Tuesday Jul 06 2010
Locally Yours: Food doesn’t have to be fancy to taste great
By: Carol Arnold
Sometimes even the simplest, most familiar ingredient can be elevated to something rapturous. Deft handling, a great recipe, or happy circumstances all provide opportunity to showcase simple ingredients. When those ingredients are fresh picked from the local farm making simple into spectacular is even easier. Recently I visited my mother-in-law for a couple of days. She will tell you she is no cook but somehow she seems to work magic into her meals. Boiled green beans and potatoes fresh from the market combined with a locally produced roasted ham got raves from the crowd. Waffles with local peaches and blackberries were wonderful. There is just something about the family dining together on locally produced food that helps makes meals more memorable. The food doesn’t have to be fancy or complex; it just needs to be fresh, local, and taste good. Today’s recipe showcases my theory. Nutritious and easy to make, an omelet can be a staple for breakfast, brunch, lunch with girlfriends, or a quiet summer supper with hubby. Made from local, fresh ingredients, the lowly omelet can be elevated to quite a treat. Most of the ingredients for this recipe are available at the market. Blossom Hill, Sage Ranch, and Mushroom Adventures are all selling farm fresh eggs at the Auburn market. Fresh and dried herbs are available from Blossom Hill Farms, Pilz Produce, Vue Farm, and Colfax Hill Family Farm. Calolea sells olive oil and voila — you have the ingredients for a wonderful omelet. If you’d like to change it up add some Gruyere cheese from Dedrick’s Cheese or some sautéed onions from Natural Trading Company, Double G Ranch, or Ueki Gardens. Two Spicy Ladies always have a variety of interesting salts and peppers on hand to add some interest to any dish. A little bit of truffle salt added to eggs adds a lovely depth of flavor. Try this recipe the next time you would like to serve a lovely meal. Add a slice of wheat toast with some fresh fruit jam and a bowl freshly sliced peaches. I think you will be pleasantly surprised at the reaction of your family or guests; they will think you are an amazing cook. Our family thinks my mother-in-law has turned preparing simple meals into the art of fine cooking. Contact Carol Arnold, general manager of the Foothill Farmers’ Market Association, at foothill firstname.lastname@example.org. __________ Sherried Mushroom Omelet Filling 8 ounces crimini or cultivated mushrooms, sliced 1 teaspoon butter 1 teaspoon olive oil 2 tablespoons chicken stock or water 1/8 teaspoon salt Dash black pepper 2 tablespoons dry sherry 2 teaspoons fresh thyme 2 teaspoons fresh chopped chives Omelet 3 eggs 3 teaspoons water Dash salt 2 teaspoons butter For mushrooms: Melt butter and olive oil in a sauté pan. Add mushrooms, salt, pepper, and sauté for one minute. Add chicken broth and cook until broth is absorbed. Add sherry, and cook until absorbed. Add fresh herbs and seasoning. For omelet: Whisk together eggs, water, and salt. Melt butter in 10-inch non-stick pan. When the butter is foaming but not brown, add the eggs. Allow the eggs to cook for about 45 seconds. Use a rubber scraper to lift the edges of the eggs as they set to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath the cooked egg. Continue this process until the eggs are set. Shake the pan vigorously to prevent the omelet from sticking. When the omelet is done to your liking, take the pan off the heat. Add the filling to one side of the omelet. Gently flip the other half of the omelet over the filling.