Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Breakfast - Its What's for Dinner

Farm fresh eggs are one of life's great pleasures. If you've never had them, you are really missing out. Obviously I don't live on or near a farm ... and likely never will. Its my understanding that farmers often arise before noon and engage in some form of manual labor. I don't think I like the sound of that. I'm all for local and organic eating, but I don't need to form a relationship with the chicken bearing my eggs. The carton will do just fine, thank you, and I'm happy to procure the fresh eggs from some wonderful farmer's markets - both here in the city and away.

We were fortunate enough to spend this past weekend in Rhinebeck, New York. I had a delicious - and South Beach friendly - lunch at Calico Restaurant & Patisserie on Saturday afternoon. Much to my surprise, I was strong-willed enough to forgo their marvelous assortment of pastries ~swoon~ but it took some effort. We shopped along East Market Street afterwards and the husband and I were delighted to find a new specialty meat market there. Fleisher's sells locally grown, grass-fed, organic meats and their selection was amazing. They also had a variety of fresh, local dairy products, including: butter, eggs and artisanal cheese. Oh how I wish this store was in my neighborhood! We were both very sorry that we hadn't brought a cooler along and will definitely do so on our next trip.

We did pick up a carton of fresh eggs from Fleisher's and they are as beautiful as they are delicious. Each one a different hue, much like the above picture, and their yolks are so bright they're nearly orange. I also stopped at the Rhinebeck Farmer's Market and picked up some organic zucchini and summer squash - and thus were the makings of last night's dinner.

The husband is in charge of egg-cookery, chez Diva. He's a breakfast master and I defer to his expertise. Omelets were on the menu last night and in terms of recipe - I really can't do better than Alton Brown's. Its as perfect an omelet recipe as I've ever seen and the results have been flawless every time. I will repost it here, but want to give credit where its due.

Alton Brown's Omelet:

  • 3 eggs, warmed in hot water for 5 minutes
  • Pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon room temperature butter, plus 1/2 teaspoon for finishing omelet
  • 1/2 teaspoon fresh chopped chives

Crack warm eggs into bowl, add salt, and blend with fork. Heat a 10-inch non-stick aluminum pan over medium-high heat. Once pan is hot add butter and brush around surface of pan. Pour eggs into center of pan and stir vigorously with rubber spatula for 5 seconds. As soon as a semi-solid mass begins to form lift pan and move around until the excess liquid pours off into pan. Using your spatula move around the edge of the egg mixture to help shape into round and loosen edge. Let omelet sit in pan for 10 seconds without touching.

Shake pan to loosen omelet from the bottom. Lift up the far edge of the pan and snap it back toward you. Using your spatula, fold over 1/3 of the omelet. Slide omelet onto plate and fold over so that omelet is a tri-fold. Coat with remaining butter and sprinkle with chives. Serve immediately.

Recipe Notes: As written, this recipe is for one, unfilled, omelet. I like mine filled. Last night we added some diced red peppers, shredded Emmental cheese and Crimini mushrooms, which I had sauteed in olive oil and seasoned with salt, pepper and some fresh thyme. Fresh chives are a must, but we do not finish the omelet with the additional butter - for my purposes, it just isn't necessary. And lastly, because I never make a recipe without changing it - I prefer two eggs per omelet, not three, and we use olive oil for cooking - not butter. YMMV, of course.

Serve with a beautiful side salad, some steamed zucchini and breakfast makes a fine dinner. So, thanks, all you hard working farmer's out there!

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