Kids are sometimes faulted for playing with their food. Even as an adult, I can’t always resist the temptation. I haven’t conducted any scientific studies, but I’m pretty sure that some silly antics enhance the taste of a meal. I’m certain they make mealtime more fun.
Holidays are a perfect time to stir a whimsical ingredient or two into a recipe. My initial plan for today was a straightforward, albeit tasty, recipe for a loaded baked potato frittata. With St. Patrick’s Day approaching, it seemed fitting enough given the historical significance of the potato in Ireland. But then I recalled a picture I once saw of clovers fashioned out of bell peppers, and my enthusiasm for this recipe skyrocketed.
It didn’t matter that green peppers had no prior place in this frittata. If you make the recipe in any other month, you can skip them and instead garnish this egg-based relative of the classic stuffed potato with some extra bacon, snipped chives, or a dollop of sour cream.
For the month of March, however, I recommend fashioning a few green pepper clovers. If you don’t much care for green peppers, I give you permission to pick them off. This garnish is primarily about bringing some laughs—and perhaps a little luck—to the dinner table.
In the spirit of more holiday fun, The John Wright Restaurant in Wrightsville, PA will be featuring this frittata on their menu throughout the month ahead. Their version will be clover-free, but with good reason.
The restaurant and adjacent gift shop, The Gardener of the Owl Valley, are celebrating the Easter holiday with a weekend of egg painting sponsored by the locally owned and manufactured Doc Hinkle’s Paint-On Egg Dye. There will be contests with gift certificates for age groups and several egg specials on the menu. (See registration details in the sidebar.)
In the spirit of today’s recipe, perhaps an egg decorated with clovers would be lucky. It sure would earn points for creativity!
- 8 large eggs
- 1/4 cup sour cream*
- 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
- 5 pieces bacon
- 12 ounces (about 2 small to medium) russet potatoes, diced**
- 4 green onions, sliced
- Optional: green bell pepper slices***
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and sour cream. (It’s okay there are some small sour cream lumps.) Stir in the cheese, salt, and pepper. Set aside.
Heat a 10-inch, ovenproof skillet over medium heat and cook the bacon until crisp. Remove to a paper towel-lined plate. In the residual bacon grease, cook the potatoes over medium heat, stirring regularly, until tender and nicely golden, about 10-12 minutes. Add the green onions, and cook for another minute. Remove from the heat, and evenly disperse the mixture over the bottom of the pan. Sprinkle the reserved bacon over the potatoes, and then pour the egg mixture over all. Use a fork to make sure the egg mixture has settled down amidst the potatoes and to ensure that the cheese is evenly distributed.
If making bell pepper clovers for St. Patrick’s Day, slice the green pepper into thin rounds and choose the slices that look most like clovers, removing the seeds and membrane as needed. Cut pieces to look like stems, and then position the desired number of clovers over the surface of the frittata.
Transfer the skillet to the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes or until the frittata is just set in the middle. (The last time I made this, it took 17 minutes in my oven.)
Remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Cut and serve warm.
- *If you don’t have sour cream or prefer a healthier option, you may use plain Greek yogurt.
- ** I like the texture of unpeeled potatoes, but you may peel them if preferred. Keeping the potato pieces small and of similar size will help to cook them more quickly and evenly.
- ***If not using the green peppers, you may wish to sprinkle some extra cheese on top of the frittata before baking. Optionally, when serving you could garnish with traditional potato toppings such as sliced scallions or chives, extra crumbled bacon, cheese, and/or a dollop of sour cream.
For those who live nearby and would like to attend the event, here are the details:
What’s Happening: The John Wright Restaurant will be hosting two afternoons of Easter Egg painting at The Gardener of the Owl Valley, the store adjacent to the restaurant. There will be contests and age group prizes awarded each day. Each child decorates one egg to enter a contest. Age groups are 5 – 8, 9 – 12, and 13+.
When: March 19 & 20, 2016; Sessions are at 11:30 and 1:30 each day.
Where: The John Wright Restaurant, 234 N. Front Street, Wrightsville, PA 17368
Registration: The event is free but registration is required as seating is limited. Call 717-292-2519 to reserve your spot. Children must be accompanied by an adult.
A Few More Details: The John Wright Restaurant will be serving several egg specials throughout the weekend including the Fountain Avenue Kitchen frittata. Locally owned and manufactured Doc Hinkle’s Paint-On Egg Dye will be provided. Just bring your imagination.
More details can be found on the Doc Hinkle’s Facebook page.