Saturday, February 6, 2016

Omelette with Fennel and Brebis

One of the things that I love about France is that eggs can be an anytime meal. I have taken a lot of advantage of that this year.

For brunch today, I made an omelette with fennel and a hard sheep's milk cheese (Pecorino Toscana would be the Italian version, Brebis is the French). I was so pleased with how it tasted that I decided to share. The salty cheese complemented the sweetness of the sauteed fennel perfectly. The fennel was so sweet, and it almost tasted as though I had put sweet balsamic vinegar in the dish though I hadn't. The fennel came from the local market and the cheese from the Fromagerie Riondet, at the base of the hill in my neighborhood.
Brebis from the Fromagerie Riondet

Omelette with Fennel and Brebis

Serves 1.

2 medium eggs
1/2 small fennel bulb (or about a half of cup cut from a large bulb), chopped coarsely
2 pinches of truffle salt
1/2 tsp herbs de provence
1/4 cup tap water
2 tsp butter
4 oz. hard sheep's milk cheese, sliced finely or grated.

1. Heat one teaspoon of butter in a small frying pan and sprinkle with truffle salt. Begin to saute the fennel.
sauteed fennel
2. Whisk the eggs with a pinch of truffle salt and add 1/4 cup of tap water. I find this makes the eggs light and fluffy.

3. Heat a large frying pan and melt 1 tsp butter. Draw melted butter around the pan to avoid sticking.

4. Add whisked eggs into frying pan and sprinkle with herbs de provence.

5. Use a spatula to even out the eggs as they cook and run it often along the edge of the circle of egg.

6. When the eggs have almost fully cooked, add the cheese and lightly browned fennel to one half of the circle. Fold the other egg half over the cheese and fennel and cook on low flame for 1-2 minutes to set and to melt the cheese.

7. Garnish with fresh fennel fronds.
folded omelette

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Pimento Cheese Bacon Biscuit Sandwiches

It was wonderful to go back to Alabama for a week over the holidays and catch up with friends, but there were a few surprises in store resulting from changes in the restaurant scene. One morning, I went to the Overall Company to get my favorite pimento cheese and bacon biscuits, and found that they have moved (and will apparently reopen soon), and another coffee shop was serving in the meantime, but had a new menu. I had a perfectly passable quiche, but then became obsessed with making my own replacement pimento cheese and bacon biscuits.

Begged a pimento cheese recipe from a friend's dear mom, and dug around the internet for biscuit ideas. One day, I hope to be one of those people who makes biscuits so often, they have no need of recipes, and even leave the dry ingredients already mixed to be ready to go in the morning! In the meantime, I used this recipe (without the sugar on top - I prefer savory biscuits):

I read many pimento cheese recipes too, and was amazed at the diversity I saw. Yet, I went with my friend's suggestion - a simple blend of 3 ingredients: one 2 oz. jar of pimentos, 2 cups of shredded cheddar cheese (added a bit of shredded Red Fox red Leicester cheese that I had on hand for a bit more strength), and just enough mayonnaise to hold it all together. Instead of the pre-shredded cheese, I grated my own. While I appreciate the convenience of pre-shredded cheese, I find the quality and flavor often is not the same.

After making the biscuits, spread, and some fancy bourbon flavored bacon, I put them all together in sandwiches and shared with friends. Yum, and I even returned to Paris with a little jar of pimentos so I can repeat the recipe for friends here some point soon!