Thursday, February 2, 2012

Potato and Lemon Thyme Frittata and A Blog Hop Event

We love our lemon thyme plant. Every time when we are relaxing at our balcony, my son will pick a few of our lemon thyme, crush the leaves, rub them on his hands and then smell his hands with lots of deep breath.

"Mummy, do you want to smell my hands?" He will then ask me to smell the leaves with him and I will. Indeed, I think lemon thyme did smell a little like lemon and we both loves the fragrance of lemon and these lemon thyme leaves. This recipe from the MasterChef Magazine, July 2011 issue is quite unique; it uses lemon thyme to enhance the taste of a frittata. Good that this magazine is free, but only for this issue from its app download.

Being a health freak, I never like the idea of using butter in my savoury cooking but today, I will try cooking this frittata as much as I can in the "MasterChef" way. Or maybe not exactly... I did try to stick to the recipe as much as I can but it is always limitations in some cases...

When I buy a bunch of spring onions or leeks, they usually come in a bundle of 8-10 and the frustration bit is that I need only 2 of each in this recipe! To minimise wastage, I have decided to replace leek with the the white parts of spring onion. I didn't want to waste extra money again, buying flat-leaf parsley and so I replaced them with baby spinach which is part of our salad for the day. Plus, another ingredient in this recipe, the white balsamic vinegar is not easily available in any local stores and supermarkets and so it is not available at the time when I cook this dish. I reckon...trying to cook like a MasterChef is really not easy and very money consuming. I think I'm more like a thrifty mum in this case. LOL!

Despite all the efforts, this dish is really really really delicious just like what a good cafe would serve. The spring onion dressing is a must to compliment this dish and my husband and son think that I should cook more like a "MasterChef" more often...Please read further for a blog hop announcement.

Cooking the frittata...
The Delicious Spring Onion Dressing - a must to compliment this frittata
Here's the recipe from the MasterChef Magazine, July 2011
(with my minor modification and notes in blue)

Potato and Lemon Thyme Frittata

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Serve 4 as a light meal

60g butter
2 leeks, white part only, halved lengthwise, thinly sliced 
(replaced by white parts of spring onions)
2 garlic cloves garlic, crushed
8 sprigs lemon thyme, leaves picked
2 large Desiree potatoes, peeled, cut into 2 cm pieces
(used only 1, 2 is too much for us to finish)
1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, chopped (replaced by baby spinach)
40g (1/2 cup) finely grated Parmesan
8 eggs
Rocket (replaced by baby spinach) and char-grilled vegetables (optional), to serve

Spring Onion Dressing

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2 spring onions, trimmed, roughly chopped
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped (I didn't add this)
2 tsp white balsamic vinegar 
(replaced by 1 tsp white vinegar and 1 tsp original balsamic vinegar)
2 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp caster sugar
60ml (1/4 cup) olive oil (reduced to 1 tbsp)

To make spring onion dressing, process all the ingredients in a food processor until combined. Season with salt and pepper.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Melt half the butter in a 24 cm (mine is 26 cm) oven proof frying pan over medium heat. Add leeks (white spring onion) and garlic, and cook stirring occasionally for 10 min or until leeks (white spring onion) are soft.

Meanwhile, melt remaining butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add thyme and potatoes, and cook, turning for 5 min or until golden. Using a slotted spoon, remove potatoes and drain on paper towel. Add half the potatoes (I added all from 1 potato) to the leek (white spring onion) mixture and season.

Place parsley (I didn't add this), Parmesan and eggs in a bowl and whisk to combine. Pour egg mixture over leek (white spring onion) mixture and stir gently to combine. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 15 min or until frittata is firm but slightly wobbly in the center (it will continue to cook).

Scatter with reserved potatoes (I didn't have any reserved potatoes) and rocket (baby spinach), if using. Drizzle with a little spring onion dressing and serve with remaining dressing on salad or char-grilled vegetables, if using.

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Cooking this dish does made me realise that I have a lot to learn for cooking and baking. I reckon... to be able to cook and bake well (plus MasterChef factors), I have to cook or bake from various recipes cooked and baked by various celebrity chefs. Having a series of "serious" thinking, I have decided to start a blog hop called, Cook like a Star.

