Monday Meal Review: Gabon

THE SCENE

Like cold mercury in a hot thermometer, I quickly moved out of my comfort zone. Failure flushed my cheeks. I felt sun burnt from standing over hot flames. I was stifled. Mad. In order to save any semblance of a sane human being, I sat for a good twenty minutes by myself. I could have made 13.3 omelets in that time. Rather, I should have been able to.

But I was out of eggs.

I was out of eggs because I broke them all. The counters were littered with mistakes. Eggs that browned too fast, omelets that slid off the plate, ones that I pulled too soon, with icky, runny centers. There were even eggs I accidentally cracked over the trash bowl.

Misery.

The thought of going to the grocery store to get another pack of eggs made me want to kick a tire. I’d already been to the store 4 times in the last two days – not counting Keith’s last minute run to get hickory wood chips. Not to mention, there’s only so many mistakes we could consume. Our two brat cats are worthless when it comes to garbage disposal duty and I was sick of cold eggs.

So, instead, I sat on the couch, my body molded to the soft cushions. Twenty minutes turned into two long, pitiful hours. I believe the technical name for this activity is pouting. The funny thing about pouting is how easily it consumes hours of your life without any benefit. Time stands still but the world carries on. Productivity goes out the window. You gain nothing except – perhaps – a giant pot of self-pity.

As the sun crested the sky, I finally grew bored of wallowing.

Time to get to work.

An omelet. I knew how to do this. I got an A+ on that test at the CIA. I had done it perfectly – meaning I had cooked, plated, and delivered an omelet to my chef (across the kitchen) in less than 90 seconds.

I got up slowly, shuffled to the car, and didn’t stop until I had 24 eggs in my possession. My kitchen counters served as a reminder that 12 eggs would never do. I was clearly out of practice.

I cracked the first egg and called out to Keith.

“Are you going to film this?”

I was edgy, not in the mood for chit chat. I anticipated 15 million dirty dishes covered in wasted eggs.  Failures. Messes. Messes I’d have to clean up. More pouting was imminent. I could feel it.

By the time I cracked the next two eggs and whisked them into a frothy frenzy, Keith was filming. Good man.

We all held our breath.

I dropped the eggs into the hot pan. Sizzle. Nice.

I pushed the eggs around until they were creamy, smoothed them out with a soft spatula, and quickly dropped shredded cheese down the middle.

One, two, flip, and I had an almost perfect omelet folded up on Ava’s plate like a little blanket.

I couldn’t believe it. No browning. No falling off the plate. No yucky runny goo.

And it was captured on camera.

The only problem? It took 100 seconds to make. Sure, it would have been nice to make the omelet in less than 90 seconds, just like the good-ol-cooking-school-days, but… well… sometimes you have to cut your losses.

The best part? Miss Ava gave the omelet a thumbs up. That’s as good as an A+ in my book.

THE FOOD

French  Omelet with Cheese [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

This was a flash back from my cooking school days. 90 seconds or less is pretty rockin’, if you can pull it off. The key is a super hot pan and constantly moving those eggs around. Mr Picky ate 905 of my mistakes. Ava didn’t want anything to do with the omelet at first – but, once she saw me make one, she ate it right up.

What I liked least about this dish:

No comment. See the story above. Arg.

Hickory Smoked Flank Steak Sandwiches (Coupé coupé) [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Mr Picky is a meat and potatoes kind of guy. The only problem is I rarely give him meat and only occasionally give him potatoes. I felt like I was a proper Oklahoma woman for the two hours I smoked this meat. Except for when the wood chips weren’t smoking.

What I liked least about this dish:

If a watched pot never boils, then watched meat definitely never smokes. Did you know that it takes about 5 minutes for the temperature to rise a degree? I know because I stared at the thermometer for five minutes. It’s a bit like watching paint dry. Better to go pick some flowers.

Star Fruit Curd with Tropical Fruit [Recipe]

What I liked most about this dish:

Everything. I would put these in mini parfait cups so you can serve  a bunch of people – otherwise you’ll find yourself eating the whole thing yourself.

What I liked least about this dish:

You have to eat it right away, or the bananas will brown. To help avoid this, you can cover them up with curd. But, then it wouldn’t be nearly as pretty. Ava is in an anti-goup phase – no yogurt, dips, or anything that looks creamy. As a result she wanted nothing to do with this curd. Sad for her, but more for me. Mr Picky liked this pretty well, but called it alien skin, thanks to the lovely pale green hue.

Ava’s Corner

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Comments

  1. this looks wonderful! Back in the day when Andre Soltner was just about the best chef in the U.S., a reporter asked him, if some unknown guy walked in the door and asked for a job, what would be the first thing you’d ask him to see if he had any talent? Said Soltner, I’d ask him to make an omelet. As your CIA work shows, you’d pass that test.

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Thank you – I just wish I had stayed in practice all these years. I wouldn’t have had to eat so many mistakes :)

  2. Collette Lemons says:

    I love omelets. They are so easy to do. I don’t know that there is a faster breakfast except a bowl of cereal.
    .

  3. Sasha, I love your blog! Karen from Globetrotter Diaries told me about you, and I have been reading eve since we met to prepare the stuffed peppers for the guest post I did for her:)
    What a great idea you have! I cook a lot of international foods and yearn to learn more. Thanks for giving me an introduction to some less familiar and less obvious cuisines of the world.
    Your Ava is beyond cute! Lucky, too:)
    I have to go back to the beginning and start with your As!

    • Sasha Martin says:

      Lana, how wonderful! Your peppers looked so yummy. My mom made stuffed peppers a lot when I was a kid, but her recipe was a mish mash of things – I’m not sure what tradition it came from ;)

      I’m so glad you made your way here – I am glad to have you reading along! Happy cooking to you and say hi to Karen for me.

  4. Ava’s eyebrows say it all…<3 all I know is I totally appreciate your effort in making an omelet..eggs are by far one of the hardest things for me to make "perfect" Eggs are easy and hard or hard andeasy all at the same time..maybe thats why 'they' came up with names such as: over easy and over hard/soft…scramble that thought for a moment…funny.. I crack my self up..eggsellent..happy easter! Proud of you….

    • Sasha Martin says:

      I can’t stop laughing …. every time I see those eyebrows – she is so expressive. Eggsellent indeed.

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