It’s time for another giveaway.The fine folks at CSN Stores got in touch with me. CSN has all sort of online shops – they supplied the Rowallan jewelry keep last year. The company also sells mattresses, garden furniture, and things like TV stands. They appear to do almost no marketing, except this bit where they contact bloggers and offer to give goods away. It’s an interesting business model, were I still in the business of business models. But I digress.
This giveaway also boasts a harmonic convergence of epic proportions. In this case, a reader request for my simple spinach and goat cheese omelette recipe, and recent forays to France, converge at an All-Clad, copper-covered, 8-inch frying pan. I have one just like it. You also get some cleaner. Because you may like to keep your copper looking like, um, copper.
All you have to do is leave a comment below telling us about the first omelette you ever ate. Or your favorite omelette recipe. Or, what else would you use an 8-inch frying pan for? Imagination is a good thing.
The first time I ever had an omelette was on Mont St. Michel, in France. The year must have been 1977. Yes, some of us were alive and eating omelettes back then. My sister and I spent that summer traveling through France. We took a train out from Paris, if I remember, to see the small island. Omelettes were famous on Mont St. Michelle. Still are, although now it’s quite a tourist industry. My sister and I just sat, and ate the souffled omelettes, in wonder at how delicious they were. Then we got back on the train, if I remember, and went back to Paris.
Nowadays I eat omelettes because they a) are full of protein b) make a good container for vegetables c) use few dishes d) are easy to make, after 30 years of practice.
Omelettes are also the key to entering the kingdom of High WASPs. Surprised? Have you ever watched the original Sabrina? (*cue sound of 15-year old Lisa, sighing*). Audrey Hepburn comes home from Paris, having learned how to cook an omelette. Which causes Humphrey Bogart, eldest son of the estate, to fall in love with her. Oh, indeed, it’s a terrible story from the perspective of class and gender. But what do we know at 15?
Do you need any more encouragement? Here’s my recipe.
(1 tbsp of water or milk is sometimes advised. I fail to notice any impact whatsoever)
Some goat cheese from California. Just because.
Two handfuls of frozen or fresh spinach
8-inch frying pan
Fork or spatula
Small mixing bowl
Let me say first that despite my experience in Mont St. Michelle, I don’t cook souffled omelettes for myself. Jan does, here. I will be trying this recipe, and it may change my life forever.
Neither do I like the thin rectangular egg sheets that pass for omelettes at many diners, nor the masses of compacted scrambled eggs often seen in Northern California breakfast havens. I like my omelettes tender, moderately fluffy, and cooked all the way through. Just like salmon. Except the fluffy part.
So the entire art to omelettes is what you do in the 45 seconds between when the egg hits the pan and when you fold the resultant material over whatever filling you’ve put inside.
First, get your goat cheese out of the refrigerator, where you keep it, although you wonder if you’re doing something declasse keeping cheese too cold. Unwrap it. Put it on a cutting board. Wonder why on earth no one has solved the problem of good/reusable cheese packaging. Separate 4-5 clumps of goat cheese from the mother ship, each about the size of a teaspoon. Put the cheese back in the refrigerator and quiet your inquiring mind.
Second, take out the butter, and some spinach. If you are using fresh spinach, be virtuous, take out olive oil which is good for your heart, and saute at low heat until wilted. Not your heart, the spinach. Then dump said spinach into a strainer. Probably good to squish a little, overly wet fillings are anathema to omelettes.
If you are using frozen spinach, put it in a glass bowl with a little water, cover with a paper towel, and microwave it for a minute until thawed. Then dump the spinach into a strainer and proceed to the squishing.
Third, take that SAME glass bowl from the microwaving process, (you see, the goal is to have as few dishes to wash as possible), once it’s cooled down, and crack in 3 eggs. Some people will tell you to use 2 eggs. In my opinion, 3 is perfect, leading to the right balance of you-can-cook-all-the-egg and the-resultant-egg-layer-is-substantial. Mix until whites and yolks are one yellow mass. If you don’t, you’ll get streaks of egg white – like fried eggs – in your omelette. To me that is a sign of a Diner Omelette and is not my preferred mode. To each his or her own, however. In all my 30 years of cooking the Omelette Police have never paid me a visit. I believe them to be apocryphal.
Fourth, light a medium-high burner under your frying pan. Go get slice a tablespoon of butter off a stick and walk across the kitchen balancing the butter on your knife, hoping it doesn’t slip. Throw it into the pan. Let it melt, then foam up, but not burn. As you can see, sometimes one forgets to pay attention and butter browning commences. Forgive yourself. This is not the worst thing one can fail to notice in a lifetime.
Now pour in all the eggs. If there’s an art to omelettes, here’s the moment. This is my way – taught me by my mother. There are other ways, and other mothers in the world.
- Let the egg cook for 5 seconds. You will see the edges foam and puff a little bit.
- Start to shake the pan gently. The egg mass will loosen. Move it from side to side inside the pan just a bit.
- Take your fork and hold its tines horizontal to the layer of egg that has cooked, stirring the uncooked liquid. Do this for 5 seconds.
- Now move your fork down towards the pan, keeping the tines horizontal. Do this in an area halfway between the center of the pan and the edge. Use the flat fork to press on the cooked egg layer and pull it away from the edge, towards the center.
- Tilt the pan so the edge you’ve pulled the egg away from is down.
- Liquid egg will run into the now-empty part of the pan.
- Repeat all around the egg mass, fairly quickly, making sure you are creating a circular form of cooked egg, and letting the uncooked egg run UNDER and AROUND the cooked part, so that it gets cooked in turn.
- Once the egg is mostly done, you can pick up the edges of the cooked circle here and there so the last bits of liquid egg run out and cook. If you’re obsessive about raw egg, *raises hand*, you can scrape any liquid left over the edge of the cooked mass onto the pan surface.
Turn off the heat, leave the omelette to sit in the pan for a minute so the cheese will mostly melt. Salt. Pepper. Serve. Goes well with whole grain toast.
Now I’m hungry. The winner will be drawn next Tuesday, June 7th. Please enjoy.
BTW, The Cape House is ALSO hosting a CSN giveaway, in her case for a gift card. Go here and double your chances.