Sunday, September 20, 2009

Back to basics... 3 egg omelette

I like to over complicate.
But only when it comes to flavours and cooking. If the recipe calls for one clove of garlic, I tend to add two. If the suggestion is a pinch of pepper or salt- it's easy for me to add a whole handful.
My cakes are full of chunky, lumpy, delicious extras and my soups become stews because there simply isn't enough room in the pot.
They taste fantastic, but they're sometimes what you might call... heavy handed.
So I'm getting back to basics.
I mean I know what I like and which flavours work well together, but I just have to remind myself that sometimes simple is best- and that often it's about what you can still add at leisure, not having everything all packed on in advance.
I started on Friday night with a simple omelette. And I mean really simple.

  • 3 eggs- lightly whisked together
  • knob of butter (1 tblspn)
That's it.
No milk, no onion, no tomato and no cheese- all the extras that I usually like to add.
Not on Friday.
On Friday it was just eggs, lightly whisked and a knob of butter in the pan.

Method: It's simple; whisk the eggs together (3 for Patience's omelette, 2 for mine). Melt the butter on high heat in a non stick pan and just before it browns, tip the eggs in and shake the pan vigorously. Continue shaking the pan until the the omelette folds over itself and is just set. It really only takes about 30sec... anymore and the potentially beautiful simplicity of the omelette becomes bland rubber.
Tip the omelette onto a warmed plate and serve with optional salt, pepper and parsley.
That's it.
Dinner in less than a minute... for real.
I told you it was back to basics.
And I'd forgotten how wonderful and comforting a simple omelette can be.
No wet patches. No burnt bits. No puddles of oiled out cheese.
Just simple, soft, feather light omelette.
It's something I should do more often.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Julie & Julia- the movie and culinary experience

I have this to say; anything that showcases a love of food and cooking can only be a good thing.
These are two remarkable women. Remarkable in that their passion for food saved them.

Weather you love or loath them, whether you think that the characters are well played or not, to criticise this movie is to take a little bit of joy out of the world.
My mother grew up watching her mother recreate Julia Child recipes, while I spend my life playing with food, setting myself challenges and blogging about it, much like Julie Powell- seeing the two stories combined is a reminder of how food binds people- in so many different ways, and who cannot see that as lovely?

Invited to the Village Gold Class 'Julie & Julia Culinary Experience' I didn't really know what to expect apart from the cushy seats and a glass of wine.
What we got was a better than 3D experience. Eating beouf bourginion whilst watching a bourginion drama unfold on the screen was a very sensory experience. And yes, the bourginion we ate was from the Julia Child recipe.
I have no desire to break this movie down. If you love to cook, write a blog, or just like to eat, go and see it.
It is a story for people who love food.
If you want to play with your food- go and see it as the 'culinary experience'. It's great fun, and it's better than smell-o-vision, it's taste-o-vision.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Vale- Keith Floyd

I remember being inspired early in my life by one flamboyant TV chef- who later became the face of Continental sauces and the abiding link that I have to fruity bow ties.
He was a Brit, but he didn't need to spatter his style with the F word and shock tactics to gather in a loyal following. What he used instead was enthusiasm and (from what I remember) a vibrant and user friendly approach to food.
The was man Keith Floyd, and his legacy for me is abundant memories of a happy bunch of teenage girls playing at replicating his food (and style) in a messy kitchen...

He was the first TV chef that I ever remember performing brilliant culinary feats in exotic outdoor locations; on beaches, by the edge of bustling markets, perched on cliff tops and striding along piers somewhere in the Asia pacific region. He always had a glass of wine and without fail sounded like he was enjoying it.

My early memories of food as fun, art and fancy are filled with snippets of Floyd. The cooking landscape is somewhat blander without his flourishes. R.I.P.

Image: borrowed from

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Time Traveller's Knife: Virgin Voyuer article

-Jane de Graaff asks what happened to our favourite fare of yore... 

Article published in September edition of Virgin Blue inflight magazine Voyeur


(above) Zampone- Pig's trotter filled with cotechino & celery, Mt Zero lentils & Calvados jus.
Courtesy: Church Street Enoteca & Chef Ron O'Bryan.

(left) Rabbit- rabbit and vege.
Courtesy: Danks Street Depot & Chef Jared Ingersoll.
Published by Murdoch Books. Photograph Alan Benson.

BreakfastOut Review: Kamel

Breakfast till 3pm is always a good idea- and so's a trip to the roughly Middle East...

-By Jane de Graaff

Review featured on the lovely and very useful  website.