Monday, October 25, 2010

dreadfully detailed disclaimers

I am always surprised when people tell me they cook from my blog.
I know it sounds ridiculous. It is, after all, the ostensible purpose of this whole enterprise. I should be delighted to know that I'm not sitting on the stage in an empty theatre, monologuing in the dark. Indeed, I am delighted to know that I'm not sitting on the stage in an empty theatre, monologuing in the dark. I'm glad to have an audience. But - to push the metaphor further - I'm a little unsure of my lines.
There's a difference between inviting people to partake of a meal and offering advice on how to prepare a meal. The idea that people trust my taste in food without having tasted it, that they're willing to believe that what I think is good is, well, good, is just a little scary. Knowing that there are people out there who trust my ability to give directions, to the point where they'll prepare food accordingly, is still a little unnerving. Two hundred entries and counting, and I still have the faint urge to write a dreadfully detailed disclaimer disavowing all responsibility for anything that could or might go wrong.

(The fact that I can write dreadfully detailed disclaimers disavowing all responsibility for anything that could or might go wrong is unnerving on a whole other level.)

Even more surprising, perhaps, is discovering that people not only cook from my blog, but learn to cook from my blog. There's nothing like being asked for a recipe for such-and-such (and discovering its marked absence) to cue the urge to write an entirely different dreadfully detailed disclaimer - one that explains that the collection of entries is by no means a complete or comprehensive overview of culinary how-tos.

Granted, I'm not setting out to write my own version of the Joy of Cooking. I have my particular areas of interest, and barely touch on many others. Still, this doesn't explain some of the gaps in my recipe index. For example, I don't know how I managed to go three years without ever posting a frittata recipe.

A frittata lies on the egg continuum, somewhere between omelette and quiche. A mixture of eggs and whatever's on hand, it's a way of making a respectable dinner out of odds and ends, particularly good if you have unexpected guests. In terms of difficulty, it's not all that different to making an omelette (no rolling or folding, even), and nearly as fast.

All of which is excellent news. Thinking about dreadfully detailed disclaimers has made me hungry, and I believe there are eggs in the fridge calling my name.

(No photos. It always gets eaten before I think to get out the camera.)

Chicken, Potato, and Onion Frittata

This particular version is my way of using up leftovers from a roast chicken dinner, but you can vary the fillings as you please.

(Serves one for two, perhaps three meals.)

Shred one leftover chicken breast into bite-size pieces. Cut one leftover roast potato (three or four baby potatoes) into rough dice.

Heat a decent splash of olive oil in an ovenproof pan (nonstick is useful, but not essential) over low heat. Slice up one white onion or a few shallots, and fry until sweet and caramelized. Sprinkle with coarse salt and a few teaspoons of chopped fresh thyme. Add the chicken and the potatoes, and give everything a stir.

Beat three or four eggs in a bowl with a splash of milk, enough to turn the mixture pale yellow. Pour the beaten egg into the pan.

Cook until the frittata starts to look set around the edges, but is still wobbly in the middle.

Transfer the pan to a broiler on low heat. Cook until the top is set and has those tasty-looking golden brown spots.

(For faster cooking, you can treat the mixture as you would an omelette, lifting up the edges as they cook to let the uncooked mixture flow underneath, in which case you'll only want it briefly under a broiler on high heat.)

Remove from heat. Serve with green salad, and a dollop of tapenade or other olive spread on the side.


Lindsey said...

I know how you feel. I am always shocked that people even READ my blog, and then sometimes they come back and comment and tell me that they liked one of my recipes. It's completely surprising, and also kind of nice to know that someone aside from my mom and husband cares to read about what I'm making and/or what is going on in my life.

Bobbie Sue said...

Lucky Lindsey--my husband has never even SEEN my blog!!! Has about as much interest in my blog as he does in a football game. But, otherwise the same sentiments.

Adele--do like your new look.

adele said...

Lindsey - I was flabbergasted the first time a stranger commented on my blog, and I still get surprised when I see comments from unfamiliar names. :)

Bobbie Sue - Thank you! It was actually your blog that inspired me to take a look at the new templates.

Bitsy said...

I like the new look!

Cakelaw said...

LOL - said by a true lawyer. I think your writing and recipes are great - it's fab that people cook from your blog.

adele said...

Cakelaw - I guess my Torts professor would be proud? I'm glad that people cook from my blog, but it's still a little scary!