Thursday, February 17, 2011
I love reading and I enjoy culinary mysteries. The one I just finished is called Chocolate Quake by Nancy Fairbanks. Ms. Fairbanks writes a series of light mysteries involving Carolyn Blue, a food writer and amateur sleuth. Carolyn travels with her scientist husband as he attends seminars and conferences in different cities. She goes along for the food and for material for her food column. Inevitably she winds up solving a murder in each of these cities.
Carolyn Blue is, at the same time, stodgy, prissy, naive, and self-righteous. I chuckle about her character often. She, really, is such a cliche of a Professor's wife. But she is serious about her food--and she gives recipes.
In this episode an Italian man treated her one morning to an Italian omelet, which he served with sauteed tomato slices, and garlic toast. As Carolyn smelled and ate this breakfast, she described the aroma, the look, the surroundings, the taste, to the point that I was almost drooling. I had to have it.
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Saute 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms and 1/2 cup chopped onion in 1 Tbsp. butter, and set aside.
Mix 6 beaten eggs, 3 Tbsp. heavy cream, salt and ground black pepper to taste, 1/4 tsp. basil, 2 springs chopped parsley, and 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese.
Heat 1 Tbsp. olive and 1 Tbsp. butter in a large cast-iron skillet or other heavy ovenproof frying pan until butter turns white. Pour in egg mixture and cook until mixture is soft on top. Remove from heat.
Sprinkle the top with the sauteed mushrooms and onions, 1/2 cup diced cooked ham, 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, several drops of lemon juice, 4 oz. cubed mozzarella cheese, and 1 Tbs. melted butter.
Place skillet in oven and bake until the cheese has melted (about 4 minutes). Remove to a hot platter and serve with parsley garnish, toasted garlic bread, and a side of sauteed tomato slices sprinkled with fine bread crumbs, olive oil, and herbs of choice.