My friend Ruth Hegarty sent us this lovely story and recipe for Wind-Down Wednesday. Ruth used to run a catering business, writes about restaurants for Totally Dublin magazine and is one of the best cooks I’ve ever met. We lived together one student summer in Edinburgh and she saved about twelve of us from living entirely on Tesco Value fish fingers and spaghetti hoops (and probably from eventual scurvy).
Ruth is a great improviser, and would often turn the most underwhelming ingredients (one can of tomatoes, three potatoes, some hard cheese) into something really satisfying (a delicious tomato and potato bake!). Keeping with the eggs and tomatoes theme started by Italian Foodies, Ruth is sharing a lovely and simple omelette with us today.
Ruth’s Omelette A la Creme
My parents went to Paris just after they got married. They were there for a year and had their first baby there (my sister’s a frog princess now). They had no money and even the little they had shrank when sterling devalued and my dad’s scholarship went down by 20%. They had been given one cookery book as a wedding present called ‘Cookery in Colour’. They tell me they used to leaf through it and drool over everything, they couldn’t afford much more than mince. That book was in my childhood, all the time and mum still has it. It’s stained, it has lost the cover and the index ends with ‘cheese straws’.
I came across the book in a house in Liscannor recently, a granny of a friend’s. That copy was pristine. I guess it’s random which cookbook you pick up and really get involved with and which just sits on your shelf, never unearthing its delights. Anyway, this Wednesday wind-down comes from Cookery in Colour, first cooked in my family during the riots of 1968, in anticipation of a first baby girl at the top of 97 steps in an apartment just off the Champs-Elysees. And all of this is available from your local shop. And the sum is more than its parts. Lots of my friends have now acquired this as their quick, but classy staple.
For 2 people (just increase or decrease according to your company)
- 1/2 – 1 can of tomatoes
- 1 clove of garlic crushed
- herbs (de provence or oregano, or italian seasoning or fresh snipped from your garden)
- 4 eggs beaten
- butter & oil for frying
- cream, about 100ml
- grated cheese. From the 70s to the 90s we made this with cheddar, now it’s parmesan or something like Gabriels for the bite.
- Microwave the tomatoes, garlic and herbs for 3 mins.
- In a pan melt some butter and a splash of oil together. Pour in your beaten eggs and cook as for an omlette.
- When the eggs are still not quite set on top, pour on the tomato mixture.
- Pour over the cream.
- Sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Put the pan under a heated grill and bubble until the cheese/cream has melted and browned.
Enjoy! Crusty bread and some kind of salad goes great with this.