We’re off to Slow Food Austin‘s potluck eat-in at Rain Lily Farm. We’ll celebrate Labor Day while sending a message to Congress about getting Good Food into our nation’s schools. I wanted to represent our region with food that’s delicious, nutritious, toteable and local. For a simple-as-you-please entree I prepared a Texas Frittata. Dessert rewards kids and grown-ups alike with handy bite-sized Texas puddin’ balls.
TEXAS FRITTATA makes one 12″ round
- Texas Olive Ranch olive oil
- 12 eggs, local
- fresh goat cheese, softened at room temperature till you can stir it. Austinites enjoy numerous brands of local queso de cabra. See “Greening Risotto”. I used Wateroak’s very creamy chevre.
- local onions, chopped how you like.
- local sweet peppers, chopped or sliced. I bought mine from Flintrock Hill at Sunset Valley Farmers Market.
- local butternut squash,shredded medium-fine to medium. Flintrock Hill again!
- local garlic if you find it or still have some on hand. Morning Glory Farm was still selling garlic this past Saturday at SVFM.
- backyard herbs. Not certified. Organic nonetheless. I clipped a potpourri of French thyme, oregano, rosemary, basil and garlic chives.
- salt and pepper to taste
- Full Quiver Farm’s cheddar cheese, shredded, or other local cheese, for topping your ‘ttata.
Whisk together the eggs, chevre, salt and freshly ground black pepper. If your goat cheese doesn’t blend smoothly into the eggs, that’s fine.
In a 12″ skillet (non-stick or very well-seasoned is essential here) with an ovenproof handle, heat up a Tablespoon or so of olive oil. Saute your onions, peppers, squash until softened. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add your garlic and herbs and stir for a minute, just to bring out the garlic’s fragrance. Pour in your egg mixture and cook, stirring frequently with a large heat-proof spatula. When the eggs look like they’re thickening up, sprinkle cheddar or other cheese on top and stick your pan under the broiler for about 4 minutes, until the frittata looks mostly firm. Remove the pan from the oven and let it sit for 5 minutes to finish cooking. Serve now or later!
TEXAS PUDDIN’ BALLS makes 30 or so 1 1/4″ balls
- 1/2 cup Lowell Farms organic jasmine rice (white).
- 2 cups local milk. I buy Swede Farm Dairy‘s goat milk at SVFM.
- 1/4 cup local honey. I usually buy Goodflow wildflower honey in bulk at Central Market.
- fresh bay leaf, if you’re growin’. Kaffir lime leaf is tasty, too. Both these herby shrub/trees can be purchased locally for the gastronomically inclined gardener.
- pinch of salt
- 1 Tablespoon Lucky Layla butter (optional). I find the best price on this product at Whole Foods, $5.99 for the 12 oz. tub.
- up to 1 Tablespoon Texas orange zest—I save zest from in-season citrus in the freezer.
- 1 cup toasted Texas pecans, finely chopped
Combine rice and next four ingredients (three if you don’t have bay or lime leaf) in a heavy-bottomed 3-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir, reduce heat to LOW, and cook, partially covered, until rice is tender, about 35 minutes. Don’t forget to stir occasionally. A non-stick pan is helpful for this preparation. Taste for sweetening. You can add more honey if you’re sweet-tooth’s not tickled enough. By the way, when I’m not super-localizing this recipe, I include a piece of cinnamon stick, a couple of cardamom pods, lightly crushed , and of course, some vanilla bean!
Put rice mixture into a bowl, stir in butter and orange zest, if using, then cover and cool until close to room temperature before refrigerating. Chill in the fridge till cold and firm.
Scoop out small balls of the firmed pudding using a spring-loaded scoop (easiest method). A melon baller or a couple of spoons would work, too, just not as efficiently. Roll your balls in your nuts. Keep ’em cool!