2012

Dear Papa: We ate quinoa today, willingly!

Dear Packrat,
Today has been a long day. We had a play date with Godma Cat in the morning, followed by a speedy lunch and then make up and costume for the twins' first stage appearance. To top off all that, it was Hari Raya Haji so Kakak was off. This meant, I was on my own with JED from the point that the concert was over.

Thankfully, it doesn't panic me as much as it would have 5 years ago and in fact, I was actually looking forward to just hanging with them and unwinding after the extremely frenetic day. The only thing was that I wasn't entirely keen on cooking after we got home. Tired kids meant volatile kids which would ultimately mean crying kids. That combination basically meant that cooking at that point was out of the question. In fact, being out of whichever room they were in at that point was out of the question as well.

The 2 options were buy in, which would have meant chicken/ char siew rice or having to cook it early in the day. I picked the latter option. Of late, I have been trying to come up with easy-to-pack meals so that I could start sending packed/ bento lunches to school for the twins; especially these two weeks with dress rehearsals and excursion days. And I've been thinking of the frittatas that we had eaten in Melbourne, pre-kids. The problem was that I couldn't remember the recipe we used then. Thankfully, with Google and, I managed to cobble together a recipe that I thought might work. My only worry was whether or not JED would eat it. It would be a first for them.

And by making this, it was a first for me in many ways
1. I added quinoa to adult cooking. JED have had quinoa hidden in the porridge for the better part of the year but I have never cooked a dish that had only quinoa in it.

2. I cooked with bacon. Which sounds like an inherent contradiction with the quinoa. The bacon wasn't really necessary but I do miss the smell of it and I thought that might entice the kids to eat it.

3. I used my HappyCall pan for the very first time. If I use it often enough, I will get very muscular arms. Heavy.

The outcome?

JED loved it. Perhaps it was bacon. Perhaps they were hungry. Or perhaps, just perhaps, it was that good. It will definitely go into their boxes next week when they go out with the school.

JED call it ham pie. Fritatta is just too weird a word for them. I'm happy they ate it. It took away a lot of stress from a long exhausting day, especially to see them so happy to eat it and asking for seconds. I made enough for my dinner but I ended up only eating the crusts and bottom bits because all three demanded more.

For posterity, I shall record the recipe here, just so that I won't lose it again.

6 eggs (for those who worry about cholesterol, this isn't a recipe you  to try)
Diced up grill meat (Chicken thigh fillets, thinly sliced beef, ham, turkey, crocodile if so desired!) 
1 bowl of Shredded zuchinni (We shredded the yellow ones and there was enough for 2 different frittata occasions)
1/4 bowl of shredded carrot
1/4 bowl of chopped up broccoli
2 tablespoons of olive oil
1/3 cup quinoa grain (boiled in water separately till all the water has soaked into the quinoa. That takes about 15 minutes)

50g (3 slices) of streaky beacon (if you don't intend to eat it, the back bacon type if you do!)
Chopped up garlic and onion

Mozzarella Cheese
Cheddar Cheese
Parmesan Cheese

In a bowl, using a fork or whisk, beat eggs, olive oil, diced up meat and the shredded vegetables altogether.  Heat pan, add olive oil, fry the onions & garlic till fragrant, add bacon. Fry for a bit till smell of bacon wafts!
Add the egg mixture to the pan. Don't add in the cheese till the mixture is almost cooked.
Close pan. Shuffle pan every 3 mins to left, right then centre. Once the egg mixture has firmly formed, flip pan. Shuffle pan again but a minute each position. Flip pan again. Open pan, insert toothpick to check for doneness.
Sprinkle the cheese on to the top of the cooked frittata and then DO NOT FLIP the pan anymore.
Allow cheese to melt and brown before turning off the fire. 
To take egg frittata out of pan, hold down a large enough dish onto the egg. Flip it out (you probably need 2 people to do this).

Without the pan, the oven works as well too. Just heat oven to 200 degrees C and put the fritatta in. But sprinkle cheese on before putting the whole pie in!

Of course, Evan had to be weird and ask to eat it with ketchup and tartar sauce. It is his new sauce of choice. He eats everything with tartar sauce.

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