A First Crack at a French Omelette…

Well it’s back to reality now.  We came back on Thursday from a fabulous trip to England to see friends and family.  Thursday was a 21 hour day so I barely avoided going face first into the pillow when we made it home.  A friend of ours asked me what I missed when we were gone and it was a bit erm ketchup?  Seriously, when we move back we’ll be asking any visiting friends to bring us ketchup.

Of course I missed our kitchen.  My husband and I got a bit of cooking in, there was an amazing leg of lamb, but it’s hard when it’s not your kitchen.  Not knowing where things are slow you down!  And if you are trying to cook to allow your mother-in-law to relax, it’s hard for her to relax if you are asking where things are.  But we did our best.

After doing a few travel and train posts I was anxious to get back to recipes though the jet lag held me back a bit but today was better.  I thought I’d be bold and go for a French omelette.  The fluffy, creamy, make in a few seconds but has a high level of technique kind.  And as it was my first time, take pictures!  Hmmm.  Maybe the jet lag hasn’t worked it’s way through yet.  But I did it anyway.

I used Julia Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking for this.  It highly recommends a non stick omelette pan.  Which I don’t own.  I own a crepe pan.  I think I upped the level of difficulty right there as it is helpful to have some sides to the pan.

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The cooking of the eggs is very quick so prep the ingredients beforehand.  I chopped up fresh thyme and chives from the garden and grated a 1/4 cup of fresh parmesan.  In a bowl beat 2-3 eggs until blended.  Don’t whip them just get them integrated.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Heat a tablespoon of butter in the pan you are going to use, moving it about to coat the sides and the bottom.  The book says that once the foam subsides and just before the colour changes it is hot enough.

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Add the eggs and slide the pan back and forth.  The book recommends using a fork but as I don’t want to scratch the pan I used a silicon spatula but you want to stir the eggs quickly as the eggs thicken.  Not scramble them mind but keep the egg moving as it spreads out to cook.  This only takes a few seconds.

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As it begins to fluff up and starts to look like a broken custard add your fillings.  And when they said in a few seconds they weren’t kidding.  I could have used three arms for this with taking photos!

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Gently move it about folding it over itself by bringing the pan to a 45 degree angle.  If it sticks whack the handle a few times.  However you do this you don’t want the eggs to stick.  They’ll start overcooking.  Roll it onto a hot plate.

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Add a bit of butter to melt over the top and serve.  I was quite pleased with this being the first attempt but I can see I need some practice.  I don’t mind.  🙂

PS, I see coming back to the PC that the website changed.  Anyone know how to preview before publishing?  I can’t find it.

Tartiflette – And Can’t We Give Our Kids More Credit?

I enjoy having the chance to pick up my daughter from school.  Now that it is tax season I am limited to once in awhile given the work schedule but I love hearing how her day went and what’s happening in school.  She told me a funny story about math class today.  Apparently they are learning things about angles and the teacher wanted to teach them about SAS or side angle side.  She ended up with going with angle side side and didn’t realise her error until she wrote on the board ASS.  She twigged to it quickly but that just set off a bunch of 12 and 13 year olds into giggles and snickers.  Made me giggle as well.  🙂

She started the health course and her teacher in that class for some reason assumed none of the kids would have heard the word wellness before.  I found this weird.  The whole class had.  But it made me wonder.  Did she assume that the kids aren’t aware of the important things, or did another class space on this concept, or is it painfully obvious that a lot of adults around us aren’t taking the time with the kids on wellness.  Part of the problem in general kids aren’t given enough credit.  I think given half the chance most kids want to make the right choices and be well.   We’re very lucky with our kids because they are aware of the importance of good food, exercise, positive choices equaling wellness.  I doubt they are in a tiny minority though.  I also think most kids are more than capable of grasping these concepts and to start a class saying this is a new word kind of dumbs it down.

In continuing my pinterest theme of actually using the recipes I have found I decided to try a tartiflette which is a French potato dish.  Kind of like mac n cheese but with potato only in a gourmet way.  But meets the criteria of being a comfort food.  Though I have to say I took a break from comfort food last night and made my husband and I a salad for dinner.  Just was in the mood for fresh ingredients and keeping it simple.

This dish has a few steps but isn’t overly complicated and lends itself easily to making it your own if you wish.  I changed it a bit, no surprise.

Pre-heat the oven to 350F/180C.

Cube 4-5 medium to large potatoes and half an onion.

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Take 4-5 slices of bacon and slice into strips and render them in a skillet with a bit of olive oil.

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When the bacon is half way cooked add the onions to soften.  Then add a cup of turkey or chicken stock and 1/2 a cup or so of marsala wine.  Add some fresh thyme.  The recipe I found said to just use it for decoration.  I wanted the flavour.

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Add the potatoes, cover and simmer until the potatoes soften a bit.  In a baking dish add half the mixture and cover with cheese.  Then add the rest of the potatoes and cover with cheese. I used Jarlsberg for this.  The recipe called for 250g of cheese.  Which my husband was kind enough to grate and measure out.  Turned out to be a huge amount.  In total I probably only used about 150g and it was a lot of cheese.  Cover and bake until the potatoes are soft and tender.  Uncover to brown.

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I found some Brussels Sprouts for my husband and daughter and sauteed in olive oil until browned a bit.  For my daughter and me, I found a fabulous piece of Scottish salmon.  I kept that simple and just used salt and pepper with some lemon and thyme.  Oh it was lovely.

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It all went down a treat and the potatoes were really good as leftovers.  Made for some great lunches this week.