This past weekend was a whirlwind, most of which was seen through the car windows. Jonji and I once again journeyed south, this time to check out the housing situation down there. The two of us sped down the highway in his new red Volvo Station Wagon, AKA the most soccer-mom car in the history of the world. With the AC and our podcasts on blast, we were quite happy. That is, until we hit traffic (no surprise) and ended up completing the journey in 7 1/2 hours. Welcome to LA, suckers.
We made it to Paramount Studios, Kelsey’s place of work, where we were greeted with a couple of super cool passes with our names and “Kelsey Krasnigor is expecting you” printed on them. I don’t think I’ve seen anything more official. Kelsey then treated us to a ride around the sets in a golf cart before handing over the keys to her apartment so that we could finally be somewhere that was not a car.
The next day I got to register for my classes at Otis, which took longer than I thought it would. I pretty much had no idea what was going on until an hour and half in when I was at the computer, punching in the class numbers to register. I looked down and saw “Advertising Workshop” listed as one of my electives. “Do I even know what that is?” I thought desperately. “What if I don’t want to take an Advertising Workshop class?”
One minor breakdown in a bathroom stall later, my brain decided to start working logically again, and I returned to the computer room to look up class descriptions. An hour later, I was registered, I had gotten an online portfolio set up, and I’d had my photo taken for my school ID card. I found Jonji outside and realized how hungry I was, so we charged up to the car and found the nearest Whole Foods. The closest one was gargantuan, and it was that that really made me realize we were, in fact, not in Santa Cruz. Side note: if you go to the Venice Whole Foods, I highly recommend the three tacos for $5.99 deal.
We drove to three apartments that day, finding only one we actually really liked. We were done in time to make the 6 PM class at Depot CrossFit, where my hair attempted to suffocate me as it stuck to my neck and the inside of my mouth during the burpees. I don’t think I’ve hated hair more than that moment.
The next day we saw at least six apartments, one of which is our dream apartment (we’re crossing our fingers still!). We also reigned as King and Queen garage sale-ers—for every two apartments we saw, we stopped at one garage sale. The highlight of the hunt was the sixty-year-old carved mirror and yes, we are eighty years old. We were done with the search by 3 PM, and got home by 8:30. All I could think as I stepped out of the car was, “Hallelujah!”
I’ll be honest—this recipe has nothing to do with the weekend, besides that fact that I was planning on making it for the car ride. Instead, we relied on Whole Foods and a sandwich stop in San Luis Obispo. But if I had made frittata for the trip, I’m sure it would have made the car ride that much better.
2 small sweet potatoes (I like a mix of Japanese sweet potatoes and yams)
a few fingerling potatoes
1 lb sweet italian sausage
1 yellow onion
1 bunch dino kale
butter and olive oil
salt and pepper
Peel sweet potatoes and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Cut fingerlings likewise. Toss with salt, pepper, and enough olive oil to coat the potatoes. Place on a rimmed baking sheet and spread into an even layer. Bake at 400°F for 20–30 min, until easily pricked with a fork.*
While the potatoes are cooking, take the skin off the sausages (break the skin with a knife and peel it off) and place meat into a large saucepan. Cook over medium heat, occasionally stirring and breaking up the pieces—you want small chunks of sausage. When cooked through, place sausage into a large bowl and set aside.
As the sausage cooks, slice the leeks and onions. The onions should be sliced in half, then half again, and finally sliced longways (that sounds extremely confusing, but it’s really straightforward). Cut off the leek tops and bottoms, then slice them in half, longways. Slice the lengths on the horizontal—each slice should leave 1/4 inch wide pieces. When all leeks are cut, rinse in cold water and let drain.
Once the sausage is done, add 2 or more tbsp of butter and a couple glugs of olive oil to the pan. Swirl around the pan and, once the butter has melted, add the leeks and onions. Cook over medium heat until soft and limp, roughly 7–10 minutes. Add a couple large sprinkles of salt and pepper. When done, add it all to the bowl of sausage.
While the onions are cooking, strip the kale leaves. Once all leaves are stripped, gather into a pile (or two) and slice across, trying to achieve 1/2 wide strips. Wash thoroughly. When the onions are done, add another tablespoon of butter and a couple more glugs of olive oil to the pan and cook the kale for a couple minutes, just until limp. Add to the bowl containing sausage and onions.
Once the potatoes are done, remove from the oven and turn the oven down to 350°F. Add potatoes to the bowl (you may only need half. Add some and, once everything is mixed, add more as needed). Crack the eggs into the bowl (unless you often get eggshells in your cracked eggs, then use another bowl first). Mix everything together. Add a couple sprigs of thyme, leaves removed and sticks discarded, and a bit more pepper and salt. Mix one last time.
Pour enough olive oil into the pan to coat the bottom (you’ll be very happy you did this—you just avoided an hour of scrubbing that dang pan). Pour the contents of the bowl into the prepared pan and insert into oven. Bake for 35 minutes.
This fritatta is absolutely wonderful for dinner as well as lunch, as it’s tasty warm or cold.
*You’ll probably have leftover potatoes. I love to eat them in the morning with a couple eggs!