Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Cheese, Ham & Tomato Frittata

As the temperature plummeted 30 degrees and the wind blew ferociously, comfort food seemed like a great idea last evening. Using up some of our Christmas ham seemed like another great idea, the refrigerator offered some aged cheese, and the pantry yielded a can of tomatoes. When bound together with eggs, the results were satisfying, filling and, most of all - comforting.

Cheese, Ham & Tomato Frittata
Makes 4-5 dinner servings

6 eggs and 1 tablespoon of water, beaten
1 cup Colby Jack cheese, grated (may also use medium cheddar)
1 cup lean ham, diced
1 can petite diced tomatoes, drained


1/4 cup grated Parmesan
1/4 cup bread crumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter

Cover bottom of large, buttered glass or ceramic casserole dish with ham. Add cheese to eggs and stir in thoroughly. Bake at 350 degrees, 40-45 minutes, until slightly firm. Remove from oven and cover the entire frittata surface with drained tomatoes.

Stir together Parmesan and bread crumbs and sprinkle evenly across tomatoes. Drizzle butter across crumb mixture. Place frittata under broiler until topping browns slightly, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to set for about 10 minutes before cutting. Serve with fresh green beans or a crisp salad.

Lunch in Lawrence

It's not every day you dine with a friend who you last saw 35 years ago. I had created a profile on Facebook so I could access the page for a professional organization. Two days later, I received a message asking if I was this person's 'Irish sister from Mt. Lebanon High School.' My theater 'brother' and his family had lived only 40 minutes away from our house, for a decade. We scheduled lunch in Lawrence, Kansas - his hometown and location of the University of Kansas.

25,000 students call Lawrence home. Sprawling houses with generous porches and large front yards line Massachusetts Street before the retail district - half a dozen blocks filled with unique, student friendly shops, a sprinkling of chain stores and some truly wonderful restaurants. When I arrived early I played with my new camera. This mask and brightly painted building injected life into the chilly, gray February morning.

My 'brother,' Mark, and I ate pasta at Genovese while looking at his high school yearbook and my ancient script. A year later, we and our spouses have become friends, and Lawrence holds a special place in my heart.