Wednesday, December 30, 2015

A Delicate Omelette for One

I have had an omelette pan for years. It never goes near water and is cleaned with kitchen paper. Yet I hardly ever use it for some reason – unless I am eating alone and a simple omelette seems to be an ideal dish. This recipe is such a delicate one that the ingredients, other than eggs, are minimal. It is not like a normal omelette, being slightly related to a pancake


You will need
Pepper and salt

Into a bowl break two large or three small eggs. Add a dash of water and some pepper and salt. Whisk it.
Cut a shallot in half (you only need a little). Peel off the skin, and chop it up as finely as possible. Add the shallot to the whisked egg and whisk again.
In a frying pan or omelette pan melt a good lump of butter – slowly. Turn the pan around until its bottom and lower sides are coated with melted butter. Pour the excess butter into the egg mix and whisk it yet again.
Pour the egg mix into the pan to cook, making sure that the pan is well coated with the egg mixture and that the heat below it is at a minimum.
Now chop up a very small tomato (one of those little oval ones is ideal). Sprinkle the tomato bits over the omelette that is cooking in the pan. It will look rather decorative.
Leave the omelette to cook through very slowly. It will be ready when the edges are just turning up and the top still moist. Depending on the amount of heat used and thickness of the pan, this will take roughly eight minutes. So keep an eye on it.
With a plastic spatula (so as not to scratch the surface of a proper omelette pan), fold the omelette in half and slide the result on to a warm plate. It is ready to eat.
Divided into two, the omelette will make a small but tasty first course for a couple about to eat more. Double up the ingredients and it becomes a main course.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015


I have just heard from an author in Ireland, asking if I knew of anyone from the days of the Raj who might know of the recipe for Kedgeree. My mother was such a person and kedgeree was a breakfast staple in our house in the country. When my grandfather was knighted by King Edward V11, he sent my mother out to India where his other daughter (my aunt) was married to an army officer. One of my mother’s names was Hyacinth. She must have been a pretty lively person as she was known as “The Hilarious Hyacinth of Hydrabad Sind”. As for the recipe for Kedgeree, it was as near to the following as makes no matter.


You will need:
Rice (that’s not sticky)
Smoked haddock (cooked for a short time in milk)
Pepper and salt

Boil the rice (it can have a little turmeric added for colour if wanted) and drain it well.
To it add flaked smoked haddock, chopped hard-boiled eggs, pepper, salt and plenty of butter. 
Stir and serve.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Ham or Bacon with Brussels Sprouts

In the refrigerator was a piece of ham or bacon, wrapped tightly in plastic. It was my turn to cook. Also in the refrigerator’s vegetable drawer was a packet of already trimmed Brussels sprouts. I had learned before that sprouts went wonderfully in a stew. So, instead of soaking and then boiling the ham, before making a parsley sauce with the cooking water, I decided to cook the sprouts at the same time as the ham and thicken the sauce. The result was delicious and simple – just how I like recipes to be. Here’s how to do it.


You will need:
A lump of ham or bacon
Brussels sprouts
A stock cube
A little white wine

In an iron casserole that’s not too large for the meat, put your lump of ham or bacon in water and soak out most of the salt that will have been preserving it. Discard the water.
Put oil in the casserole and add chopped onion and garlic. Cook this through until the onion is transparent. Now add flour – say a heaped dessert spoon full. Stir this in. Add pepper but not salt (there should be enough in the meat). Then add a crumbled stock cube of some sort.
Place the meat on top of the onion mix and surround it with sprouts. Add water with a little white wine to almost cover. 
Bring to the boil and cook this dish very slowly for about half an hour.
Extract the meat and carve it into slices. Cover these with the sprouts and their liquor. It really is as simple as that – and quite delicious.


Monday, December 07, 2015

SOME RECIPES End of 2015

I have been so busy with art work recently that I needed a mental rest, and what better way to do this than to write.
My last two blogs, after quite a break when Margreet changed computers to Apple from Windows, were on the dangers of flying and Francis Bacon. Now, with our alternate cooking weeks in operation, and Margreet having solved enough of the information involved in a new computer language, one or two interesting recipes have come to the table. I intend to offer one per week.

With my present regime of cooking every other week, there have sometimes been leftovers to deal with. This situation always taxes one’s ingenuity and makes for a lot of fun. Here is a first course example when a cauliflower went unused and an avocado was in perfect condition.


You will need
A cauliflower
A ripe avocado
Pepper and salt
Capers (optional)

Cut away any green leaves from the cauliflower. Now cut a deep cone into the cauliflower from its base to extract the core..
Break off all the florets into bite-sized pieces, cutting away excess stem. Put them into a bowl. This part can be done well before the first course is wanted.
Shortly before the dish is ready for the table, slice the avocado from stem to stern, hit the stone with the blade of a knife, twist the stone out from the flesh and spoon out the pulp into a separate bowl. Discard the skin, but not into the compost bin or heap. They do not rot down.
Now mash up the avocado flesh with a fork, adding quite a bit of vinegar, pepper and salt, and some capers if you feel like it.
When ready to eat, mix the pur̩ed avocado with the cauliflower florets. Coat them well Рuntil each has a greenish coat.
That’s it. This is a crunchy and appetising start to a meal.