For each month, I will nominate a specific celebrity chef for us to be star-struck for this blog hop and would like to invite everyone to do this blog hop with me. Based on the nominated chef, I will cook or bake one or more of the nominated chef's recipes and do a blog hop with everyone who also cook or bake the nominated chef's recipes.

This blog hop will officially start on 1st Mar 2012 and the first celebrity chef that I've chosen for March 2012 is Donna Hay!

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Donna Hay is Australia's leading food editor and best-selling cookbook author.  To me, Donna Hay is the queen of food presentation and everything that she cooks and bakes look so chic and modern. Her food and recipes uses lots of basic ingredients, simply prepared and beautifully photographed. I must say that she has been a great inspiration to me.

To join, all you have to do is to cook or bake any of Donna Hay's recipes. Her recipes can be from her cookbooks, magazines and websites and simply do a blog hop with me on the whole month of March 2012. For more details, please see this.

Please blog hop with me soon! Happy Baking.

51 comments:

  1. Hi Zoe,
    Your frittata looks delicious! I think being an Asian, we are not used to so much butter in our food, I always sub with canola oil!
    The event sounds VERY INTERESTING!! Count me in! Will go search for Donna Hay's recipes, do not have any of her books YET!! So exciting!

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    1. Thanks Joyce for being so supportive!

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  2. That's one yummy looking fritata ! It looks better & I bet taste delish than the one I'd last week at the cafe here ;P ;D

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  3. Oh I love thyme herb, love its citrus flavour, they just combine so great with the lemon.

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  4. Oh, boy, your frittata sounds amazing! And as I've never made a Donna Hay recipe, I'm very excited for your blog hop. Hope I can join you!

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    1. Hi Lizzy, You are very welcome to join this blog hop. I look forward to see your Donna Hay's dish.

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  5. This frittata sounds so delicious and makes me excited for summer in the states! I also love lemon thyme.

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  6. I'm trying not to be jealous of that lemon thyme. My plant never did grow. Not sure what happened to it, but it was tragic. Oh well, I'll just have to plant another one this year! This sounds delicious!

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  7. Lovely pics, Zoe! And the frittata looks great!
    A great idea for a blog hop. Hopefully I can recreate some Donna Hay dishes and join in.

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    1. Thanks Ping! I look forward to have you blog hopping with me with DH recipes.

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  8. Hi Zoe! You are an amazing baker and cook. Everything that you have made on this blog so far looks amazing and I'm sure everything tastes as good as it looks. I am like you learning as I create one dish at a time. I have tried so many new dishes and some have turned out wonderfully and others not so much! But each new recipe is like a challenge and when you succeed, you really succeed.

    I like your blog hop idea. I have seen a few of these from fellow bloggers. I will check out Donna Hay's recipes and see if there is one that appeals to me and if so, I will join in. Since you have your new Barefoot cookbook, maybe you should do a recipe from her one month. I will definitely join you on that one as I just posted a new chicken recipe from her tonight. BTW, she does like butter so you may have to use it again ;)

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    1. Thanks for all your compliment. Being motivated by you and Ina Garten, I had actually nominated Ina Garten to be the theme of the blog hop for the month of May. Hope that we can learn lots of cooking and baking from her recipes. I think I need to stock up more butter now ;)

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  9. hi zoe, i have never made a fritata before and all the while i was thinking there's cream used in the recipe. I see no milk and cream here, i think i will love your fritata! will be chcking on donna hay's recipes!! * wink wink*

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    1. Thanks Lena for being so supportive. Very honoured to have Joyce and you as my baking friends.

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  10. This frittata looks delicious! I love lemon in any dish and I think I d love this one!

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  11. I too love lemon thyme. This looks wonderful. Such beautiful photos!

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  12. that looks like the nicest frittata ive ever seen...golden deliciousness :)

    id love to join in the blog hop! have recently subscribed to the DH magazine so have HEAPS (i mean seriously a stack) of her recipes i want to try :D does that mean 1st March is the day of the post?

