Just a word of warning: if you tell a butcher that you need “enough sausage for two people”, the two people he has in mind are not you and your lovely spouse, but two hungry offensive linemen from the Chicago Bears. And by the time you realize his misapprehension, he has already cut, wrapped and bagged your sausage. All that is left is to lug your giant bag of sausage home, use it for its intended purpose and then start figuring out other clever ways to use the rest. Not an unpleasant task, I know.
Spanish chorizo sausage and its cousin Portuguese linguica are, basically, awesome sauce-age. They are typically dried, kind of like a salami, although some are softer than others, and are intensely flavored with delicious things like smoked paprika and garlic and chunks of pork fat that melt out when they are heated, flavoring everything with porky, sausagy deliciousness.
Since I had made this bulk purchase of sausage to make a seafood paella last week, I had a bit of a Spanish theme going on in my mind: what could I do with a jar of fire roasted piquillo peppers, sausage, some onion, and my smoky piquante Spanish paprika? Make one of my favorite quick suppers, a Spanish frittata. All I needed was some cooked potatoes, eggs, and soft, creamy, tangy chevre.
A frittata is an open-faced omelet with vegetables, cheese, and meat mixed into the eggs rather than being folded in after the eggs are mostly cooked. My frittatas tend to be heavy on the fillings. And while this recipe is one of my favorites, a frittata is just as adaptable to what you have on hand as an omelet is; the important thing to bear in mind is that (and this is especially important if you, like me, like a lot of fillings) you must pre-cook the vegetables before the eggs are added. Raw or undercooked vegetables release a lot of water while they are cooking and that water just makes your eggs awful and soggy. The other benefit to cooking the vegetables ahead of the eggs is that you can add that layer of flavor that a little browning in a bit of flavorful fat provides. The creamy potatoes, sweet peppers and onions, creamy/tangy chevre and smoky sausage give the frittata a full balanced spectrum of flavor.
Smoky Spanish Frittata
– 1 teaspoon oil (unless you are using a non-stick skillet)
– 2 ounces chorizo sausage, diced
– 1/3 cup chopped red onion
– 2 small waxy potatoes, peeled, cubed, and roasted or boiled (about 3/4 cup)
– 2-3 jarred roasted piquillo peppers, sliced
– 2 ounces fresh goat cheese/chevre (I used Laura Chanel chevre)
– smoked paprika
– 1 tablespoon parsley leaves, chopped
– 5 eggs, beaten
Preheat the oven to 350 or your broiler to medium-high.
If you are using a cast iron skillet as I am, use the teaspoon of oil to lightly grease the entire inside of the pan so that the eggs are less likely to stick. I don’t have non-stick, but I understand that if you do, that step is unnecessary.
Over medium heat, heat the diced sausage through until some of the orange fat begins to ooze out; add the potatoes and onions and saute until the onion begins to soften and the potatoes begin to brown. Dust everything with smoked paprika according to your flavor intensity preference. Scatter the pan with the sliced piquillo peppers; crumble the chevre into the vegetable mixture, leaving rough chunks of the soft cheese. Toss in the parsley and sprinkle with a little salt.
Put a pinch of salt into the beaten eggs and pour them over the skillet, evenly distributing it over the vegetables and sausage. let it cook over medium until the edges become opaque and bubbles begin to rise through the eggs in the middle of the pan.
Place either in the oven or under the broiler to finish cooking the top of the eggs. Keep an eye on it; it should only take a few minutes before all of the eggs are opaque and lightly cooked through.
Let the frittata sit to cool and set slightly before slicing in wedges; it’s also good at room temperature.