Tasty Omelette Recipe

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“You can’t make an omelette without breaking a few eggs.” ~ Anon

“You CAN make an omelette without breaking eggs. It’s just a really bad omelette.” ~ Steven Colbert

 

The humble egg has so many uses in the kitchen, and one of my favourites is a tasty filled omelette. Don’t be put off by ideas that cooking an omelette is an exact French Art. You can make one easily; all you need are a few simple ingredients and a decent frying pan.

The omelette is a versatile dish – suited to breakfast, lunch or dinner. Omelettes are never boring – there are so many flavour combinations you can try. You can make individual serves, or one larger omelette to divide after it is cooked.

I made this one with some garlicky mushrooms, fresh basil and a little good Nimbin goat cheese that I picked up at the Mullumbimby Farmers’ Markets.

Bon appetit!

Ingredients:

Eggs, butter or ghee, sliced fresh mushrooms, a clove or two of garlic, tasty cheese of your choice – such as a cheddar or goat cheese, fresh basil leaves, salt and pepper

Work on two to three eggs per person. The picture is of a six egg omelette that fed two hungry people. :) If you’re mad on mushrooms you might want a good handful. And use enough garlic and basil to satisfy your palette.

Method:

Heat a heavy seasoned skillet or a non-stick frypan over medium heat. Drop in a knob of butter or a little ghee and swirl it round the pan. Then add in your mushrooms. Fry for a minute or two and then add your crushed or finely chopped garlic. Cook another minute until fragrant, and then add a dash of water. Keep stirring until water has evaporated.The steam will help cook and soften the mushrooms a little more. Remove from heat and place in a bowl.

Saute mushrooms with garlic

Saute mushrooms with garlic

Wipe out pan and return to a gentle to medium heat.

Break eggs into a suitable bowl. Whisk well with a fork or wire whisk. Add in a tablespoon or so of water for every two eggs. Whisk again.

Put another knob of butter or some ghee into your hot pan. When it is melted and has been swirled around to coat your pan, pour in the egg.  Leave it for a minute or two to begin to cook and then gently drag a spoon or spatula through the egg mix to bring the cooked egg to the top, allowing the liquid to move to the bottom of the pan. Do this once or twice but don’t go mad – you want an omelette, not scrambled eggs.

As the egg begins to set lay your mushrooms on one half of the pan, and cover with some thin slices of cheese.

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Tear your fresh basil leaves into pieces and sprinkle on top of the cheese. Tearing the basil stops it becoming bruised and bitter. Give a good grind of black pepper and add a little salt too.

Adding the fresh torn basil

Adding the fresh torn basil

When the egg is set, or very nearly set, gently run a spatula or palette knife under the edge of the omelette that has no filling.

Ease the omelette over on itself. Larger omelettes may break a little. That’s okay. It’s all part of the rustic charm of this simple meal.

Serve on its own, or with toast for breakfast. For a slightly more elaborate meal add in a side salad, some good bread and a glass of wine.

Omelette folded and ready to serve

Omelette folded and ready to serve

Easy Farmhouse Frittata Recipe

It’s cold here at the farm this morning, as Australia slides towards winter.  There’s work to be done, and it’s raining and utterly miserable outside.  A warm breakfast for the workers is in order, before they go to out to rebuild the cattle yards and fence the back paddock.

With a full basket of fresh organic eggs, and a handful of vegetables and herbs a hearty breakfast will be made in a jiffy.  This is also good as a satisfying dinner when teamed with a salad, but this morning we’re eating our frittata with buttered toast and a big pot of tea!

Ingredients to serve 4 hungry workers and me:

(Modify quantities to suit yourself, or keep some of this as leftovers) 8 eggs, a knob of butter, around 2 cups of fresh vegetables, sliced or diced, some fresh herbs of your choice, or a teaspoon or so of dried herbs. Milk or water, around 1/2 a cup. Some grated or thinly sliced cheese (I used some chunks of fetta, and some grated cheddar).  Ham or bacon if you choose.  (I have also used salmon before, and that is terrific too!) My vegetables of choice this morning are mushrooms, broccoli, capsicum (bell pepper), onion, cherry tomatoes, some fresh corn kernels, spring onion, fresh parsley, salt and pepper.

Method:

Chop your vegetables and have them ready.  Then crack the eggs into a large bowl, add a good slurp of water or milk and whisk well.  Season with a little salt and cracked pepper.

I apologise that there are no ‘action’ shots of the cooking steps – I was too busy cooking, eating toast, gossiping with my husband and friends, and drinking tea…

Heat a large heavy based frypan over a medium heat, and then dump in the knob of butter and push it around the pan, making sure that you grease the bottom and sides well.

Throw in a bit more butter.  If you are using bacon, add it now and cook off until soft.  Add in your sliced mushrooms, and any vegetables that will take a little longer to cook.  Swoosh them round in the butter until they soften a little then spread them out so they cover the base of your pan. Lower the heat on your pan.

