Sunday Indian Omelette

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Because of the Blizzard of 2016, it was snow day and I was stuck in the house with limited options, given the local media stations  had been covering the snowstorm for a straight 48 hours. Well, I took advantage of the snow day by watching  a couple of movies and among the choice of selections was “The Hundred-Foot Journey”, a 2014  film adapted from Richard Morais’ 2010 novel of the same name, that  tells the story of a feud between two adjacent restaurants in a French town: one operated by a recently relocated Indian family and the other a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Despite the movie starring Academy Award®-winner Helen Mirren, Om Puri and Manish Dayal, the  real stars of the movie were the 27 eye opening and mouth watering dishes, with so  many of them that were created by Chef Floyd Cartoz, who served as a consultant on the film.

CChef-Floyd-Cardoz-at-The-Bo.jpghef Cartoz, was the  2011 winner  of Top Chef Masters. His own life story is somewhat reminiscent of the film’s main character, Hassan Kadam.  Chef Cartoz was  born in India, migrated to the United States and had a hard time transitioning. He eventfully found work and he currently works as an executive chef  at White Street, located in Tribeca, New York. Drawing from his extensive culinary experience, Chef Cartoz was instrumental in bringing the foods in the novel alive on screen.

Omelette or Omelet, no matter how it is spelled or you call it, we can all agree that this French dish has an international appeal. If you’ve seen the movie,  then you may recall the scene  where Hassan made an Omelette aux Fines Herbes  with Indian spices, for Madam Mallory. It was divine.  And  at that moment, being a totally foodie, I fell in love with the cooking and presentation of my favorite dish from the film, the omelette.

It was the Sunday Indian Omelette, to be exact, which   is a  a part of a traditional Sunday morning breakfast in India.  This dish is extremely popular in The union territory of Puducherry, which was a  French colony for around 200 years, making French cuisine a strong influence in the area.  The sellers would walk around the neighborhood, calling out – “omelette, omelette”, a sign to let the community know they were open for business. It’s usually eaten alone or sometimes in between a piece of naan, making something akin to a breakfast sandwich. If you are passionate about cooking, like me and if you love eggs, may I  suggest that you try this omelette…… because I thoroughly enjoyed it, and the dish left me feeling happy with a full stomach on a snowy day.

Enjoy!

Adapted from Chef Floyd Cartoz, 2014

Serves 4 to 6

Ingredients:
2 cups onions, minced
2 scallions, thinly sliced
1  small Serano chili, seeded and finely minced
2 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, diced
1/2 bunch of cilantro, washed and roughly chopped
1 Tablespoon turmeric
1 Tablespoon Vadouvan French Masala Curry
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper, or to taste
4 Tablespoons coconut or canola oil
12 eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
Ground black pepper, to taste
Clarified butter, for serving

 

Directions:
In a large bowl combine the onion, scallions,tomatoes, cilantro, salt and mix well. Split vegetable mixture into 6 equal parts.

In a another bowl, combine the turmeric, vadouvan, cayenne pepper and black pepper with the eggs.

For each omelette that will be made, take about 1/4  cup of the spiced eggs and add it to one part of the vegetables and mix well in a small bowl with a fork.

Heat a medium size non-stick pan over moderate heat and 1/2 tablespoons coconut oil and heat until shimmering. Pour the egg mixture into the pan  and gently swril the pan to spread the eggs evenly. Stir gently with a fork, lifting the bottom to allow the uncooked eggs to flow underneath. Cook for 2 to  3 minutes. Reduce heat and let eggs cool until it sets. The eggs should not set too quickly or take on too much color.

Once the eggs are almost completely set, that is, they can no longer be stirred, give the pan a good shake or tap. Lift the pan almost vertically. With the aid of a fork or spatula, fold the omelette in half and slip it onto a plate, folding it again onto itself. Brush the top of the omelette with clarified butter before serving.

Repeat with the rest of the egg mixture.

Serve immediately.

 

TODAY.com Parenting Team FC Contributor

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Of Course, I Can…….

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I have not been this excited to have a new ‘toy’  since my parents gave me an avocado green Easy Bake Oven…….it is the Ball Fresh TECH Automatic Home Canning System.

Despite watching my Grandmother, all those years ago,  canning the old fashion way by using Ball Mason Jars and  a heavy  black cast ironed speckled enameled stockpot simmering all day long on a stove, I never canned anything in my life. The process was too long and too tedious and sometimes dangerous. It really takes the patience of a saint to can the old fashioned way.

