May 8th, 2006
Happy Monday everyone. This weekend just seemed to fly by and yet looking back we didn't really do anything. I guess wrangling two kids will do that to you. Dinners over the weekend were light as I kept finding ways to consume huge amounts of food in the middle of the day. Friday night's dinner was a salad with paper thin slices of apple and shards of fontina cheese - which sounds downright abstemious unless you know that I went out for lunch earlier with a friend and managed to scarf down a huge crabcake sandwich and a slice of Marionberry pie with icecream. Here's a helpful tip - going out to lunch with male friends who routinely spend their weekend backpacking and kayaking obscenely long distances and never would gain an ounce anyway can be hazardous to your waistline. No need to thank me for that valuable information, I'm just here to help.
The theme of gluttonous lunches and light dinners continued on Saturday as between the two of us Jim and I managed to eat an entire round loaf of bread for lunch. Granted, I pulled the innards of the loaf out and stuffed it with goodies, but still, an entire loaf of bread! (Carb counters shudder with horror). So obviously dinner needed to be light as there was no kayaking or backpacking in our plans for the weekend. An omelet sounded like a good choice, and I took the opportunity to try out a recipe from a cookbook I've been enjoying lately, Lebanese Cuisine: More than 200 Simple, Delicious, Authentic Recipes by Madelain Farah.
This omelet is prepared differently from your classic French omelette. The author has you oil a square pan and heat it in the oven while you prepare the eggs, then the egg mixture is added to the hot pan and baked in the oven. Adding the egg to the hot oil makes the bottom and sides set immediately and there's no danger of the omelet sticking to the pan. The recipe called for four tablespoons of oil, but I just could not bring myself to use that much. I compromised on two and honestly I think you could use less. The resulting omelet is thin and tender and tastes strongly of shallot and herbs. The small amount of cinnamon adds an exotic note without seeming overpowering or out of place, and the mint is transformed by the cooking process, adding a complexity to the dish without tasting at all minty. This omelet makes a great quick dinner with a glass of wine and a green salad, and since it only includes 4 eggs it's a good candidate for those days when a little something is all you need. I even had a little room left afterwords for a scoop of blackberry sorbet with banana sliced over the top, and all was right with the world.
Lebanese Egg Omelet4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/8 tsp cinnamon
salt and pepper to taste
1 small onion or 2 med shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
2 scallions, finely chopped
1/4 cup chopped green mint
2 tbsp oil (or less)
Add the oil to a 7- or 8-inch square pan and put it in a 400°F oven. Preheat both the oiled pan and the oven.
Beat the eggs and the milk. Using your fingers, mix the cinnamon, salt, and pepper with the onions and add to the egg and milk mixture. Add the onions or shallots, parsley, scallions, and mint. Stir well and then pour into the hot pan and cook in the oven for about 15 minutes.
Cut into squares and serve.
-adapted from Lebanese Cuisine, Madelain Farah