Rewhisk your eggs and pour into the frypan, and then artfully drop the rest of your vegetables into the egg mixture.  Add in your cheese and any deli meats or your salmon if you are using them. (Today I’m using organic woodsmoked Bangalow Ham) Sprinkle your herbs over the top, add another grind or two of cracked pepper and then give the contents a little stir with a fork.

Leave to cook until the top is set. This takes about ten minutes, depending on the size and depth of your pan. (The cooking time can be hastened by putting a large lid or a piece of aluminium foil over the top of the pan – but don’t raise the heat or you’ll overcook the eggs!).  You can also place the pan under your grill to brown off the top at the end of cooking.

Serve cut into wedges with some toast.  Delicious hearty food!  This slices well when cold, and I often cook enough for leftovers so I can have some with salad for lunch.

 

Lunch or Dinner Variation:  If you want something even more filling, add in some thinly sliced potato, sweet potato or pumpkin (or all of these) into a well greased deep baking dish.  Substitute the milk or water for a 1/2 cup of cream.  Layer your vegetables and cheese (and meat if you are using), pour the egg mixture over, sprinkle on your cheese and bake in a 180 degree c/350 degree f oven for 30 minutes.  Serve with salad and a good bread.

Breakfast’s over and the sun is coming out! Sending you lots of love and warm wishes from down here at my farm ♥

 

 

Easy Baked Custard Recipe AND a Free Kitten!

Today an old family recipe worth cherishing, and the latest instalment on life at my farm.

This baked custard recipe was my grandmother’s, although my grandfather liked to boast that he perfected it! It always reminds me of the love and care he had for my grandmother – he was never a man to be in the kitchen but as my grandmother’s eyesight failed and her health deteriorated he would cook this custard for her every week. And I have to admit he did a fine job of it too.

So what’s with the free kitten? I have some in my possession. I’ve been nursing them since yesterday when my husband found them, abandoned by their young feral mother in an overturned cattle trough down by the shed.

So on this frosty farm morning I find myself nursing four tiny feral, hissy-spittie kitties.

Later today I will take them to a cat shelter, not far from here, and kind foster mothers will nurse the kittens until they are old enough to live in the shelter, and be adopted out as rescue pets.

We have a box in the shed with emergency mothering supplies.  There is calf formula for baby cows (works on puppies and kittens in a pinch too if watered down), bird mix for baby birds, bird mix for injured adult birds, a mix for wallabies and kangaroos, wombat mix (only ever used that once but the tin is good for two more years!) and an assortment of bottles, droppers, gloves and sacks (for wrapping babies in). Who said I am no soft touch?

This baked custard is equally good for mothering – other people or yourself.  It is warm, rich in protein, and easy to eat and digest.  True comfort food with its silky texture and gentle flavours. I would have eaten some for breakfast, but somehow in the middle of the night the remainder has disappeared.  Those kittens must be able to raid the fridge!

Easy Baked Custard Recipe

Ingredients: 4 eggs, 2 and 1/2 cups milk, 3 tablespoons sugar, 1 teaspoon vanilla, butter for greasing dish, nutmeg.  (If you need this recipe to be sugar free it works just fine with an equivalent amount of natural sugar substitute – I use Natvia and it tastes brilliant!)

Method:

  1. Preheat your oven to 130c (250f or slow oven)  if fanforced or 150c (300f – and still slowish oven)  if not.
  2. Grease a four cup capacity dish, and find a baking tray large enough for it to sit within.
  3. Beat eggs and sugar together with a whisk or fork until sugar is dissolved.  Add milk and vanilla and mix through.
  4. Pour mixture into the greased dish.
  5. Grate or sprinkle nutmeg over the top of the custard. (I am a firm lover of fresh nutmeg – once you’ve tried it you’ll never go back to the packaged stuff!)
  6. Fill baking tray with cold water so that it comes halfway up the side of the custard dish.
  7. Place carefully into oven and bake for 40 to 60 minutes or until set.  Custard will be firm under your touch, although it may still be a bit wobbly in the middle.  It will firm more as it cools.

Note: Oven temperatures vary widely. You need to cook this slowly to be rewarded with a thick, well set dish. If it is cooked at too high a temperature you will have lots of bubbles in your custard and a lot of whey (clearish looking fluid). Unless you have used low temperatures in your oven before, you need to check your custard after thirty minutes. After thirty minutes, if the custard has not picked up some colour and begun to set, your oven is too slow and you will need to adjust the temperature up a little. When I cook this at my farm in my Falcon Oven which is fan-forced electric, it takes 40 minutes to bake my custard. When I cook this dish in the city, my old gas oven takes 60 minutes.

Serve warm or cold.  Goes very well with stewed fruits, baked apples and pastries. I am reliably informed that it is also tasty with jelly. Warning – may be stolen by kittens!

Custard going into the oven in its water bath

Bert – totally perplexed by the hissing box just out of his reach (for his safety – not the kittens!)

Charlie took advantage of the early morning kitten action by putting himself back to bed – in my bed!