The preservation of food in human history always relied on salting methods. Canning is a method of preserving food in which the food contents are processed and sealed in an airtight container. Canning provides a shelf life typically ranging from one to five years, although under specific circumstances it can be much longer. A freeze-dried canned product, such as canned dried lentils, could last as long as 30 years in an edible state. In 1974, samples of canned food from the wreck of the Bertrand, a steamboat that sank in the Missouri River in 1865, were tested by the National Food Processors Association. Although appearance, smell and vitamin content had deteriorated, there was no trace of microbial growth and the 109 year-old food was determined to be still safe to eat. Imagine that!

In 1795 the French military offered a cash prize of 12,000 francs220px-Appert_Nicolas  for a new method to preserve food. Nicolas Appert suggested canning, and the process was first proven in 1806 in tests conducted by the French navy. Appert was awarded the prize in 1810 by Count Montelivert, a French minister of the interior.

Other than sterilization, no method is perfectly dependable as a preservative. The only foods that may be safely canned in an ordinary boiling water bath are highly acidic ones with a pH below 4.6,  such as fruits, pickled vegetables, or other foods to which acidic additives have been added.

 

 

And to be perfectly honest, canning looked a bit scary to me as child. These pictures give you a glimpse into canning in America in the from  1914 through the 1980s.

Canning_stewpan_advertisement1914 magazine advertisement for cookware with instructions for home canning.

 

 

loretta lynnLoretta Lynn, yes that Loretta Lynn, the Country and Western Singer, long before she was a star, she was house wife who canned. Date Unknown.

 

Canning garden produce was an annual ritual fo6562r most farm women. Mrs. Eugene Smith had several hot summer  days of toiling over a wood cook stove ahead of her as she prepared  string beans for canning in St. Mary’s County, Maryland, 1940.

                                                     

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Mrs. Harry Handy canning corn with aid of pressure cooker. Saint Mary’s County, Maryland, September 1940. (Photographer: John Vachon)

 

 

fig-81Mrs. Norman Hofferichter at home-canned food display, San Antonio Light Photograph collection, University of Texas San Antonio Libraries Special Collection. Circa 1950s.

 

 

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Canning string beans and corn in Louisiana, circa 1980s.

 

 

 

But since I have been growing my own vegetables and a frequent buyer of fruits and vegetables at my local farmers market, I have been intrigued as to how to preserve foods long after the Spring , Summer and Autumn harvests.

And if you have never canned before, or need a refresher on canning, I would suggest the publication that can be found on -line:

The National Center for Home Food Preservation
http://nchfp.uga.edu/how/can_home.html

While researching modern methods of home canning, I stumbled upon this amazing find……

Introducing the Ball FreshTECH Electric Canning Systemimg3c

The intrepid home cook can take on home canning with confidence, with no worries and no time-consuming stovetop monitoring. A first of its kind, the Ball FreshTECH electric canning system eliminates all the guesswork from preserving fresh produce to make jams, jellies, pickles and more. Innovative technology controls the exact time and temperature needed to can according to their recipes—simply press a button and foods are perfectly preserved every time. Faster, easier and more energy-efficient than water-bath canning, the Auto Canner is ideal for novice home canners looking for guidance as well as more experienced canners who want to save time.

Automatic home-canning system simplifies the process of preserving your favorite fresh produce into jams, jellies, pickles, fruits, salsas, tomatoes, sauces and more.

The most popular canning recipes are pre-programmed into the appliance, so you can preserve with the push of a button. Patent-pending SmartPRESERVE technology automatically senses and constantly monitors time and temperature and adjusts for altitude.

Dual temperature sensors and seven built-in safety features ensure foods are processed at the correct temperature every time for safe, shelf-stable storage for up to a year.

Eliminates the need for stovetop monitoring, providing valuable time savings for home canners.

Preheats empty jars in 12 minutes before filling and preserving.
Uses up to 30% less time, 60% less energy and 85% less water compared to traditional water-bath canning methods.Aluminum pot has a nonstick coating for easy cleanup. Also included are the stainless-steel jar rack and the  jar lifter.

Despite all the technology with this new machine, there are a few down sides: 1) the price, which runs about $299.00; 2)  You can ONLY   the  electric automatic canner  with the tested recipes in the included recipe booklet; 3) The canner can only process small batches at a time.

