BREAKFAST FOR DINNER
Shrimp & Basil Frittata
I grew up in the age of ‘Mad Men.’ But Mom was more Harriet Nelson than Betty Draper. She loved being a mother to my brother and me. She actually liked baking cookies. I helped. She even made us ‘mother and daughter’ aprons (of course, she sewed!) And Dad was no Don Draper. Yeh, he wore a suit and tie and hat to work and came home every night and had a cocktail or a cold beer before dinner. But, he loved his wife and knew how to have fun w/ his children… organizing hide & seek w/ the neighbors’ kids on a summer’s night, teaching us how to play baseball or just throwing us into a pile of autumn leaves which always started a ‘leaf fight’ which would result in his raking the leaves in the yard all over again. And, like most men of the era, he wasn’t a cook except for the male ritual of barbequing meat on the weekends, weather permitting… or the fried hot dog and beans on Saturday nights in front of the TV (we were only allowed, and only occasionally, to eat dinner in front of the TV) when he would let Mom ‘take the night off and relax’…though I think she still did the dishes.
But I like to think that Dad would have embraced cooking if he had been raised in a later era because, when the mood hit him, he moved from those traditional male cooking ‘roles’ and made breakfast for dinner. On Sunday nights. Why? Because after our usual ‘Sunday after church’ meal of a roast and potatoes and veggies and rolls and desserts – whew - Sunday dinner had to be a light supper… So, with a flourish (he had studied at the Academy of Dramatic Arts, after all), my father would get out the waffle iron or frying pans and whip up pancake/waffle batter or break those eggs and slice that bacon. And oh, how those morning cooking smells wafting thru the house after dark made me giddy… as if we were all breaking some unwritten law. It was fun and thrilling and I’ll always remember how cool I thought my Dad was for bending the ‘dinner rules.’
I still love breakfasts for dinner. I don’t do it often, but it’s still a ‘thrill’ … like I’m getting away w/ something I shouldn’t and this past weekend Richard stepped into my father’s shoes and made breakfast for dinner. Enjoy! I did.
SHRIMP & BASIL FRITTATA
A Russ Parsons Recipe from the Los Angeles Times
Servings: 6 as appetizer, 4 as main course
2 tablespoons butter
1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions (both green and white parts), about 4 onions
1/2 pound peeled small shrimp (70 to 100 per pound)
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 to 10 leaves of basil, torn into small pieces
1. Heat the broiler. Melt the butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium low heat. Add the green onions and cook until they've softened slightly, about 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until they are firm, about 5 minutes.
2. While the onions and shrimp are cooking, beat the eggs, salt and basil with a fork in a mixing bowl just until the yolks and the white are thoroughly mixed, but don't overbeat, which can make the frittata dry.
3. Add the egg mixture to the pan with the onions and shrimp and stir well to combine.
Reduce the heat to low and cover the pan. Cook, without stirring, until the eggs have set, leaving only a top layer uncooked, about 10 minutes.
Place under the broiler until the top is browned and puffy, 1 to 2 minutes.
4. To unmold the frittata, let it cool slightly in the pan. Use a spatula to loosen it along the sides, and then bang it firmly on a cutting board to release the underside. Slide it out onto a serving plate. Serve either hot or at room temperature. If you're going to refrigerate the frittata, let it warm to room temperature before serving.
Each of 6 servings: 148 calories; 14 grams protein; 1 gram carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 9 grams fat; 4 grams saturated fat; 279 mg. cholesterol; 1 gram sugar; 225 mg. sodium.