Wednesday, July 21, 2010

late night dinner omlette

Have you ever gotten in after a very long or busy day and not had the slightest inclination or even energy to cook yourself dinner? Sometimes the only thing that might turn your day around is a hot, filling dinner and it's too late to get even the least bit imaginative with any ingredients you may find in your fridge. My friends, I have the answer. When all else fails... it's omelette time. Omelettes are amazing. Eggs in general are pretty spectacular; miraculous, nutritious, curious things that they are. Some of you may be saying, "But eggs are breakfast food." Others may be a little open-minded and see baked goods and brunch when they imagine eggs and what they could be. The greatest thinkers, adventurers, and kitchen savants have dared to crack eggs even after the sun has gone down. This is a story about just such a culinary conundrum.

My boyfriend and I arrived late at the lake cottage after a long day of work and activities in the city. Almost immediately we split up duties. We would both unload the car, I would deal with putting away the groceries and opening up the rest of the cottage and he would chop wood for kindling and be generally rather useful. Of course, as soon as I had opened up the front and come around to let him in, I realized that he was carrying every single bag and parcel all in one go. Oh dear me.

Setting ourselves to our other tasks, I unpacked everything into the fridge and onto the counter and then checked on the progress of the kindling. A little slower going in the dark, no doubt. I poured us each a glass of Chilean dessert wine - Noble Rotted Sauvignon Blanc... delicious - almost like syrupy cider. This gave me a bit more time to think as I looked through the fridge, familiarizing myself.

Next, I was on to the more pressing task of figuring out what we could eat at 11 at night. I quickly realized that I had forgotten my good knife in the city. I was bummed, but made do with the serrated set my family has out there. Oh, and in the rush to pack and leave town, I also forgot my camera with that super sweet macro lens. Once again, coming to the rescue, we used the camera on my boyfriend’s iPhone to capture the lightning fast meal that came together in the end.

Since I was cooking for two, I just figured out how much I could eat for myself and then added the same amount plus a little more for him. A 2-egg omelette is usually plenty when you factor in all the fillings, and whatever starch or sides you may choose to serve with it. I was incredibly grateful at this particular moment for the help of a really friendly produce guy at my local supermarket. For fillings I diced vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped fresh basil, garlic and shallots, crumbled goat feta, and finished with a few scattered toasted pine nuts.

I like to throw in a splash of milk to the beaten eggs. It makes the omelette a little fluffier. Don't forget to salt and pepper the raw egg mixture. I started with butter and began lightly browning half of the shallots, eventually adding half the garlic. Once the aromas started to mingle and fill the kitchen, I poured in an eyeballed half of the eggs. The first two ingredients will cook with the egg. Give it a good while to start to get hard from the bottom up. While the top of the eggs in the pan are still wet, crumble in the cheese. You want to put things in strategically so they cook and have time to melt and so on.
Then I added the tomatoes and fresh herbs. To make sure the flip goes well, I move the pan around the flame to get the one side set pretty well through. Then it’s all or nothing. I chose the technique of willing the eggs not to fall apart and that seemed to work pretty well. I think it’s all about confidence. The food was hot and fresh and made in about 30 minutes. I topped it at the end with some toasted pine nuts. Do try this at home. The possibilities are endless once you nail the technique and get a feel for them.

1 comment:

  1. i'll chop the wood... NO, i'll chop the wood.

    i'll put it in my pick up truck...NO, i'll put it in my pick up truck.

    - L. x