Tuesday, September 4, 2012


We've been trying to use up all the leftovers in the refrigerator this week. John made a cake over the weekend, so among the leftovers were three egg yolks, the whites having been used in the cake. We also had half a can of mushrooms, leftover from my making a mushroom gravy for the flank steak over the weekend, some crumbled bits of cheddar cheese, and some salsa saved from a trip to a Mexican restaurant last week.

The mushroom gravy was my variation on a recipe that my old microwave cookbook calls Bordelaise sauce. I finally looked up a recipe for Bordelaise sauce online and discovered that my microwave cookbook has been lying to me. Real Bordelaise sauce is made with bone marrow and shallots and sauce demi-glace. My microwave version is made with beef broth, butter , flour, red wine and a drop or two of Worcestershire. When I want to, I throw in mushrooms. I could make real Bordelaise sauce, if I ever found a marrow bone somewhere, but then I’d be too busy to cook the beef to go with it.

Although we did just get the rotisserie kit that goes with our big barbecue grill. I could probably get my husband to roast a haunch of beef on a spit while I make the sauce.

The big grill, which now has a rotisserie kit

Today, however, I’m trying to use up leftovers, not make more. So what do you do with egg yolks, mushrooms, cheese crumbles and salsa? Add three more whole eggs and make a frittata. 

My mom used to make potato and egg frittata when there was too much month left at the end of our money. She was a genius at being able to flip the frittata in the pan to cook the top. I have to use the broiler. Mom had several low cost recipes for the end of the month. Some of them I loved, like the potatoes and eggs and her homemade macaroni. Some of them were so-so, like spaghetti with broccoli. And some I dreaded, like pasta e fagioli, or as you may have heard it pronounced, pasta fazzool. 

I once tried making  pasta e fagioli as an adult. I had learned to like eggplant parmesan by making my own, so I thought maybe I’d like pasta e fagioli better if I made it myself. I spent hours cooking the beans, but when it came to making the pasta, I thought the better of it. I cooked up some rice and we had white beans and rice instead. They were delicious.

The frittata was easy. I whipped up the egg yolks, the whole eggs, some salt and pepper, and put them into a sizzling cast iron skillet in which I had melted some butter. Then I spread the mushrooms in and lifted the edges of the eggs as they cooked to let the liquid from the top run down to the pan. When it was almost cooked I sprinkled the cheese crumbles on top and slipped it into the broiler. I added the salsa when the top was almost set and put the pan back into the broiler to heat the salsa. John ate two helpings, so I guess it came out okay.

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