This week’s recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen

Green chile, corn and zucchini frittata.
(Glenn Koenig / Los Angeles Times)

This week, Food editor Russ Parsons is all about the cult of the Hatch green chiles:

“The roasting of fiery green chiles is a ritual in New Mexico, as much a part of the transition to fall as back-to-school sales, afternoon thunderstorms and the state fair. All over the Land of Enchantment, the pungent smell of fire-blackened peppers hangs in the air.

“And now it has come to Southern California. Over the last few years, Hatch green chile roasts have become a big deal. Not just a big deal, a huge deal. Area foodies start sharing rumors about them in early summer. And information on where they are being held is collected on websites such as Chowhound.”


This week’s recipes include:

  • Green chile, corn and zucchini frittata
  • Zea’s sweet potato bread pudding with rum sauce

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Green chile, corn and zucchini frittata

Total time: 40 minutes

Servings: 6 to 8

2 tablespoons butter

1 zucchini

1/4 cup chopped green onions (about 2 onions, green parts only)

1/3 to ½ cup roasted, peeled, chopped green chile

1 cup corn kernels (about 1 ear)

6 eggs

1/2 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack and sharp cheddar, divided

1. Heat the broiler. Melt the butter in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Cut the zucchini in lengthwise quarters, then in crosswise pieces, about one-third to one-half-inch thick.

2. When the butter sizzles, add the zucchini and cook, stirring occasionally. After 2 to 3 minutes, add the green onions and green chile and cook until the zucchini is tender, about 8 minutes. There should be no liquid in the bottom of the pan. Add the corn and remove from the heat.

3. While the zucchini is cooking, beat the eggs with a fork in a mixing bowl just until the yolks and the white are thoroughly mixed, but don’t overbeat, which can make the frittata dry. Stir in the salt, the zucchini mixture and half of the cheese and stir to mix well.

4. Return the skillet to low heat, cover and cook, without stirring, until the eggs have set, leaving only a top layer uncooked, about 10 minutes. Scatter the remaining cheese over the top and place it under the broiler until the top is browned and puffy, 1 to 2 minutes.

5. To unmold the frittata, let it cool slightly in the pan. Use a spatula to loosen it along the sides, and then bang it firmly on a cutting board to release the underside. Slide it out onto a serving plate. Serve either hot or at room temperature. If you’re going to refrigerate the frittata, let it return to room temperature before serving.

Each of 8 servings: 139 calories; 8 grams protein; 5 grams carbohydrates; 1 gram fiber; 10 grams fat; 5 grams saturated fat; 156 mg cholesterol; 2 grams sugar; 258 mg sodium.

Zea’s sweet potato bread pudding with rum sauce

Total time: 1½ hours, plus cooling time

Servings: 12 to 16

Note: Adapted from Zea Rotisserie and Grill in New Orleans. The restaurant bakes the pudding in a 3-inch-deep casserole dish; if using a dish this depth, the baking time can increase by as much as an hour.

Sweet potato bread pudding

9 eggs

3 cups sugar

3 tablespoons pumpkin pie spice

3 tablespoons vanilla extract

1 1/2 cups mashed sweet potatoes (from 1 large boiled, peeled and mashed sweet potato)

1/3 pound butter, melted

1 quart milk

1 cup (5 ounces) raisins

1 pound stale French bread cubes, cut into ½-by-½-inch cubes

1 1/2 cups pecan pieces

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer, or in a large glass or nonreactive bowl using a hand mixer, beat the eggs. Slowly beat in the sugar, then beat in the pumpkin pie spice and vanilla extract. Beat in the mashed sweet potatoes until thoroughly combined, then beat in the butter. Add the milk, beating until all of the ingredients are completely and thoroughly incorporated. If using a stand mixer, transfer the custard base to a large glass or nonreactive bowl.

2. Using your hands, mix the bread cubes and raisins into the custard base. Cover and refrigerate the mixture overnight.

3. Shortly before baking, heat the oven to 275 degrees. Thoroughly stir the mixture, making sure there are no white spots of un-soaked bread (it is fine if the soaked bread breaks down somewhat as you stir), and check to see that the raisins are evenly distributed.

4. Pour the mixture into a lightly buttered 13-by-9-inch baking dish. Lightly scatter and press the pecans onto the top of the pudding.

5. Bake the pudding until it has puffed and the custard is set in the center, about 70 to 90 minutes. Remove the pudding to a rack to cool for 2 hours before serving.

Rum sauce

2 cups light corn syrup

1/4 cup dark rum

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, at room temperature

2 tablespoons vanilla extract

In a medium saucepan, heat the corn syrup, rum and vanilla to a simmer over medium heat. Remove from heat and, using a whisk, vigorously beat in the softened butter. Keep at room temperature until ready to serve. This makes about 3 cups sauce.

Each of 16 servings: 735 calories; 10 grams protein; 104 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams fiber; 32 grams fat; 15 grams saturated fat; 161 mg cholesterol; 61 grams sugar; 272 mg sodium.