Food on Friday :: Ode to Omelettes

We eat quite a number of omelettes in this house.

Lovely Eggy Omelette

It hasn’t always been that way. I used to be terrified of making them and only pulled out my recipe during weekends when we had company. And really, who isn’t scared of making a fool out of themselves in front of others and who isn’t terrified that the eggs won’t stick and make a mess out of your lovingly prepared masterpiece and causing the aforementioned fool-making/feeling behavior?

Humble Beginnings

The reality is, omelettes are a humble food, perfectly suited for those moments when you need something to eat, have tons of leftovers you’re not sure what to do with, and don’t want to spend hours in the kitchen. If you’re really short on time and patience there is nothing quite so satisfying as a warm cheese omelette whipped up in less than ten minutes. And while everyone is familiar with the lovely “Western” omelette of ham, cheese, peppers, and onions, two eggs slightly whipped make the perfect envelope for almost anything you have in your fridge. It’s incredibly freeing to think of omelettes as “only scrambled eggs with stuff inside” which is really what they are. Who cares that it’s folded half instead of perfect thirds, or if it breaks a little in the center, or there are holes here and there? It’s scrambled eggs with stuff in the middle! It will be delicious! And if not, start over again; you’ll have another, better version in five minutes or less.

Preparing the Mise

I am not a pro by any means, so don’t think this is something that is beyond your capabilities. I will offer a few tips that have helped me out ::

  • Use a non-stick pan that’s not scratched or beaten up
  • Take the time to heat-up your fillings, whatever they may be, well, except for the cheese as that’s just messy
  • Get everything set up ahead of time because the eggs cook quickly
  • Two eggs, beaten lightly (streaks are just fine!) with salt and pepper, added to melted butter in a low-heated pan is all you need
  • Once the edges of the eggs start to set ever-so-slightly, push them toward the center and let the rest of the runny egg flow to the edges
  • Place your fillings on one half of your eggs now, and allow the eggs to set
  • Let the whole omelette slide off your pan and then gentle flip the last empty half over the fillings
  • Sprinkle with a bit of chopped herbs

Non Stick Pan

I like to heat the plates up in the microwave to keep the eggs warm just a bit longer. It’s easy to do, but not at all necessary. I place a damp paper towel on top of each pate before stacking the next, then run it for three minutes or so. You don’t want the plates too hot to handle, and three minutes in our microwave gets them to just the perfect temperature. As an added bonus, your plates are all ready to go, which is always always the last thing I scramble for once I realize the first omelette is done.

Warming the Plates

And really, many times the omelettes are eaten faster than they can cool, so there’s another strike against wasting the microwave energy!

All Plated Up

We’ve had omelettes filled with leftover greens; omelettes made from butter braised radishes straight from the garden; and although this one is super fancy and qualifies as “company food” last week we had omelettes made from leftover lobster and potatoes with a touch of raclette cheese, this one right here below…

Omelette Almost Gone

…which I almost forgot to take a picture of before I demolished it entirely.

We’ve had a slight snag in omelette making recently, when one of our children was diagnosed with a bit of an egg allergy, and I have to admit it curtailed many a quick dinner plan for us. Recently, I realized that I could substitue a quick crepe instead of the scrambled eggs, which has made it a great deal easier to pull together an super fast meal for us all.

So, yes, omelettes and me are back on again, and I couldn’t be happier! I’d love to hear what kind of omelettes you’re making!

Food on Friday :: More From Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem

I am possibly, maybe, slightly obsessed with the food from Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem. It all seems so fresh and creative and beautiful and, well, alive. Not only are the recipes undeniably tasty, but I feel so healthy and good after eating them, these two especially.

Swiss Chard with Tahini, Yogurt, Buttered Pine Nuts

The Swiss Chard with Tahini, Yogurt, Buttered Pine Nuts is quick, easy, and my favorite meal for the past week. I’m on my third batch. The yogurt tahini sauce is lovely, but a nice dollop of labne, ever so slightly thinned with water, is also beautiful.

Roasted Cauliflower & Hazelnut salad

This is going to be my go-to salad recipe for the remainder of the winter. We’ve made the Roasted Cauliflower & Hazelnut Salad several times now, although here you see it with roasted Brussel Sprouts. It’s nearly impossible to decide which one is better. With whole leaf parsley, crispy celery, and pomegranate (which plays amazing well off of the hazelnuts), and a lovely wisp of dressing including maple syrup (just a touch!), sherry vinegar allspice, and cinnamon, this salad is somehow simultaneously hearty and refreshing, a perfect foil for heavy holiday fare. On night’s when we want to make it a touch more substantial, we add a few smoked mackerel or sardines.

