Monday, August 30, 2010

Vegetable and Egg White Frittata

Some dishes sound way harder to make than they actually are. Boeuf bourguignon? Meh, it's just beef stew. Risotto? Just rice that you keep on stirring!

Frittatas are basically big omelettes that you bake instead of folding into an omelette. It sounds fancy pants enough to impress your guests, but couldn't be easier. My Vegetable and Egg White Frittata is a protein and nutrient packed powerhouse, and you won't even have to crack a single egg! Cause no one likes that.

The best part is that once you have mastered the basic technique, you can make all sorts of variations. Some other ideas:
  • Bacon and Scallion Frittata
  • Ham and Potato Frittata
  • Spinach and Artichoke Frittata
  • Leftovers I Don't Recognize in My Refrigerator Frittata
So go crazy with it!

  • 2 cups liquid egg whites. I just buy this stuff in the carton. WAY easier than cracking a bunch of eggs and trying to separate the whites! You can also make this recipe with whole eggs if you'd like, but this saves tons of cholesterol and tastes delicious.
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream. Since you are using egg whites, feel free to indulge your inner (or outer) fat ass here. The cream adds great texture and richness to the frittata, but if you are squeamish about the calories, you could use milk instead I suppose.
  • 2 large handfuls shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/3 cup sundried tomatoes in oil. These come in the jar and the oil adds delicious flavor to the whole frittata, as well as beautiful color.
  • 1/3 cup diced yellow squash. Had this in the fridge. Feel free to use other leftover veggies.
  • 1/3 cup diced button mushrooms. See above.
  • 1 large handful fresh spinach leaves, torn up
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. onion and herb seasoning. I had Mrs. Dash in my pantry, but feel free to use your own seasoning blend of choice.
  • Olive oil
You can add whatever leftover vegetables you are trying to clear out of the fridge; just make sure you don't have more than about a cup/cup and a half of them diced up so you don't overwhelm the pan.


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and dice up your veggies and sundried tomatoes. Add them to a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and stir to coat in the oil from the tomatoes. If there isn't much oil, drizzle with some olive oil so the veggies have a light coating on them.

Cook the veggies a couple minutes until they are nice and soft. Add the garlic and the handful of spinach, stirring until it wilts down into the mixture.

In a bowl, whisk together the egg whites, cream, onion and herb seasoning, and one handful of the mozzarella cheese.

Pour the egg mixture into the skillet and reduce the heat to medium low. Stir so the veggies are mixed evenly throughout.

Now, just let the whole thing sit over medium low heat for about 10 minutes until the bottom is set. How to know when it's done? Jiggle the skillet back and forth. The only part that should wiggle should just be in the very middle of the egg mixture.

In the meanwhile, it's time to make your foil condom. That's right: your foil condom. Cause if you are like me, most likely your skillet is not oven proof. Not sure if it's oven proof or not? Make a foil condom anyways. Just tightly wrap a piece of aluminum foil around the handle of your skillet to prevent it from burning. Remember what you learned in health class: don't be a fool, wrap your tool!

Sprinkle the other handful of mozzarella over the top of the frittata and pop the whole skillet into the oven and bake at 450 for about 7 minutes, or until the entire mixture is firm and the cheese on top is toasty brown.

Now comes the bad ass chef part: removing the frittata from the skillet. There is no greater feeling of pride than watching this beautiful egg dish slide out of the skillet and onto a serving plate. Here's how to do it:

Let the frittata cool and set for a couple minutes. Then run a rubber spatula around the edges to loosen it. The combination of the oil and the nonstick skillet surface should help the whole thing to slide right out onto a plate. I promise, it's easy!

Cut the frittata into wedges and serve. This also freezes well, so wrap some wedges up and bank 'em for a quick breakfast on the go! Enjoy :)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Italian Baked Fish with Onions and Potatoes

Hi, everybody! Sorry for my extended absence. I was attending a wedding in northern Wisconsin, land of deer heads on every wall and wolf shirts for sale on every corner.

I also had quite the culinary experience, including but not limited to: pork bratwurst, veal bratwurst, pizza, cheeseburger, steak, french fries, onion rings, fudge, and FRIED CHEESE CURDS. That's right. FRIED CHEESE CURDS.

Needless to say, I felt the need for a bit of a detox from saturated fat, and so I turned to my old friend: fish. My Italian Baked Fish with Onions and Potatoes is light enough for summer but hearty enough for a nice full dinner. Enjoy!

  • 1 firm white fish filet. I used cod cause that's what I had in my freezer, but you could easily use tilapia, haddock, flounder, etc.
  • 3 small potatoes. I used a pretty, colorful mix from the farmer's market. If you aren't as hip and enviro-friendly as I am, Yukon Gold potatoes from the grocery store would work great as well.
  • 1 onion
  • 1 can Italian style diced tomatoes. The kind I got was flavored with basil, garlic, and oregano. Saves you extra ingredients, so why not be lazy?
  • 2 tbsp. Italian seasoning
  • Olive oil
This recipe is unbelievably easy, delicious, and nutritious. Hurray!**

**Sometimes I don't know what to say to end the Ingredients section, so I insert awkward exclamatory phrases to get you excited about my food.


Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Slice your potatoes and onions into pieces about 1/2 inch thick. Like I said, I used potatoes from the farmer's market, so do not adjust your computer monitor: those are indeed purple potatoes.

Toss the potatoes and onions with 1 tbsp. of the Italian seasoning and enough olive oil to coat. Lay them out in a single layer in a baking dish.

Pop them in the oven for about 30 minutes. The onion will become crispy and unbelievably sweet, and the potatoes as tender as a romance novel.

After half an hour, take out the dish and pour the can of tomatoes over the potatoes and onions. Then lay the fish on top of the tomatoes and sprinkle** with the remaining 1 tbsp. of Italian seasoning.

**I typed "spronkle" by accident first, and it made me giggle for some reason.

Put the dish in the oven to bake for another 15-20 minutes (depending on how thick your fish is) until the fish flakes apart easily and the sauce is all bubbly and delicious. Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Chicken Tikka Masala For Dummies

Chicken Hakuna Matata? Chicken Tickle Me Silly?

No, folks, it's Chicken Tikka Masala, an amazing Indian dish involving chicken cooked in a buttery tomato sauce. It is rich and flavorful with spices, but isn't hot spicy. Who wouldn't like that?

I have had it before at Indian restaurants and found it to be the perfect blend of warmth and comfort mixed with exotic and exciting. So I tried to figure out how to make it on my own. FAIL.

Dozens of recipes with 22+ ingredients later, I finally said "Aww, hell no!"

That is NOT how we do things here at Cooking for One. Instead, I will take this opportunity to show you how to introduce exotic new flavors into your home cooking using delicious store bought aids. In this case, a Tikka Masala sauce from the grocery store jazzed up with some homemade touches. Give it a try!

And remember: there is no shame in combining store bought products with fresh ingredients. After all, Sandra Lee has made a living out of it.

  • 1 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 onion. Adds delicious fresh flavor and crunch.
  • 1 cup frozen peas. No need to thaw. The peas add a nice pop of color and texture.
  • 1/2 jar Tikka Masala Simmer Sauce. You can find this in the international aisle of your grocery store. I promise.

  • Olive oil
  • Basmati rice. This delicious, nutty flavored rice is the secret to soaking up great Indian food. Prepare as much as you'd like according to the directions on the container.
Hah! I managed to turn a 22 ingredient recipe into just 6! Okay, so I cheated a little. But you can too :)


Start preparing your basmati rice according to the package directions so it will be ready when you are done with the chicken.

Cut up your chicken into bite sized pieces and dice up your onion.

Heat a skillet over medium high and drizzle with some olive oil. Put your onions in the skillet for a few minutes until they become soft and translucent.

Add your chicken pieces to the skillet and cook until brown on all sides, but not necessarily cooked all the way through.

Add your simmer sauce to the skillet and, well, let it simmer! Should take only take about 5-10 minutes til the sauce is nice and thick and the chicken is cooked all the way through.

When there are just a couple minutes left, add your frozen peas so they can thaw for a bit in the hot sauce.

That's it! Once the peas are thawed, spoon your basmati rice into a bowl and top it with the chicken and delicious, flavorful sauce. Much cheaper than restaurant bought and much faster than making it from scratch, this recipe is the perfect way to capture a tasty Indian dish. Enjoy!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Crispy Southern Fried Salmon Cakes

If there is one thing I have learned from living in the South, it's that pretty much everything tastes better fried. From hush puppies to fried Oreos, the past few years have been an education in the fine art of breading and hot grease. It's been fun, y'all!

Sometimes, however, you can fry up something nutritious so you feel a little less guilty about all that fat. For example, my Falafel. Or my Crispy Southern Fried Salmon Cakes, chock full of healthy omega-3.

This is also one of my favorite recipes because it is so versatile. You can serve salmon cakes for brunch, as a fancy pants appetizer, or even as a main course for dinner. How many other recipes can claim that? So git yer oil sizzlin' and hop to it!

  • 2 cans boneless, skinless salmon, drained. You can certainly use cooked fresh salmon, but this was easier and less expensive.
  • 1 green onion. Adds a nice mild onion flavor, as well as pretty color.
  • 2 eggs. This helps bind the cakes together.
  • 1 1/2 cups of seasoned bread crumbs. I used DeLallo brand.
  • 1 tbsp. lite mayonnaise. Cause this is a healthy recipe, right?
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • Tartar sauce
This recipe is seriously incredibly easy and fast. This makes about four large salmon cakes, all of which I ate by myself cause they were so damn good. Two would probably make a normal serving, though.


Chop up your green onion.

Crack your eggs into a small bowl and lightly beat them to break up the yolks.

Add your green onion, drained salmon, mayo, lemon juice, and 1 cup of the bread crumbs. Mix well with a fork to combine all the ingredients.

Heat your butter and oil in a skillet over medium high until nice and hot. The butter provides great flavor, and the oil helps keep the butter from burning.

