Friday, November 27, 2009

Here We Go!

Many claim that the way one cooks an omelette is the way of telling if one's a good cook or not.
I claim that what one puts inside an omelette is the way of telling if one's a good cook or not.

Call me crazy, but I hate a plain omelette. Most French people would have me killed for uttering this phrase but it's the truth! Ever since I was a child I always detested it, or so my mother claims. Eating a single egg constituted a nightmare for me. The poor woman always tried to embellish every egg dish she cooked with different ingredients so that I would eat it.
She'd use the secret power of tomatoes, cheese and French fries incorporated into scrambled eggs in order for me to even sample them. Other times she would use the allure of olive oil, feta cheese and rustic bread as an accompaniment to fried eggs.
Eventually as the years passed she actually had me hooked! I enjoyed the sight and taste of a well cooked omelette, with all the trimmings of course, but it wasn't until I began cooking omelettes myself that I truly discovered what one can do with the help of a plain old chicken egg.

I've tried so many combinations over the years but the following is at the top of my list. The use of a Catalan red wine sausage gives the omelette a deep flavor which undercuts the creaminess of the eggs but does not overpower the overall dish. The thyme with its earthy scent, the mushrooms and the onions complement each other and constitute this gorgeous, simple, flavorful, easy to do recipe that will have anyone tasting it licking their fingers and asking for more.

It's a perfect dish for brunch or lunch but S (my boyfriend) and I prefer having it for a light supper paired with a leafy salad and a whole-wheat baguette.

Omelette with Catalan red wine Sausage, Mushrooms, Onions and Thyme

If you're unable to find a Catalan red wine sausage, which is a pork sausage infused with red wine, you can certainly use any other type of sausage you like as long as it doesn't have an overwhelming taste. For example, chorizo is not a sausage for this dish.

Yield: 2 servings

4 medium free-range eggs
80 g Catalan red wine sausage, sliced
70 g small chestnut (cremini) mushrooms, sliced
1 small onion, sliced
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped
Freshly ground white pepper

In a small bowl crack the eggs open, add salt, pepper and thyme. Beat lightly with a fork.
Heat a large skillet, preferably non-stick, on medium-high heat and add the olive oil. Add the onions and sauté in the oil until they begin to soften.
Add the mushrooms and sauté for another minute. Once they're lightly cooked, add the sausage and stir it around until it gets coated with the oil and starts to release its own fat.
Pour the eggs over all the ingredients and shake the skillet so that the eggs spread evenly around the pan.
Lower the heat to medium-low and cook, lifting edges to let uncooked egg run underneath, for about 6-7 minutes or until set on the bottom and almost set but still moist on top.
Slide and fold the omelette onto a plate, sprinkle a little more thyme on top and serve immediately.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Food and Drinks 2010

I woke up last Saturday morning with a childlike excitement cause it was food fest day!
Food and Drinks 2010 (Eten en Drinken 2010) to be exact at the Malieveld, a huge park in the middle of The Hague which included a market, different restaurants, workshops and demonstrations.

Well, I don't speak Dutch (yet) so unfortunately the workshops were out of the question but I visited the market which I'm glad to say was full of happy surprises. Stalls with cookbooks, magazines, various kinds of food, coffee, tea, pastries and of course wine. Anyone could sample anything and naturally everyone did. It was a bit chaotic but totally worth the 17,50 euros per person.

I discovered some wonderfully tasty French saucisses and mustard, Spanish sausages, pickles, duck rillettes, jams, chutneys, caviar which of course I didn't sample because it was too expensive for the lady at the stall to just hand out unless you bought a 15gr jar for 300 euros.
But I tasted various tapenades on top of some beautiful rustic bread, many different types of balsamic vinegar and olive oil - unfortunately none of it Greek which was disappointing since Greece has some of the richest and tastier olive oil in the world.
Of course I'm gonna say that. I'm Greek!

I also participated in a French-wine tasting paired with the famous Dutch Beemster cheese, an amazing assortment if I do say so myself. I particularly enjoyed the "pikant", a matured, crumbly, granular cheese which I think would be excellent grated on top of your favorite pasta dish.

I stumbled upon a chocolate stall with the most delicious chocolate in the world, Valrhona (naturally I had to buy at least one) and the most brilliant collection of finger desserts (does this term even exist?).

The most surprising of the discoveries though was the one my boyfriend made. The Shiitake mushroom Beer!! Is that unbelievable or what!? We tasted it and it had a very interesting flavor. Mild and ale-like.

Well, I think it's fair enough to assume that when I got home I had a full stomach and a slightly dizzy head. Wouldn't you?
CAN'T WAIT for the next food fest to come to town!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Here I am! A new blogger. Anybody there?
Well...welcome to my blog!
It's a food blog, if you can't tell already by it's name
and I'll be posting from my little expat kitchen.
See, I'm an expat from Athens, Greece living in The Netherlands
for the last couple of years and cooking is what I love to do.
I'll be cooking and blogging for me and for YOU!
Well, the cooking part is just for me and my boyfriend
but I'll be sharing the recipes and pictures of my culinary adventures.
So stay tuned!