I’m on my last little bit of chard, and I have another head of cauliflower in the fridge, so I’ll be covered for the weekend at least. Then I suppose I should try another recipe or two.

Growing Things

Today we spent nearly the entire day outside planting and weeding and tearing up and moving about. After ten days of rainy, foggy, cold coastal spring weather, the bright spot of sun that came out ever-so-briefly in the morning gave us all the push we needed to get out of our pj’s, down the last bits of coffee, and get into the yard for some fresh air. After a few minutes, the fog came back and stayed for a few hours before the sun broke through later in the afternoon, but that freshly washed spring air was something I’ve craved and needed.

Little Feet

We all needed it.

Family

Although it seems as if Spring was stalled for all the cold that April held, things have been growing all around us. Some inside on our windowsills…

Finding Roots

And some outside waiting for their chance to be put in the bed…

Please Plant Me

I’m afraid my cucumbers aren’t going to make it, but it’s OK, I have others germinating right now. To be quite honest, I fully expected the seedling project to utterly fail, so I planted things so much earlier than I should have. The tomatoes are still doing OK, although they need to be transplanted and out into some sort of greenhouse, but the cucumbers haven’t enjoyed the cold, windy weather we’ve been experiencing.

Peas

Leeks and Lettuce and Such

The peas, radishes, sorrel, leeks, beets, lettuce, escarole, bok choy, and tat soi are all doing well, although growing a bit slower due to the colder temperatures.

Kohlrabi

It was cold outside without the sun, and after an hour or so, the kids went back inside to warm up and grab some lunch while I stayed outside and planted the big bed. It took me five hours, but I got it done.

The Big Bed

After many years of planning and dreaming, it is so gratifying to see it start coming together.

Growing Companions

I am a little scared it’s going to fail miserably… I’m trying to work the bed with companion plantings which is entirely new and a little bit, well, uncomfortable for me, but I’m hoping and keeping my fingers crossed that it may just work.

Onions and Cabbage

And now we wait. It’s time for the roots to take hold. Because, of course, the dream was not only about a garden, but for a wish for a strong family, and a home to shelter us, and a community to ground us all. Watching a physical manifestation of that metaphor not only grow but thrive… well… it means so much more than a plate full of tasty vegetables doesn’t it.

But tasty vegetables would be awesome too.

Seeking Comfort

This week… well… this week is one I’m hoping to put behind us as soon as possible. With an accidental head injury that caused an emergency trip to the hospital, it’s been a struggle—quite literally—to stay on our feet. Unfortunately the blog had to sit on the sideline for a bit while we figure out how to keep our little one still and calm. We need some time for rest to allow that little body to heal.

Today my mom came from out of town to stay with us for two weeks, and the timing could not have been any better. I am so grateful that she’s here. To show my appreciation, I made her an omelette with some butter braised radishes, pea shoots, and radish greens from the garden with a bit of ham and feta. Omelettes are one of our preferred comfort foods here, and making a few is one way I have tried to restore some sense of order and normalcy to help wrap up this week.

Home Grown Radishes

Butter Braise

Spring Greens

Stuffing the Omelette

Cutting Into It

Up Close and Personal

I guess if taking pictures while you make and eat your food is what you might consider normal, then we may have seen a tiny glimpse of it today.

Sandwiches

I’ve had a slight obsession with sandwiches lately. Could be because of all the bread I’ve been baking since late last Spring… we need some way of eating it without feeling guilty… but I think it all started a few years ago when the husband and I stayed at the MGM Grande in Vegas. We shacked up for a few days with the eldest baby–we only had one at that time–in a suite in the condo towers behind the casino. The towers and casino were connected by an enclosed walk-way and a few steps away from the doors of said walk-way on the casino side there lived a ‘wichcraft of Tom Colicchio fame. We grabbed a sandwich-to-go every day of our stay, and I am now convinced that this trip got the wheels a’turnin’.

I do believe this is the very sandwich that pushed the thoughts into action.

whichcraftlove

A goat cheese, avocado, walnut pesto with arugula on foccacia. Yum.

And here is my latest offering for sandwich night, now a weekly dinner event around our table.

escarole1color3

Braised escarole and sweet italian sausage with white bean bacon puree on whole grain sourdough…

escarolecolorr1

and a little bit of parmesan.

Yum!