But for me, these issues were not an obstacle, being a first time canner and all.

The first thing I made was apple jelly. The recipe provided was way too sweet for  my liking.

Next, I made strawberry jam, which turned out PERFECT.

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And then, I made a hot pepper relish, that  was not in the recipe booklet, but turned out just  fine using a similar recipe that was in the booklet.

 

DSC05575 From the Sweet to the Savory

Top row, Left to Right:Apple Jelly, Strawberry Jam, and Pomegranate Syrup

Bottom row, Left to Right: Giardiniera, Hot Pepper Relish, and ChowChow

 

I have never had so much fun in the kitchen. I think my grandmother would be proud of me following in her culinary footsteps.

 

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Pork Belly Baos

Did you know that Pork belly is the source of the much-loved bacon most people love to eat in Western countries, but it has been a staple in Asian countries for centuries?

This is my version of the most delicious Pork Belly Baos you will ever experience. It is sweet, savory, and spicy and is a fusion of cultures: starting with the pork belly, a Vietnamese caramel braising sauce, Chinese steamed buns,  Korean pickled bamboo shoots, and Japanese pickles. This common street food is elevated by the combination of flavors or textures.Exceptional food takes time to prepare, especially certain cuts of eat and this recipe is no exception. There are no short cuts in producing slow-cooked pork belly, which is sliced and simmered in a sweet-savory caramel sauce and sandwiched between soft, pillowy steamed buns. But it doesn’t stop there – a hit of spice comes from fresh chilies, green onions, pickled bamboo shoots and Japanese pickles, that tops off this amazing sandwich.A perfect pick me up snack that reminds me of sliders, and they will definitely please a crowd every time you serve them.

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Makes 20 Baos

FOR THE PORK BELLY
1 slab pork belly (about 2 pounds)
1 tablespoon cooking oil
2-3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger
1 fresh serrano chili pepper, minced
1 green onion, chopped
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
3 tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/2 cup water

1. Preheat oven to 275F. Wrap the pork belly in heavy tin foil. Place on baking sheet and roast for 2 hours. Remove from oven and let cool before refrigerating at least 2 hour or up to 2 days.

2. Unwrap the pork belly, and slice into 1/2″ pieces.

3. In a large bowl, whisk together the brown sugar, rice vinegar, fish sauce, soy sauce and water.

4. Heat a wok or large saute pan over high heat. When hot, swirl in cooking oil and add several slices to the wok, but do not overlap. Fry each side until browned. Remove to plate. Repeat with remaining pork belly slices.

5. Turn the heat to medium-low. Add in the garlic, ginger, chiles and green onion. Saute for 30 seconds until fragrant. Pour in the remaining caramel sauce into the pan.Return the pork belly slices back into the wok and let simmer for 10 minutes.

 FOR THE CHILI SAUCE
1 stalk green onion, minced
1 fresh serrano chili, minced or sliced very thinly
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons cooking oil
3 tablespoons hoisin sauce
1 jar Pickled bamboo shoots
1 jarJapanese  pickles (Kyuri asazuke)
hoisin sauce

Place the green onion, chili, vinegar and salt in a small heatproof bowl. In a small saucepan, heat the cooking oil until smoking, remove from heat and immediately pour on top of the green onion mixture. Cook with caution: the oil will bubble and crackle while adding the chili sauce mixture.

FOR THE BUNS:
Makes 20 Buns

2 Tablespoons all-purpose flour for dusting work surface
2 cans Pillsbury Buttermilk Biscuit dough
1/4 cup canola oil
20 parchment squares (about 4×4-inch)

1. Dust work surface with the flour. Open the can of dough. There are 10 biscuits in each can. Separate out the biscuits. Keep the dough covered loosely with plastic wrap or towel. Roll each biscuit into an oval and fold in half.Lightly brush some cooking oil on the bottom of the buns Place on parchment square. Keep covered until ready to steam. Repeat the process with the second can of dough.

2. Prepare steamer. Place five to six buns on a heat proof plate.You will need to steam the buns in batches, to avoid overcrowding the plate while steaming and preventing the buns from sticking to each other.Steam the buns for 12 minutes.

To serve, carefully open each bun, spread a bit of hoisin sauce in the bun. Add a slice of pork belly and top with the chili sauce,a bit of the bamboo shoots and three Japanese pickles.