French Omelette with Farm Fresh Eggs from Pick (series)

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Eggs are one of the most versatile ingredients in your kitchen. They can be served for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and are used in many dessert recipes. My favorite ways to eat them are scrambled eggs with herbs, an omelet, or creamy poached eggs atop a salad. While living in Germany I grew to love farm-fresh eggs. In Europe eggs are not refrigerated until 2 weeks after purchase, and are sold in open crates garnished with the occasional feather. The taste cannot be compared to grocery store refrigerated eggs, which have already lost a lot of their delicate flavor and texture by the time you’ve bought them.To my surprise when I tried the eggs from Pick I immediately recognized the difference in freshness of these eggs. The laying chickens at Picks are friendly Isa Browns, which are are raised without cages and are free to roam inside or outside, and are fed on an all-grain diet that is high in protein which creates wonderfully rich eggs ranging from medium to large in size, with shells in lovely warm shades of brown.

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The differences between farm-fresh eggs and grocery store eggs are many, among them, the fresher eggs crack open differently, the shells are thicker and less prone to collapse when opening them one-handed.  The white of the eggs are much clearer, not cloudy like grocery store eggs, and the yolks are a deep orange-yellow, which is a direct indicator of a healthy hen and the high levels of vitamins and omega-3 in the egg. This fact is so widely known among Germans that factory style cage raising, which produces pale yellow yolks, is nearly non-existent.Today I am making French omelettes, which have a rich history in France. Classical recipes include an 18th century favorite called omelette du curé, containing soft carp roe, tuna fish, and Brillat-Savarin, a triple cream French cow’s milk Brie named after a French gourmet and political figure of the time. A more contemporary favorite known as Mère Poulard is named after the owner of the Hotel Poulard in Mont-Saint-Michel in the early 1900’s, owes its fame to the high-quality Norman butter and eggs, as well as special techniques used in its preparation, some chefs insist on beating the whites and the yolks separately to achieve a lighter, foamier omelette.

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The French omelette is smoothly and briskly cooked in an extremely hot pan specially made for the purpose. The success of an omelette depends as much on the quality of the pan and the quantity/distribution of the butter as on the cooking [4]. The technique relies on clarified butter (to ensure a high smoke point) in relatively great ratio to the eggs (prevents sticking and cooks the eggs more quickly). Good with just salt and pepper, this omelette is often flavored with tomato and finely chopped herbs [5] (often fines herbs or tarragon, chervil, parsley and chives) or chopped onions. French omelettes are also removed from the pan in a manner different from an American omelette. They can be rolled out in a tri-fold design or just simply slide out of the pan directly into a plate and when made correctly have little to no color to them.

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French Omelette with Camembert
makes 1 omelet

Ingredients
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons of whole milk
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
3 slices of camembert cheese
leaves from fresh flat-leaf parsley
a few springs of chives
a few springs of garlic chives
salt and pepper

Directions
Break the eggs into a bowl. Add the milk, season with salt and pepper, and gently beat the eggs until just blended. Heat an 8-inch omelette pan or skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and rub it over the bottom and around the sides of the pan as it melts. When the butter stops sizzling, pour in the eggs and gently shake the pan back and fold over the heat and use a fork to stir the eggs around the pan in a circular motion. (Note: I find chopsticks work perfectly for a non-stick pan as they won’t scratch the bottom.) As the omelet begins to set, use the fork or chopsticks to push the cooked egg from the edge of the pan toward the center, allowing the remaining uncooked eggs to come in contact with the pan. Do this step until the omelette looks set on the bottom but is still slightly runny on top. 

Place the three slices of camembert cheese in the center of the omelette along with the herbs reserving some to sprinkle on top after the omelet is finished. Tilt the pan away from the handle, allowing the omelette to slide towards the edge of the pan. Use a spatula to fold the top part of the omelet over the cheese and herbs and then fold again. 
Slide the omelet onto a plate and garnish with the herbs. Omelets are best eaten immediately.

Pick. at Garden Patch Farms
14158 W. 159th Street, Homer Glen, IL 60491
(708) 301-7720
info@gardenpatchfarms.com


References
[1]  Assisstance of the Gastronomic Committee – President Joël Robuchon, Larousse Gastronomique, 2009 (p.721)
[3] “En pareille alliance, l’un appeloit une sienne, mon homelaicte. Elle le nommoit mon oeuf, et estoient alliés comme une homelaicte d’oeufs”.
[4] Assisstance of the Gastronomic Committee – President Joël Robuchon, Larousse Gastronomique, 2009 (pp.721-723)
[5] Julia Child, Bertholle, L., Beck, S., Mastering the Art of French Cooking (Vol. I), page 135, Knopf, 1961
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