Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Messin' with a classic

A couple of weeks ago, we touched on just how versatile the pancake was. With just a few key ingredients, you have the basis for a breakfast staple. After that, your only limit is your imagination. (As shown by our readers in the community recipes). Tonight, Maggie tackled another breakfast staple - the omelet. The omelet is a lot like the pancake - with just a few key ingredients (well...eggs anyway) you have the basis of a good meal - and with your imagination you can come up with a great meal. Tonight, Maggie used some creative thinking (with the help of a recipe) to try her own unique twist on a classic dish.

The Recipe: Omelets With Fines Herbes **
Original Recipe Found In: Cook's Bible

** Fines Herbes is a French term for a blended mixture of fresh herbs. This combination is Parsley, Tarragon, Chervil and Chives. It is pronounced - Feens Herb - in French

What You'll Need:

6 Eggs
4 Tbsp. Parsley
4 Tbsp. Tarragon
4 Tbsp. Chervil
2 Tbsp. Chives
2 Tbsp. Butter

Hello one and all!!  So, as Tyler mentioned before, the egg, more specifically the omelet, is a very versatile dish.  I don't think you can go wrong with putting different items in an omelet; it's kind of a trial and error kind of thing.  With the Fines Herbes, it's strictly different herbs one would find in their own kitchen.  That was the beauty of this recipe as well, all the items, except one herb, we already had, so that helped out a lot.

I started with the six eggs and put them into a large bowl.  The recipe called for all the herbs to be freshly chopped, but since I had all the herbs dried, I decided to use those instead.  I remembered that there is a secret "formula" (AKA ratio) for using chopped herbs to dried herbs, of course, I don't have that formula off the top of my head.  A quick internet search reveals that the ratio is 3 to 1, such as 1 tbsp. to 1 tsp.  I adjusted the herbs to tonight's recipe, (which meant I used 1 1/2 tsps. of all the called for 4 tbsp. ingredients and 1/2 tsp. for the 2 tbsp. ingredients).

Wow...that's a lot of eggs

After the eggs were cracked and all the herbs were mixed in, I seasoned the mixture with salt and pepper.  While the mixture sat for a bit, I heated a small pan with 1 tbsp of butter.  After the butter was melted, I poured half of the omelet mixture into the pan.  At this point, the recipe states: "as the egg sets, draw it toward the center, and tilt the pan so that the uncooked egg runs underneath."  Honestly, once the egg started to set, I couldn't really pour the uncooked part underneath. The pan was just too small and it was too difficult to manipulate the egg. Because of this, the edges ended up extra crispy and less even with the whole omelet. In addition, the bottom of the omelet started to stick to the pan (despite my constant scraping to prevent it from doing so). 

Eggs + Herbs = interesting looking bowl 

After the omelet was done cooking, I slid it onto a plate and tried to fold it in half.  Surprisingly, it worked. I then began making the second omelet; however, since I burnt part of the omelet to the pan, I needed to clean it before I started on the second omelet. It turns out burnt omelet is one tough cookie to clean off.  It took a couple of minutes to scrape off. Once the pan was clean (and after I had anointed my finger with a fresh burn),  I was ready to cook another omelet.

I repeated the process with the second omelet.  I tried to do another folded look, but it actually turned out more like a burrito. Like Tyler mentioned last night - it really doesn't matter what the dish LOOKS like, the important thing is how it TASTES (although a burrito style omelet is pretty cool looking). 

The Result:


The herbs in this recipe work very harmoniously together; you can tell there were a lot of different flavors infused together.  So it made for a very delicious omelet.  I personally love seasoning different foods with different herbs, just to give it a new flavor or enhance the flavor it already has.

The only downside to this recipe, it felt almost too plain. I felt like it needed something more besides the herbs to give it more of a boost.  A meat of some variety would work, like mushrooms, or my old standby for any food: cheese.  Cheese would have complimented this dish so well.  But again, we follow the recipes, and for any repeats, we'll alter and necessary.

Thanks Maggie. I'll finish up here tonight by disagreeing with Maggie slightly. First, I don't think the omelet was bland at all. The herbs gave a nice seasoning to the egg and the entire dish had a very rich flavor without overpowering your taste buds. I do think a little bit of cheese sprinkled on top would add some nice extra flavor to the recipe, but by no means should you add a full cup of shredded cheese to the dish and expect the results to be fantastic. (You'll overwhelm the herbs if you do that and end up with a plain old omelet).

Secondly, I'll have to remind my better half that we don't have to follow the recipes to the letter. We've demonstrated in the past that we can (and will) substitute ingredients that we are not fond of (or ingredients that we are not able to find) and we will, on occasion make a last minute addition to a dish because we think it will add to the overall flavor. (For example, adding tarragon to the garlic chicken or adding additional rosemary to the roasted chicken. These were not in the recipes, but were added because I felt they would add to the dish). I do like her point of making a note of what worked and what didn't and tweaking the recipe on the second time around - that's always an important tip - learn from your experiences. My point here is simple, just because it's in the book - that doesn't necessarily mean you have to follow it to the letter. That goes for our recipes and recaps as well. If you're reading a particular recipe that we've tweaked and you're thinking "eww, why'd they do that?" or "Hm, they should add X ingredient" then by all means - go for it! That's the fun of cooking experimenting and taking on new challenges. Play, create, learn and explore but most of all have fun with it! Recipes are not steadfast guidelines. That is one of the principles we are trying to build our blog around - I think sometimes we can lose sight of that and get wrapped up in what a recipe says. I'll step off my soapbox now. Thanks for indulging me.

That's all we have for you tonight. I'm back tomorrow night with a completely new recipe (trying a food and spice that I've never had before). Be sure to come back tomorrow to see how everything turns out. Once again, that you for stopping by the site and we hope you come back to read us again tomorrow. Until then,


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