Tag Archives: omelette

Back to the sunny island

One must maintain a little bittle of summer, even in the middle of winter.
~ Henry David Thoreau

Life has been pretty busy lately and I’ve scarcely been in the kitchen. Whenever I have, I have either been relying heavily on the oven (looks a sight, but this roast beef was quite delicious, if I do say so myself)…

… or whipping up quick things like this poached salmon omelette and these mushrooms with cream and truffle oil (it took less than half an hour in all to prep and cook for us three). Mopped up the mushroom juices with crusty sourdough… mmm.

And now it is nearly 1.00am and I am in a singlet and shorts, relishing summer and marvelling at the way a plane ride transports you across time and distance to a totally different world in mere hours. How good pilots and planes are! Yes, here I am in Singapore again, low on sleep but not too low mood-wise. For dinner tonight I met Brandon, friend-of-a-friend passing through Singapore, and we feasted on thosai, prata, chicken biryani, peppered chicken (all for SGD$12.50) and ice-cold beer somewhere in Little India, Singapore. We walked down several alleys and streets before we settled on an eating place, so I am afraid I have no idea where exactly this was.

And this is all I’ll write for now, my laptop is gasping through the last bars of its battery life and I’m too lazy to unearth the plug from the depths of my suitcase. Good night (or morning!)

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A Spanish omelette, as inspired by Nigel Slater

If you’ve broken the eggs, you should make the omelette.
~ Anthony Eden

In “The Kitchen Diaries” (page 117), Nigel Slater wrote about his version of a Spanish omelette – “lighter and crisper than the traditional one that uses thick slices of potato”, and which incorporates parsley, mint and tarragon.

It sounded delicious, and through some unplanned, beautiful coincidence, I had exactly those herbs in my fridge right as I read this page and found myself hungry. The tarragon was a complimentary gift from the kind man at the farmers’ market, and I had some mint and parsley left over from a dinner last week. I also had potatoes and eggs – whee!

I skipped the flour and broiling my omelette, and replaced six chopped scallions with a clove of garlic, some diced onion and a sprinkle of paprika (to suit what was in my pantry), and had myself a lovely late lunch while it poured outside.

And on that wet note, the lovely summer sun has departed, leaving crazy rain in its place. But not all is dismal: I attended my first rainy barbeque last night, at my friend Cam’s place. The meat was excellent, as was the company, and there was dancing and crazy conversations… the rain shall not take away the joy of summer.

    Spanish omelette
    Inspired by Nigel Slater
    Ingredients:
    2 eggs, beaten
    1 potato
    1 clove garlic, finely chopped
    2 tbsp diced red onion
    paprika
    salt
    pepper
    olive oil
    parsley leaves, chopped
    tarragon leaves, chopped
    mint leaves, chopped
    Method:
    Grate or chop the potato into matchsticks. Heat a splash of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add in the diced onion and fry till fragrant and lightly golden.
    Stir in the garlic, paprika and potato, and saut√© for approximately two minutes. Then add in the eggs and scatter the herbs in a single layer over the omelette. Swirl the pan gently so you don’t trap puddles of uncooked egg in the omelette.
    Leave to cook for a few minutes, adjusting the heat if necessary, and flip the omelette if you can manage it (I haven’t quite mastered this). When the eggs are cooked nicely on both sides and the potato pieces are tender, move the omelette carefully on to a plate, add salt and pepper to taste and tuck in.
    Yields one serving.

What to doooo

The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers. The original meal has never been found.
~ Calvin Trillin

Sleepless sleep. Ever have that? When you sleep, and wake up feeling like you never slept. Or haven’t slept for about a week straight. Head still full of unresolved dreams and other matters of little connection to happiness. It’s painful, in what I imagine to be an old arthritic way.

I traipse then, into the kitchen, to spot: egg whites in a bowl. OK. The wheels in my brain start spinning, ever so slowly, until I hear: omelette, light and fluffy, relax, go slow.

What I do to the 2 egg whites, then: I add 1 whole egg, whisk it all with salt and pepper, and turn the resulting mixture into an omelette. (My experience of this is a good light omelette – kind of like it!)

The morning goes by, and I am still at home. Feels strange to spend Saturday morning at home. Feels strange not to be hanging out with someone, or on a bus, or walking to a meeting, or – you know – doing something more significant than just… nothing. I take out my papers, thinking I will do some work. I put them all away again without reading a single sentence. Forget work.

When afternoon finds me tired out from dancing to ridiculous music and vacuuming the house with Shake & Vac, I find a saucepan, I take out my chopping board. Fry garlic. Add leek rings, dried marjoram, fresh rosemary, saute it all. Add cubes of monkfish fillet, mind dwelling on how soft it feels to touch. Add water, milk, salt, egg, mustard, pepper, dribble of cream – letting nothing but my senses guide me. I eat soup standing in the kitchen, without bread, without music. A few minutes later, Paul rings and thus begins a good afternoon catching up on the phone.

What to do on an imsomniac night: trying to figure that out now. Not reaching conclusions. What do you do after you’ve tried counting sheep, marshmallows, lions and ballerinas – and still can’t sleep?

[edit] I decided to make my first ever batch of scones, after all. It worked out perfectly as I had the required half a cup of cream, 2 lemons and rosemary sprigs handy! I referred to this recipe, and tweaked it a little.

It is now 12.38am. I think I should try sleeping again. Goodnight.

[/edit]

How to cook an omelette: Julia Child

No clever arrangement of bad eggs ever made a good omelette.
~ C. S. Lewis

I watched this last night just before I went to bed.

No dream last night could distract me from my Julia-omelette-making-mission this morning.

Everything went well until I got to the swirling and jerking bit (a little tricky on the kind of stove we have too which isn’t a flat surface). Good heavens, I was glad none of my flatmates were there to witness it. It was hilarious, especially at 7.15 in the morning! I made myself laugh. Try as I might, it didn’t quite look like how it did in Julia’s video either…

By the time I rolled it onto a plate though, it appeared to look almost like Julia’s… (albeit slightly overdone in my bid to jerk the omelette into a roll… sigh!)

Modifications: I added fresh rosemary leaves to the herb sprinkle on the omelette (see previous post for current-rosemary-obsession-explanation).