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September 27, 2015

Italian sausage, pepper and mushroom frittata {gluten-free}

Italian sausage, pepper and mushroom frittata, perfect for breakfast, brunch, or supper.

SAWSIDGE 'N PEPPAH: it's a real New England Italian-American thing, a favorite street food or diner meal, and you have to pronounce it properly or we'll know you're not from here. Sausage, bell peppers and onions, pan-fried and stuffed into a long sandwich roll, a combination so good it's groan-worthy. There's not much better than that, unless you want to skip the bread, in which case this frittata is for you. Think of the egg as the sandwich roll, with some cheese to bind it together. And mushrooms, because everything tastes better with mushrooms. I've lightened the frittata a bit by using chicken sausage (there are so many great varieties available in the grocery store these days, so use your favorite, and be sure it's gluten-free if that's what you need), and low-fat cheese. If you have a very large frying pan (12 inches or larger), you can double the recipe for a brunch party, or refrigerate leftovers and reheat throughout the week for easy breakfast or a light supper.

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September 6, 2015

Frittata with broccoli and garden herbs {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Frittata with broccoli and herbs makes a perfect worknight dinner!

In the nine years since I first published this recipe on The Perfect Pantry, my cooking style has changed. My kitchen has changed. My feelings about broccoli have changed, too; I feel more kindly toward it now. So it seemed likely, when I revisited the recipe to add new photos, that I'd want to make some changes in the ingredients, or cooking method, or something. Guess what? I love the recipe just as it is. Frittatas are the favorite spur-of-the-moment weeknight dinner in our house; you can throw in any leftovers, any vegetables, any herbs, and the frittata will always come through for you. For the original recipe, I plucked basil and parsley from my herb garden at the log house, but here in the city, I bought some nice-enough herbs at the supermarket, and they were fine. Refrigerate any leftover frittata, and enjoy it for breakfast the next morning after a one-minute zap in the microwave.

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June 10, 2015

Asparagus, mushroom, egg and goat cheese breakfast casserole {vegetarian, gluten-free}

Breakfast for dinner? How about this healthy asparagus, mushroom and goat cheese breakfast casserole.

Really, you'd be hard-pressed to come up with a combination of vegetables and cheese that I wouldn't love in an eggy breakfast casserole. However, there are some combos I love more than others, and asparagus and mushroom tops that list. Now that it's asparagus season here in New England, I'm sticking bits of spears everywhere. This casserole mixes earthy vegetables with fresh dill, and some soft goat cheese. I know goat cheese isn't to everyone's taste, so feel free to substitute feta (sharper) or mozzarella (milder), whatever you prefer. Or use two cheeses together. Egg casseroles are forgiving, so your asparagus might become broccoli or zucchini, depending on what's in season where you live. Make an egg and cheese casserole on Sunday, and portion it out for quick and easy weekday breakfasts, or serve it for weekend brunch. Always a hit!

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May 17, 2015

Quick and easy sugar crusty banana muffins

Quick and easy sugar crusty banana muffins [ThePerfectPantry.com].

One Saturday morning, a fresh batch of banana muffins came out of the oven. The aroma wafted up, up, up, into the apartment above. And down, down, down came a mysterious thumping on the staircase. I grabbed my handy grandma-cam, and managed to snap a few photos of the mystery intruder. Aha: The Case of the Missing Sugar Crusty Banana Muffin Bite solved! That's probably all the endorsement you need for these irresistible muffins, except that they're super-easy to make if you have a ready-for-the-compost couple of bananas sitting on the countertop. Sugar on top makes them crusty; if you'd like to cut back on the sugar, add the cinnamon to the batter and eliminate the final topping. Cinnamon and banana, plus good-quality pure vanilla extract, gives these muffins a bit of Caribbean flavor to start your day. The dozen muffins I baked for breakfast disappeared in minutes.

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April 5, 2015

Oven-baked matzoh brei with caramelized onions {vegetarian}

Oven-baked matzoh brei will turn your breakfast world upside down! [ThePerfectPantry.com]

When I was a little girl, my father taught me to make matzoh brei, a treat we enjoyed only during Passover, and only for breakfast (there were rules, apparently). Matzoh brei (pronounced MAHT ZAH BRY, and spelled many ways) means fried matzoh, and it's an ethereal cross between a frittata and a noodle pudding. Beaten eggs mixed with matzoh, which bears a striking resemblance to cardboard, cooked in butter in a large frying pan, flipped to cook on both sides (a messy and often embarrassing operation), desperately in need of salt: trust me, it might not sound great, but it is the best breakfast ever. And so this recipe, which deviates from my dad's in so many ways, might be viewed as heresy. Instead, I hope you see it as the recipe that will liberate you from attempting the giant pan flip and the messy stove cleanup. Yes, this fried matzoh actually bakes in the oven. And for a twist, I caramelize onions to add to the mix. You can omit the onions and make a straightforward matzoh brei, but my husband Ted went ahead and topped his with maple syrup, and proclaimed the combination of sweet caramelized onions and maple syrup quite delightful. Matzoh is actually available year-round in the ethnic foods aisle at the grocery store. I predict you'll be making oven-baked matzoh brei more than just one week a year.

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  • My name is Lydia Walshin. From my tiny kitchen in Boston's South End, I share recipes that use what we keep in our pantries, the usual and not-so-usual ingredients that spice up our lives. Thanks so much for visiting.

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