Search This Blog

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Meatless Friday

Fridays during Lent can be tough.  First, you have your what-I-gave-up-for Lent thing going on, which can be hard in it's own right, if done, correctly.  I have to avoid the chip aisle at the grocery now for 40 days, and look away from my favorite tiny sample bags of chips at check out.  If I see them, the back of mouth aches and I salivate.  There are no fainting couches at Kroger check-out lanes, so I have to look away and pretend they are not there.

Fridays are another matter.  Meatless Fridays.  Sounds innocent enough, although I work in a restaurant and there is meat everywhere.  Last year, I failed my solemn Lenten vows by tasting  innocent food nibbles that area purveyors had brought in for samples.  Buttery-hot & sticky chicken wings?  Why, of course.  Porterhouse steak, perfectly char-grilled to medium rare with a pat of maitre' d butter?  Why yes, I'll have a bite of that.   It was ridiculous.  I was in confirmation class, no less, trying to follow all the rules leading up to the Great Easter Vigil.....and my confirmation by the Bishop.

Taken down by a chicken wing.  Sackcloth.  Heavy boots.

So far, this year has been better.  One down.  I was looking through Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc At Home for inspiration and found this beautiful recipe for grilled asparagus with butter-toasted croutons, topped with poached eggs.  It didn't seem substantial enough.  Not meaty enough.

We opted for omelettes with home fries.  I make a pretty mean omelette.  Not the fancy ones I learned in school. Not the ones that Julia Child jiggled about in a saute' pan until they magically formed into  naturally and perfectly turned out omelettes.    Mine are the working man's omelette.  Big, fluffy egg vessels, full of mouthwatering cheese-dripping goodness.

I have a gorgeous pan used only for omelette making.  Michael gave it to me years ago. It is used for nothing else.

I bring the eggs to room temperature, season them with freshly grated nutmeg, and whip them with water.  Not milk.  Milk can make them tough.
(If I have chives growing out back, I'll mince them finely and add them to the eggs.)
After the butter begins sizzling in the pan, I add the eggs and push the sides toward the center, tilting the pan to let the eggs flow underneath.  When almost cooked through, I add the ingredients, top with a lid to melt, and roll the omelette onto a plate.

Last night, Michael made the home fries.  His are far better than mine.  Perfectly cooked, salty, crunchy, and soft on the inside.  A great companion to the bursting omelette.
I filled them with fire-roasted yellow, green, and red bell peppers, aged white cheddar, reggiano, diced roma tomatoes, and sour cream.  The sour cream bumps up the creaminess of the eggs and provides a fresh cool acidity.  Really fantastic. 

I must admit, a few slices of thick-cut maple brown sugar  roasted  bacon would have been a nice touch. 

No comments: