Friday, January 22, 2010

An omelet fit for a bachelor

The illness is over although I didn't have to bleed anything or apply turpentine to my face or break out the leeches. And it may be in part to the improving weather. It seems the mild English winter finally decided to show up, creating a still wet yet warmer environment in which I can walk with jacketed abandon.

I decided that I had been neglecting Beeton's recipes, and resolved to make a delicious breakfast dish. But the book is pretty light on breakfast items, so I was wondering about baking a trout souffle until I saw the omelet recipes. Nestled in the dessert section. In fact, most of the omelets contained a fair amount of sugar and jam. I am an American and I eat my omelets savoury! Finally I settled on a recipe called the Bachelor's Omelet. I assume it is for bachelors because it doesn't require the standard six eggs that the other ones do; it also has a lot of milk as a filler so I suppose it is cheaper to make.

Here is the recipe:

1462. INGREDIENTS - 2 or 3 eggs, 2 oz. of butter, 1 teaspoonful of flour, 1/2 teacupful of milk.

Mode.—Make a thin cream of the flour and milk; then beat up the eggs, mix all together, and add a pinch of salt and a few grains of cayenne. Melt the butter in a small frying-pan, and, when very hot, pour in the batter. Let the pan remain for a few minutes over a clear fire; then sprinkle upon the omelet some chopped herbs and a few shreds of onion; double the omelet dexterously, and shake it out of the pan on to a hot dish. A simple sweet omelet can be made by the same process, substituting sugar or preserve for the chopped herbs.

Time.—2 minutes.

Average cost, 6d.

Sufficient for 2 persons.

I like how it's a bachelor's omelet but she says it's sufficient for two persons. I picture some consummately single young man reading these instructions and shedding a tear. "I wish I had another persons to share this with."

I have never before made cream in my life. I mixed the milk and flour and stirred for ages; when I tasted the result, it was...floury milk. Hmm. Maybe it would work out in the cooking process.

Only eggs from foraging hens are acceptable.

When I added the eggs and 'beat them up,' it ended up looking like this:

You may notice the yellow swirls. This is butter. You see, I misinterpreted the directions and when it said "pour in the batter," I poured the butter in the batter rather than the batter in the pan. I just assumed it was part of Mrs. Beeton's crazy Victorian butter fetish. Instead, I got something that looked and smelled like it belonged on my popcorn at the movie theatre.

Caution, the following pictures are graphic:

Attractive, isn't it? I guess an omelet full of butter and fake cream doesn't flip too well. It looked like something that I cleaned out of the bottom of the sink. With the addition of those onions and some Tabasco sauce, it ended up being edible though still too sweet for my liking.

I would say Mrs. Beeton won this round, but I effectively smothered her in habanero sauce, so we can consider it a draw.

1 comment:

  1. I attempted Banana Chocolate Chip pancakes this afternoon and my first two were too heavy to flip properly and they looked about like your last tragically gruesome photo, haha. Edible, but not pretty. I found a new appreciation for culinary art today. Cooking food without destroying its looks is hard!