Food for Thought with Suzanne Dunaway
Omelette à deux
The omelette is not mysterious and for me, the egg is queen of the kitchen. Especially when one has been going bananas with various pasta sauces, curries, oddball thrown-together-leftover frittatas and strange new hearty soup, etc. A perfectly poached egg can transform my day, enhanced by a dab of butter, a little salt and pepper and life is good!
A friend who was a chef of a lovely little restaurant in Salt Spring Island, the Currant Café, alas, no longer there, taught me how to make the perfect poached egg by simply boiling water, turning off the heat, breaking an egg or eggs into the hot water, and covering for 4 minutes. There will be a small bit of residue white but you can strain that out and put it with your perfectly poached egg.
But I digress. An omelette holds the same cherished place in my egg-loving soul, incredibly good when having a late light supper, which sometimes contributes, too, to a restful sleep.
All you need is a good, non-stick pan, about 35-40 cm across and a quick, deft hand. The omelette will take only about 3 minutes to complete, so do make it at the last minute before serving.
- 5 fresh eggs
- A piece of cold butter, about 5cm by 5cm cut into small dice
- A light brush of olive oil on the pan
- 2 tablespoons soft butter
- Salt and pepper
In a bowl, whisk the eggs with salt and pepper and stir in the little pieces of cold butter.
Heat the omelette pan over medium high heat and brush with the olive oil and add the other butter. When the butter is bubbling, pour in the egg mixture and tip the pan gently to cover the surface with more egg.
With a rubber spatula, pull the egg mixture toward you and tip the pan to cover the now-vacant space with more egg. Do this until all of the liquid egg is at one end of the pan toward you, firm on the edges but still a bit runny in the middle.
Quickly slide the spatula under the eggs and flip them over once onto themselves and flip one more time to “package” the omelette.
Cut in half (if you can stand to share it) and serve immediately with soldier toast.
|I love plain omelettes, but of course you may add tomatoes cooked to a savory pulp with garlic or onions, or sautéed mushrooms, or grated cheese. But, for me, a simple, no-frills omelette is a work of art to be savored all by its lovely lonesome!|
These are a summer staple in Italy but every country seems to have a stuffed tomato recipe for its tomato season. In Europe and the USA, there are now the wonderful tomatoes anciennes, the old strains of yellow and red tomatoes, and recently the lovely bright green ones grown to eat as picked, not unripe tomatoes as in “fried green tomatoes” (although those are delicious, too, tossed in corn meal, salt and pepper and sautéed in olive oil).
I select tomatoes of an individual serving size, pretty on the plate and a nice size for a lunch entrée for guests. You must be liberal with the salt and olive oil, and I have used various cheeses apart from mozzarella such as tomme Catalan or Gouda, cheddar or even a chunk of Brie or Camembert. Whatever fairly firm cheese you like, try it out.
- 6 medium ripe tomatoes
- 6 heaping soup spoons of Arborio or paella rice
- 1 small bunch of basil leaves
- 1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for spooning over the top
- Juice from half a lemon
- Fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 cubes smaller than the tomatoes
- Salt and pepper,
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- 6 medium smooth-skinned potatoes, cut into 1-inch dice
Heat oven to 350°F/185°C.
Oil a baking pan in which the tomatoes and potatoes will fit snugly together.
Sauté the potatoes in olive oil for about 5 minutes before adding to the tomato baking pan
Cut the tops off the tomatoes about 1/2-inch down and set aside.
With a serrated spoon (grapefruit ones are great), scoop out the tomatoes, taking care not to break through the shells or bottoms.
Salt the cavities well.
In the bowl of a food processor, put the pulp along with the basil, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pulse two or three times to chop the pulp but not purée it.
Add the rice and pulse once or twice to blend. Sometimes the food processor will throw the rice all over the sides and make a really good mess, but just scrape it out with a spatula into the hollowed-out tomatoes. Let whatever is left spill over into the baking dish.
Toss the diced potatoes with olive oil and place them around the tomatoes to be their supports while baking.
Spoon a little olive oil over the tomatoes, put on the tops, set a piece of foil loosely over the dish and bake for 30 minutes. If you need to go somewhere, you can lower the heat to 300 and let them cook a little longer. After 30 minutes, baste the tomatoes with the juice in the dish, and let them cook 30 minutes more or until the rice is very puffed and the tops are browned a bit.
Take them out and push the little bits of mozzarella/cheese down in the center of the hot tomatoes. Serve at room temperature.
|The trick: You can use any size baking dish as long as the potatoes hold the tomatoes upright and firmly packed into the dish so that they keep their shape.|
All content and recipes are copyright of Suzanne Dunaway.