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Posts Tagged ‘eggs’

Three medium courgettes from the single plant in the garden and five eggs made up this handy end-of-season dish adapted from Carluccio’s Vegetable book.

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More scrambled eggs than omelette or frittata–it an attractive way to use some of the  courgettes queueing up to be used as the glut develops.

serves 4 as a light lunch

3 medium courgettes

1 onion–sliced thin

3 tbsp olive oil

50gm/2oz parmesan cheese–grated

2 tbsp parsley–chopped

1 tbsp mint (if available)–chopped

salt and pepper

To prepare the courgettes–peel them in stripes, quarter them lengthwise and cut them in dice.

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Sprinkle with salt and leave them to drain in a sieve or colander for an hour or so.

Dry them in kitchen paper or a tea towel.

Heat the oil in a pan big enough to hold all the courgettes in a single layer.

Sauté the onion over a low heat until it softens and then add the courgettes, turning them over  in the oil.

Cook them until they are tender–about 20 minutes.

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Break the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk them together.

Mix in the parmesan, the parsley and mint (if using), season with salt and pepper–more pepper than salt, bearing in mind the courgettes have been salted already.

Pour the egg mix over the courgettes and start turning it over gently as the eggs solidify.

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This will not take long–it’s ready when the the mix is loosely solid–scambled in fact!

Take care not to cook it too solid!

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Meredith toasted two pieces of wholewheat bread and sprinkled some olive oil over them to eat with these courgette “eggs”.

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Something to do on a slow day.

Today for example!

Up ’til late watching the Olympic closing ceremony last night–lazy morning catching up on life with house guests–sunny but mild outside–prospect of more talk and lunch under the fig tree–slices of fritatta with a green salad and a plate of brilliant red tomatoes, sliced, with olive oil and torn up basil leaves, setting us all up nicely for an afternoon siesta.

Patience is the extra ingredient that makes the difference between dry and moist frittatas.

In this case patience to melt the sliced onion slowly and not to rush the cooking of the omelette.

A simple classic frittata from one of my favorite old cookbooks: Marcella Hazan’s 2nd Classic Italian Cookbook.

6 tblsps olive oil

450gms/1lb red onions–sliced thin

5 eggs

50gms/2oz parmesan–freshly grated is best

salt and pepper

  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan and add the onion.
  • Sauté over a low heat until the onion starts to caramelise and that pleasing scent wafts over the kitchen.

  • Turn off the heat and prop up the pan at an angle to allow some of the oil to drain off.

  • Choose a 10″/26 cm pan that goes under a grill to make the omelette.
  • Spoon out the drained oil (probably about 2 spoonfuls) into the pan.
  • Whisk the eggs together in a bowl.
  • Add the cooled down onion and parmesan to the egg mix.

  • Mix and season well.

  • Heat the saved oil in the pan–(2 tablespoons is what you need to cook the omelette, so add a little extra if there’s not enough of the saved.)
  • Add the eggs and spread the mix out evenly in the pan.
  • Turn the heat to the lowest (use a heat diffuser or two if you need to) and cook for about half-an-hour.
  • Heat the oven grill to hot.
  • When there is just a pool of loose egg mix left on top, place the pan under the grill for about a minute.
  • The top should be lightly colored.
  • Ease a spatula under and round the omelette and slide it on to a serving plate.
  • Slice as needed.

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…Meredith says, as she comes into the kitchen from the courtyard, clutching a plastic flower pot with 4 eggs nestling at the bottom.

“Omelettes!”.

“Where did you find them?”

“In the pigeonnier!”

Madame Arcarti*, our eccentric-looking hen,

has been keeping her ‘laying’ spot a secret since she ended her brooding marathon a couple of weeks ago. She’d sat on potentially fertile eggs brought over by our neighbour Flo for well over a month–to no avail.

This instinct to hatch out the young chicks is impressive, but borders on the obsessive. In the end–fearing for her well being (she barely took time out to eat)–Meredith gradually reduced the number of eggs available until there were none and our hen resumed her other instinct–which is indiscriminate weeding in the garden.

We began to wonder where she was laying, since there was no sign of an egg in the little hen house, one of her usual dropping zones!

Sketch by Hope James, illustrator of my cookbook

The pigeonnier, on the corner of the courtyard, is where three visiting hens, parked with us over the winter, had done their laying.

They are now happily relocated a few miles up the road, but Madame Arcati hadn’t forgotten!

Omelette with cheese and herbs

( from my book Delicious Dishes for Diabetics)

for 1

2 free range eggs

a little olive oil or butter if you prefer

1 tablespoon freshly grated parmesan

a pinch of fresh herbs–chopped fine; parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, mint, tarragon, chives–any one of these or a mixture

salt & pepper to taste

Heat your omelette pan gently before adding the oil or butter.

It should be hot when you add the eggs.

Whisk the eggs lightly in a bowl.

Add a little salt and pepper and a pinch of the herbs.

When you are ready to make the omelette add the oil or butter to the hot pan. (I always use olive oil.)

Add the egg mix and cook over a high heat.

With a wooden spoon tack round the circumference of the egg mix, releasing a little of the liquid each time to build a quilt-like texture to the cooking omelette.

Sprinkle on the cheese

Take the pan off the heat when you have a creamy and scrummy looking item that looks just cooked.

Fold it over as you like, sprinkle extra parmesan over it and serve immediately.

A green salad is all you need with it.

* Madame Arcarti is named after the meddling medium from Noel Coward’s play Blithe Spirit–played so memorably in the film by Margaret Rutherford.

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Frittata

Frittata

Frittata is an egg tart without the pastry—a handy dish for diabetics, that everyone can enjoy.

It’s an Italian omelette for four to share and, unlike the French version, is cooked slowly. We had it for lunch today, just the two of us– a Valentine’s Day offering.  It went down well with the Taster in Chief!

I was a little nervous because the filling was left-over Swiss chard and onions, based on an Indian recipe, and mildly spicy, not Italian; but then you can add whatever you like to the basic cheese frittata or just enjoy as it stands. Here’s it is.

Cheese Frittata

For 4

7 eggs

100gms/3.5 parmesan cheese—grated.  This could be a mix–parmesan and swiss gruyere, for a little richer taste.

2 tblsp olive oil

salt and pepper

1. beat the eggs in a bowl, add salt, pepper and the cheese.

2. heat the oil in a 30cm/12” sauté pan.

3. add the egg and cheese mix.

4. turn the heat down to the lowest level.

5. cook until only the surface of the frittata is liquid– about 15 minutes.

6. place the pan under a hot grill for a minute or so, or just slide it carefully onto a plate, place a second plate over the top and turn them over, then slide it back into the pan for a minute or so.

7. The surface should be golden not brown, and the frittata moist.

8. serve with some steamed broccoli –green with the yellow–and your best olive oil sprinkled over it.

I sometimes cut the frittata in strips and serve them over the salad

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