Cooking Reports

These are other recipes and things that I'm trying in the kitchen. If they turn out, or if they don't, I'm going to post about it. The things that work will likely get a full recipe writeup in the future.

Ham and Pepper Frittata


I used to do prep at the pizza place, and I can't believe it's taken me this long to realize that chopped veggies can be stored overnight in a fridge and used the next day (or even, gasp, two or three days later).

It's easy:

  1. Buy an extra red pepper
  2. Chop it up with the rest of the red peppers from Chicken Paprikash
  3. Put the extra chopped peppers in a sealed container
  4. Add to eggs and breakfast potatoes

Red pepper and ham frittata with American cheese and breakfast potatoes with peppers

Where I used to think that a Denver Omelette (ham, onion, bell pepper) would be difficult to make for myself at home, now I realize that I can make them as long as I'm willing to have 3-4 of them during the week. Or I can make other things with the same ingredients, like add potatoes and make a hash, or add a pie crust and make a quiche, or sub the ham for some other meat and make tacos! Having pre-prepped veggies makes a lot of things easy!

Chicken Paprikash


Tonight, I made Chicken Paprikash, a Hungarian stew featuring Paprika, from this recipe by A Dish of Daily Life.

I only had plain paprika, not the hungarian paprika called for in the recipe, so I gain no points for authenticity. It didn't matter, because this still tasted delicious. It takes a bit of time, but it's pretty easy to make, and absolutely worth it.

Chicken paprikash in a bowl

Pasta Puttanesca


Sugo alla puttanesca is a simple sauce made of tomatoes, black olives, capers, and anchovies. Served with spaghetti makes Spaghetti alla puttanesca.

This comes together quickly, so prep everything before starting the water for pasta. Start the water, and then immediately start the sauce. By the time the water boils, you'll be done with the work in the sauce and just letting it simmer. Then while it simmers, the pasta cooks. Cook the pasta a little below al dente, then drain and add it to the sauce. Toss to coat, and let sit for a bit more for the pasta to finish cooking and soak up some of the sauce.

I combined two recipes I found to make this (this recipe from Vikalinka and this recipe from MyRecipes), so I wasn't quite sure how it'd turn out. Next time I'm going to chop up the capers to spread them out a bit. I'm also going to try parsley instead of basil, as is more traditional, and the Wikibooks recipe recommended adding some shrimp for protein...

Spaghetti with puttanesca sauce on a plate with bread and

Bacon Onion Frittata


I love frittatas! Single-serving frittata isn't exactly the right way to do it, but it's easier than an omelette and has golden-brown deliciousness. I follow Alton Brown's frittata recipe with only 2 eggs and varying mixins like this bacon onion frittata with breakfast potatoes (but always keep the parmesan cheese, it really ties the flavors together).

Other things I've added to frittata include:

  • Herbs like basil and thyme
  • Various cheeses including pepperjack, colby, and cheddar
  • Sausage
  • Mushrooms
  • Broccoli

I think frittatas are my new favorite egg dish. Omelettes are great, but a bit challenging to make. Frittatas are all the flavor and none of the work!

Bacon and onion frittata on a plate with breakfast
potatoes Bacon and onion frittata fresh out of the oven with cheddar cheese on

Three Ingredient Mac and Cheese


If it's not yet clear from the seven other posts about mac and cheese on this site, I love Mac and Cheese. My current favorite recipe is my Cheddar Cheese Sauce, which is quickly built from a standard béchamel (milk sauce). But though practice makes perfect, and the skills needed to make the sauce are transferable to dozens or hundreds of applications, I'm always on the look-out for new recipes to try.

So, a few weeks ago, Serious Eats The Food Lab posted this recipe for 3-ingredient, stove-top Mac and Cheese. The three ingredients are: Macaroni elbow noodles, evaporated milk, cheese. It takes around 10 minutes. It's incredibly simple. It's wonderfully delicious. While this may not end up as my go-to recipe, it's certainly one of the best recipes I've tried.

After a taste test as-is, I decided to add some bacon and chipotle peppers to spice things up a bit. The smokey, chili goodness of real peppers is so much better than the chipotle spice I got from Penzie's (not knocking Penzie's, their spice is still amazing, but it can't compare to the smooth richness of the real deal).

3-ingredient mac and cheese in a bowl on a counter Mac and cheese with bacon and chipotle peppers