Roll the salmon mixture into four balls with your hands and flatten them into patties about 1 inch thick. Before you put them in the pan, dredge them in the other 1/2 cup bread crumbs so they have a nice outer coating that will crisp up. Put them down in the pan and leave them alone!

Let the cakes fry up for about 3-4 minutes. You will know they are ready to flip when the bottom is brown and crispy. Don't be afraid of burning them...the crispier, the better! (Within reason, of course.)

Once both sides have fried up nice and brown, carefully remove them from the pan and serve with tartar sauce. Yeeee haw!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Asian Lettuce Wraps

If you have ever been to P.F. Chang's, you have probably tried their Asian lettuce wrap appetizer. They are freaking delicious, and everyone loves P.F. Chang's. Especially the company that sells them their massive stone horse sculptures.

The problem, however, is that if you have a craving for these lettuce wraps, it involves getting in your car, driving to P.F. Chang's, waiting in line forever, and spending $10. Why not skip all that and make it yourself? I'll show you how!

Food Porn Description: Cool, crisp lettuce surrounds a warm mixture of ground turkey, savory onion and mushroom, and crunchy water chestnuts, all simmered in delicious Asian spices. With just the faintest hint of creamy peanut butter, your mouth will think it died and went to....well, P.F. Chang's!

  • 1 lb. lean ground turkey. You can also use ground chicken like Chang's does, but I like the flavor of ground turkey better.
  • 2 green onions. These add a delicious mild onion flavor, as well as a nice pop of green color.
  • 1/2 package white button mushrooms. Not necessary, but they add another layer of flavor and texture to the mixture.
  • 1 can water chestnuts, drained. Awesome and crunchy.
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger. I buy the kind in the tube from the grocery store, but you can mince your own.
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup teriyaki sauce
  • 3 tbsp. creamy peanut butter. I know you are probably thinking "WTF?" but it helps bind the mixture, adds a nutty undertone of flavor, and you have it in your pantry anyways!
  • Head of green leaf lettuce. You can also use Bibb, but green leaf is less expensive and works great. Just peel off the individual leaves and snap off the crunchy base for a better wrapping experience.
  • Shaved carrot to garnish. Optional, but it looks great and is super easy. Just peel some strips off a carrot with a vegetable peeler.
This recipe makes for a delicious and crowd-pleasing appetizer, or even a very filling main course. It is VERY messy though, so I would advise you not to make this when the President comes to visit your house.


Chop up your green onion, mushrooms, and water chestnuts into small pieces.

Heat a high-sided skillet to medium high heat and add your sesame oil, vegetable oil, veggies, garlic, and ginger. Stir to coat the veggies with the oil and garlic/ginger.

Once the veggies have softened up and the garlic and ginger are nice and fragrant, add your ground turkey to the skillet, breaking it up into small crumbles as it browns.

Once the turkey is cooked and no pink remains, add your teriyaki sauce and peanut butter. Stir until the peanut butter melts into the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into a bowl and garnish with the carrot. Serve with individual lettuce leaves for everyone to make their own. That's a wrap! Har har.

Do YOU have any recipes to re-create your favorite restaurant dishes?

Friday, August 6, 2010

Chocolate Truffle Pie

I help run events at my apartment complex and today was "Friday Pie-Day!" Woo hoo!

I thought it would be fun to make my own pie to contribute to the store bought ones we provided, so I decided to make my super easy, no-bake Chocolate Truffle Pie. After all, no one wants a Pie Fail.

The beauty of this pie recipe is that the chocolate filling can morph into many different desserts. You can keep it in its warm, liquid form as chocolate fondue for the dipping of fruits, poundcake, and your fingers. I bought an adorable mini fondue set and used the SAME RECIPE!

You can also use it while it's warm as a delicious "glue" to stick fruit onto desserts, like I did for these mini brownie bites and cheesecakes for my boyfriend's graduation. The chocolate hardens when it cools and holds the berries to the cake part.

Finally, you can refrigerate the filling and shape it into actual truffles with a melon baller. Fancy pants!

The pie itself is absolutely delicious and extremely easy to make. Give it a try!

Food Porn Description: One bite of this decadent pie fills your mouth with rich, luscious dark chocolate. So smooth and creamy it melts away in your mouth, the bite ends with a crispy, crunchy fireworks display from the chocolate graham cracker crust.

  • 1 chocolate graham cracker pie crust. You can find these right in the baking aisle.
  • 3 tbsp. butter. Make Paula Deen proud.
  • 1 3/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips. I buy the mini chips cause they melt faster.
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 tbsp. vanilla extract
Just five ingredients! As you can see, this pie is basically a heart attack on a plate. But everyone needs to indulge every once in a while, right? ;)

You can also experiment with the pie by adding different flavored extracts (raspberry, mint, cinnamon, etc.) Have fun with your pie!


Add chocolate chips, cream, butter, and vanilla to a saucepan over medium heat.

Stir continuously until the mixture is melted and smooth, which takes about five minutes or so. This will prevent it from burning.

Pour the mixture into your pie crust and pop it in the fridge for at least four hours to set (overnight is even better.)

Cut a slice, top with some whipped cream, and enjoy! The pie is unbelievably rich, so just a small slice will do...for now.....