There are seven members of the Bibliofemme bookclub and, every month, one of us hosts a meeting where we discuss the book distributed at the previous meeting. As I had picked the last book – Witi Ihimaera’s The Whale Rider – all the Femmes were coming round to mine on Saturday and, in a change from our normal night-time get-together, we were meeting at 12pm. Normally we just have nibbles and wine – having taken a vow when the club started not to have anyone slaving over a hot stove – but I couldn’t resist the chance to try out some brunch recipes. Although, having carelessly tossed off an invitation to brunch to six people (normally seven but the Artist couldn’t make it back from London), those recipes seemed to be rather difficult to come by.
Despite being stuffed full of recommendations for other group events, Tom’s Big Dinners didn’t have one idea for brunch so I had to look elsewhere. A trawl through my collection of Nigella‘s books left me similarly lost but, somewhere en route, I had decided that eggs were an appropriate thing to have and, after a zoom around the local supermarket to see what was in stock, I settled on a Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Potato Frittata (to try out my new cast-iron frying pan!) served with Mushrooms in Milk. This mushroom recipe, adapted from Denis Cotter’s ever-useful A Paradiso Year: Autumn and Winter Cooking, is something that I remember my Nana making on the Aga cooker in Oldcastle town when I was small.
The morning of the brunch I picked up some small crusty bread rolls and made a couple of loaves of fresh brown bread. I had intended to make some chocolate muffins (I’ve rediscovered the muffin recipe book that Bibliofemme’s Writer gave me years ago) but, as I started to weigh out ingredients, I discovered that I was almost out of paper muffin cases so that idea had to go out the window at the last minute. Just as well – I had to keep leaving the apartment to find lost Femmes and lead them home! And The Whale Rider? A disappointment. Which reminds me, I need to go and review it now for the Bibliofemme site…
Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese and Potato Frittata
Red onions – 2, finely chopped
Eggs – 6, lightly beaten
Tinned baby potatoes – 1 x 800g tin
Paprika – ¼ teaspoon
Smoked salmon – 100g, chopped
Cream cheese – 100g, roughly cubed
Olive oil for frying
Salt, freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Heat some olive oil in a heavy oven-proof frying-pan and fry the onions over a moderate heat until they start to soften.
Meanwhile, slice the potatoes and add them to the beaten eggs along with some salt, pepper and the paprika. Scrape the softened onions into the egg and potato mixture, add the smoked salmon and the cubed cream cheese and fold gently together.
Heat a little more olive oil in the frying-pan and, when it is hot, pour in the egg-potato-smoked salmon-cream cheese mixture. Give it five minutes on top of the cooker to brown the bottom then put it in the oven for about 15 minutes or until set. Turn out onto a plate and cut into wedges to serve.
Serves 6 as part of a large brunch.