ICEBOX: Stocked to support brunch and happy hour
Q: Tell us about the most exotic item you have in your refrigerator.
A: Italian cherries called Amarena from Bologna. They’re packaged in heavy syrup and you can eat them on ice cream. I prefer mine in Manhattans.
Q: What are we never going to find in your fridge?
A: Mint! All my friends laugh at me, including the chefs I know, because if you ask me, mint belongs in toothpaste or gum. My friends defend its freshness and adaptability. I find it overwhelming to the palate.
Q: What are we always going to find in your fridge?
A: I adore eggs so you’re always going to find lots of them. Breakfast or brunch is my favourite meal of the day. For me, it’s an occasion.
Q: Tell us more about the contents of your fridge?
A: Today I have rapini — an Italian leafy kind of thing that I love. If I ever get married, rapini will be my wedding bouquet. I’ve also got ready-to-drink Bellinis. And red and yellow peppers, but green peppers — to quote my friend, chef Liana Robberecht — “have no business.”
Q: What’s the most meaningful item you’ve got in your refrigerator right now?
A: Well, the first thing my late mom used to think when she got up in the morning was ‘What am I going to feed my family for dinner?’ She considered it her job to make sure we had great meals. She made a red pepper jelly that was outstanding. My sister recently made her recipe and gave me some.
Q: Care to dish on the contents of your freezer?
A: Multi-coloured plastic martini shakers poised and ready for action. Freezies for my niece and nephew. Bison Grass Vodka. Strawberries and Spolumbo sausages.
Q: What else makes your fridge shelves regularly?
A: I’m a fruit princess, so you’ll find Gala apples, blackberries and raspberries. And you’ll always find little jars of jam that I, ahem, often lift from room service when I’m travelling. From Dickinson’s Sweet Or-
1/4 cup ange Marmalade to Blackberry Preserves.
Q: You’ve got loads of jellies and jams in your fridge. Marion berry and balsamic jam from San Francisco. White wine jelly. Porto jelly with spices. What gives?
A: I like to serve them with cheese at happy hour. I grew up watching adults around me connect at happy hour after a long work day. It was lovely to observe as a child and it has become a template for me. It’s about a moment that lets loved ones come together. So my fridge is stocked mainly to support my two favourite occasions of the day: breakfast or brunch — and happy hour. (15 mL) diced shallots
(15 mL) butter organic farmer’s eggs (50 mL) cream sea salt and fresh ground pepper 1/2 to 3/4 large ball of fresh buffalo
(Patricia likes the Buffalo Mozzarela she finds at Lina’s Italian Market and Cappuccino Bar, 2202 Centre St. N.E.)
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Using a cast iron frying pan (or a frying pan you can put in the oven), sweat shallots over medium heat in butter until shallots are translucent and golden brown.
Whisk eggs with cream and salt and pepper and add to shallots in pan as soon as shallots are ready.
Using a spatula, pull the sides of the mixture into the centre of pan for a minute over medium heat, allowing for loose mixture to flow out and completely cover bottom of pan.
When there is no loose liquid remaining (and the entire bottom of the pan is covered in egg mixture), place frying pan into oven on centre rack for 5 to 7 minutes or just before frittata is completely set.
While frittata is baking, tear mozza ball into walnut-sized bites and snip basil into small pieces as well.
Again, just before frittata is completely set, remove from oven and place mozza and basil evenly over top along with a dash of pepper.
Bake again in oven until cheese browns and edges become crispy and eggs are completely set (approximately 4 more minutes).
Remove from oven and let rest for a few minutes.
The frittata should then slide easily from pan onto a cutting board like a pizza.
Slice as you would a pizza and serve with desired side.
Patricia Koyich stocks her fridge with fruits and little jars of jam.
Patricia Koyich with her favourite foods in her fridge at her home in Calgary.