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Saturday, 17 December 2011

Breakfast aux champignons

I learned how to make omelettes from a cooking teacher of mine who showed me that the most important ingredient in a good omlette is actually the pan.  If you want to make good omelettes, get a proper omelette pan and cook nothing else in it ... ever.  Mine is cast iron, perfectly seasoned, never sticks and I don't let other food so much as look at it.  Also, don't clean it with soap as this will remove the oils that prevent the omelettes from sticking.  A good nylon brush and some elbow grease or perhaps a little salt is all you need to clean it.

Omelettes are delicate things and so I think the best filling for them is something equally delicate yet delicious; sauteed chanterelle mushrooms.  Just about any mushroom is a good addition to an omelette but I think the buttery flavour and texture of chanterelles make for the ideal pairing with the subtle flavour and texture of the eggs.  Add to this the fact that everything is sauteed in butter and the result is something pretty decadent but that takes about 10 minutes to cook.

2 eggs
2 tsp butter
1 chanterelle mushroom sliced thickly
pinch of rosemary chopped
1 clove garlic, diced

Make the filling ahead of time.  The filling should be cooked and edible on its own as it's not going to cook at all in the omelette.  Slice the mushroom into pieces about 1cm thick so they retain some shape and bite once cooked.  Over medium-high heat, melt 1 tsp of butter in a frying pan large enough to contain the mushrooms in one layer.  Once the butter has started to foam up, add the herbs and mushrooms and saute, stirring all the while until the mushrooms are just starting to brown on the outside.  Add the garlic and continue to saute until fragrant then remove from heat and set aside.

Crack two eggs into a bowl and whip them with a fork until they are well mixed.  Heat your omelette pan to medium heat, add butter and swirl it around so the whole pan is coated.  When the butter foam starts to subside and before the butter has started to brown, add the eggs.

Let the eggs set in the pan for a few seconds so that the part touching the pan starts to cook and then keep the eggs moving by dragging your fork or a spatula through them and along the pan to allow fresh egg to flow in and contact the bare pan.  Continue to do so very slowly until the eggs begin to set but are still a bit runny.

Use your fork to level them out and shape them into a circle and remove the pan from heat so as not to let the eggs brown.  An ideal French omelette is actually still a little runny when it's still in the pan and has no hint of browning on the eggs (good restaurants will sooner throw out a browned omelette than serve it to you).  I'm not such a stickler for this but if you try to obey this rule you'll avoid having tough, dry, rubbery eggs which is definitely bad.

Add in filling and fold omellete over onto plate.  If you want to season your eggs with salt, do so after they have cooked to avoid a chemical reaction that can change the colour of raw eggs. Garnish with extra filling or fresh herbs and serve.  

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