An Omelette and a Glass of Wine

omeletteMy first recipe from a cook book since I started this blog, and Elizabeth David seems a mighty fine place to start. Wikipedia has the following to say about her:

“David is considered responsible for bringing French and Italian cooking into the British home (along with now ubiquitous items such as olive oil and the courgette). In a Britain worn down by post-war rationing and dull food, she celebrated the regional and rural dishes of the Mediterranean rather than the fussier food of the gourmands and aristocrats. David’s style is characterised by terse descriptions of the recipes themselves, accompanied by detailed descriptions of their context and historical background, and often laced with anecdotal asides.”

As usual, the great God Wiki is right. In An Omelette and a Glass of Wine, she recalls how diners at the Hotel de la Tete D’Or in Normandy would rave about the lightness and beauty of the omelettes made by the hotel’s proprietress, Madame Poulard, early last century. Did she mix water with eggs? Was cream the secret ingredient? Or had she reared a hen breed unique to her back yard? When Mme Poulard revealed her secret, the truth was rather more prosaic: “I break some good eggs in a bowl, I  beat them well, I put a good piece of butter in the pan, I thow the eggs into it, and I shake it constantly”. So much for secret ingredients.

David’s essay ends with a mightily calorific cheese omelette recipe she came across in Avignon, requiring Parmesan, eggs, pepper, butter, cream and Gruyere. I’m going to try it tonight – with the requisite glass of wine, of course. I shall report back.

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