Saturday, 21 September 2013

What Came First- the Hen or the Omelette?

Omelette con Funghi Selvatici Ricci, Pancetta e Formaggio
Lambsquarter Mushroom, Bacon & Cheese Omelette

So what am I going-on about in the title of this post? Alas, I did not think to take a picture of the wrinkly, ruffled, fluffy yellow mushroom, the "lambsquarter" in question, to make you familiar with it... Oh well! You will have to make do with the finished result instead!

These mushrooms are also known as "Fette Henne" in Germany, which translates to "fat hen" in English. The reason being, that especially the larger ones DO actually look like little hens, with a puffy, ruffled appearance. They vary in size and  can be as big as a football in some instances, or smaller, like the one I used this evening, which was just the size of a grapefruit- or a little larger- haha! In any case it was way more than a handful in size!

To make it, of course the first challenge is to clean this fluffy little fellow! The thing to do is- don't freak-out! Simply spray it with cold water under the sink to loosen up any soil and then let it briefly soak for a minute or two, swirling the water around to get it as clean as possible. Don't worry about it getting waterlogged or soggy- just leave it out on the countertop to dry out and it will soon dry-out again before you are done with preparing the other ingredients!

These consisted of a good handful of finely diced bacon, a handful of finely chopped chives, a handful of grated cheese, 2 eggs, a splash of milk, salt, pepper, a hint of cayenne and a little nutmeg. 

First things first though- the bacon went into the pan and started sizzling and I turned my attention back to the mushroom! I cut off the stem, which of course was perfectly edible and the densest part of the mushroom, cut it into slices and added these to the pan first. 

In the meantime, I cut the rest of the lambsquarter into wedges and added these to the frying pan, seasoned with salt, pepper, a little nutmeg and fried everything for 3-4 minutes, then turned off the heat and  got the omelette started!

The omelette itself was made of 2 eggs, a splash of milk, a handful of cheese, salt and pepper- very simple. I took a small non-stick pan, turned up the heat, poured in the beaten eggs, chives and cheese and then laid out sections of the mushroom on top. As soon as the mushroom were on top, I sprinkled on the bacon bits and a last bit of cheese- which was in this case an Emmentaler. 

Into a hot oven it went, at 350°F for 10 minutes, until it was golden brown and then onto a dish and into my tummy! Because by now I was really hungry- and this little beauty was more than delicious! I would compare the flavor to that of chanterelles, but this is a lot more uncommon to find... so boy am I glad that my friends at the market hall went foraging for me! If you ever come across one on sale then grab one for yourself and give it a go!

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