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    1. So happy to know that you are interested to blog hop with me with DH recipes. The event begins on 1st Mar and end on last day of the month. We can cook and blog as much as we like and link up with everyone. Can't wait for Mar to arrive...

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  13. I have been telling my husband that I would like to cook ourselves a nice frittata on one weekend but I haven't really taken any action so far, haha!Your frittata looks certainly delicious!

    I had been using Donna Hay's recipes in my Dec's cooking & in fact, there are few more that I want to try out & if I'm not lazy, I think I'll participate in your blog hop! Thanks for organising!

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    1. Hope that you can participate this event. I chosen DH because she has really heaps of recipes to cook and learn. This is a free and easy event so you can join whenever you want. No pressure! ... But I will be happy to have you to blog hop with me ;)

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  14. My kids would love this. Beautiful flavors. Very interesting blog.Ciao!

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  15. There are so many hybrid herbs out there I would love to have but I am still on my quest. The frittata does look fabulous, but I would have to say that the dressing is my pick over the two. Glad to stop in and see this post. Sweet of you to host this blog hop-I look forward to seeing the links

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  16. What a beautiful frittata - lovely flavors - I have a lemon thyme plant also and its just gorgeous -
    Mary x

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  17. What great and aromatic frittata!Congrats,dear!Kisses!

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  18. I love lemon thyme too, but it's hard to get over here. And the blog hop sounds interesting - esp since it's donna hay, who produces one of my fave magazines around!

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    1. Glad that you like the chosen theme, DH. Hope to have you blog hop with me.

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  19. Somehow I have not made any frittata before, usually just fry eggs the asian way hehe! I wish I can make frittata that looks so perfect like yours one day:D

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  20. Mouthwatering here, wat a terrific and super tempting flavourful frittata..

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  21. I love frittata,is easy and simple this version sound Yummy !!
    Ridwan

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  22. Just the recipe I am looking for to use the lemon thyme I have! Will give this a try soon!

    I do have a Donna Hay book somewhere!

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  23. Hi Zoe, your frittata looks very good. Beautiful presentation and nice picture.

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  24. Good luck with the "Cook like a star"! I'm also inspired by Donna Hay when I first started to learn baking!

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  25. this uses all of my favorite flavors- I'm sure I would love it!

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  26. Very nice combo! I always love frittata! It can be served as a meal on its own and adding potatoes is definitely making it more hearty. ;) Yums!

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  27. Will be making this Sunday morning; thank you for sharing. Pinning this one.
    Rita

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  28. Hi Zoe, I've never eaten a fritata. Yours looks yummy and tempting. Maybe I should make some since my thyme is growing rather well.

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  29. zoe, i passing the award for you,please check it out
    http://rivankie.blogspot.com/2012/02/manggo-kiwi-ginger-crumbled-and-awards.html
    Ridwan

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  30. Lemon and thyme and such beautiful flavours. Never seen them in a frittata before but sounds delicious!

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  31. What a lovely frittata! Looking forward to reading the results of the blog hop.

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  32. I could go for some of this frittata right now! Sounds like a fun blog event coming up!

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  33. mmm this looks fabulous! i am experimenting lately with gluten free foods, and this fits the bill perfectly. can't wait to try it!

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  34. Oh this is more than yum! Great looking frittata and what an amazing recipe! Delicious and pretty!

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  35. Delicious looking fritatta and great idea for the bloghop. Feel free to link up to February AlphaBakes which is "L" for lemon thyme :)

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  36. That a nice looking frittata, thank you for this great recipe.
    And I nearly miss this new event :) I love Donna Hay's recipes, would love to join in 0-^

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  37. I on the other hand am crazy for butter in savoury dishes, LOL.
    This looks delish! And your lemon thyme looks so healthy, mine looks half dead.
    BTW, spring onions can be kept for a good period of time, provided it is cleaned, and kept in a plastic container. It is a staple in my fridge and it an be kept for a week, minimum.

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  38. Une frittata bien délicieuse. J'aime beaucoup.
    Seesoon

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  39. I love the look of your frittata. I read from Lena about your event, sounds fun. I'll see if I have time to whip up something from Donna Hay's recipe.

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  40. nice idea.. thanks for posting..

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