Sunday, December 4, 2011

Egg pizza and My New Sous Chef

Every cook needs a sous chef. Lucky for me, I have my very own personal kitchen aide for the next few weeks. Filippo, comes to AK's Kitchen from Bologna, Italia, via a program for international students.

Kitchen duties are my own addition to his cirriculum. I figure every teenager needs to know some basic cooking skills. As I mentioned to Filippo, girls really dig a guy who can julien and saut√©. And who can resist a 6-foot 4-inch helper who can reach the dark corners of the pantry (that's where the fish paste disappeared) and who is strong enough to bring down the blender and other heavy appliances.

My 17-year-old sous chef has a natural appreciation for fine food. How could he not? He was born and bred in Italy's capital of gastronomy. His dad, Lorenzo, makes balsamic vinegar, as a hobby. His family farm has wild truffles. His nonna, Iris, makes homemade tortellini. Family dinners are a feast for the senses.

Filippo's first lesson in AK's Kitchen was to help me transform three leftover tilapia filets into a meal for six. Eggs are one of the easiest ways to stretch a meal. Filippo and I whipped up an "egg pizza" in 10 minutes. This is a variation of Marga's tortilla.

While my teen kitchen aide beat seven eggs, I chopped half an onion, one tomato and grated one carrot. I fried the vegetables and put them aside. Filippo poured the eggs into the frying pan.

When the eggs were nearly set, we added the vegetables. Filippo arranged pieces of the leftover poached tilapia onto the egg pizza. Grated mozzarella and chopped red pepper finished off the pizza.

Presto! Dinner for six served with baked sweet potato fries and a salad.