Monday, December 8, 2008

Omelette Epiphany

As do many foodies, I thoroughly enjoy the versatility of the egg. A truly delicious and nutritious food! This morning I set out to make a quick, French style omelette for breakfast--not knowing that the few minutes in the kitchen would be worth blogging about...

The other night before bed I read about Peter Mayle's experience at a pretty sacred truffle festival in the French town of Richerenches. The book is French Lessons and the topic of discussion at the end of the chapter was omelette aux truffes, which makes my mouth water with curiosity. Mayle writes about his experience getting some omelette advice because even a simple omelette takes some know-how to perfect.

Then, perhaps because I had truffled omelette on the brain, I stumbled upon the Philadelphia City Paper Meal Ticket blog only to find a great video clip of Julia Child preparing omelette bliss. I thought I had my egg cookery down pretty well, but I think my omelettes are often too dry. I was enlightened to see Julia's eggs go from from pan to plate in no time at all; not to mention the fact that no spatula was necessary.

So today I cracked a couple eggs to copy the technique I saw this French Chef demonstrate: Let the pan heat up (longer than the eggs will be in it). Two eggs, salted and just beaten to combine yolks & whites. Generous butter in the pan. A quick toss around the pan, a flip onto the plate at the precise point that my paranoid American mindset chimed in and said, "those eggs look like they need a bit longer."
Try it yourself if you want to know what it tastes like. All I have to say is amazing. All along I have been meticulously over cooking and folding my omelettes, often using more egg than is actually necessary. I wanted something neat and tidy. Well, today's omelette was roughly tossed, delicate, moist, buttery and a mellow-yellow color with a pleasant glisten. It was a purist omelette--no cheese or fillers necessary--so one could really enjoy the egg flavor. I devoured it promptly.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Unemployed brownies

A quick post about quick brownies. Making brownies from scratch is quite simple and I find the results to be more fulfilling than box mix brownies. Perhaps that is my unemployment talking, the part of me that enjoys having a free afternoon to do a little baking. But really, with no mixer required and very little mess, I made some decadent dark chocolate brownies from this recipe out of SAVEUR (what can I say, I've had the same issue on the coffee table for a while). If you want late night snacks for a few days, make these brownies and make sure you have enough milk to wash them down.By using dark baker's chocolate (72% cacao) and a hefty dose of cinnamon, I jazzed up this recipe which needed no jazzing up. The result was a highly addictive fudgy treat with a deep brown color. I recommend using a smaller pan than the 9x13 inch listed in the recipe; I like my brownies to be thicker. I used a 8x8 pan and baked it a tad longer than the directions told me to. This produced a very thick brownie, very moist in the middle with a pleasantly crunchy exterior. If you are into it, sprinkle some walnuts on top before baking.