January 20, 2011

Delish Dish: Kale and Goat Cheese Omelette

Baby, it's cold outside. The Stop's farmers’ market is near-deserted on Saturday, both vendors and customers choosing to stay home rather than battle the January storm brewing outside. I come home without the usual bulging bags, my slim pickings reflecting not just the lack of supply but the season. Cold storage Ambrosia apples from Bizjak Farms; Blossom goat cheese from Monforte Dairy; deliciously fresh eggs from Irina at Bees Universe; and my most treasured find: black kale, the famous Cavolo Nero of Tuscan cuisine, from one of the many small independent vendors the market supports.

It may not be much, but it’s the perfect combination of ingredients to make a good old fashioned hot breakfast. When the thermostat dips to way below zero, there’s nothing better than a tummy full of good food. I buy enough kale to get me through a week’s worth of warming breakfasts. Finished it off with an Ambrosia apple, it’s a most delicious winter morning feast.

Kale and Goat Cheese Omelette
serves one

Purists - please note - I am sure this is not the "correct" method for omelette making. But it works for me.  I buy kale in large quantities and prep it all at once so that it's ready in the fridge when I am.  Fresh kale can also be frozen.

2 c fresh kale, washed, trimmed and chopped into three inch lengths
4 tsp olive oil
¼ c low sodium chicken stock or water
½ tbsp Shichimi-Togarashi* (see note), or substitute a blend of taosted sesame seeds, chili pepper flakes,  black pepper and ½ tsp grated orange zest
¼ c soft goat cheese, mixed with ½ tsp grated lemon zest
2 whole eggs
2 egg whites
½ tbsp unsalted butter

1.  Prepare the kale.  In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 tsp of the olive oil over medium-high heat.  Add the chopped kale and stir for a few minutes.  Add the chicken stock and the Shichimi-Togarashi, continuing to stir, until the kale is wilted but still has some crunch.  Remove from heat and set aside.

2.  In a small non-stick skillet, heat the remaining oil and butter over medium heat. When the butter foams, break the two eggs into the pan, and add the two egg whites.  Swirl the eggs with a fork to break up the yolk, and season to taste with salt and pepper.  Cook the eggs, lifting the edges with a spatula to distribute the eggs and cook them further.

3.  When the eggs are set but still soft, place the goat cheese in dollops over the eggs.  Add the kale, covering the entire surface of the eggs.  With a spatula, gently fold the eggs over to form an omelette.

Eggs are setting but still soft

Hard to see the goat cheese...but it's there!

4.  Cover the skillet with a lid, reduce heat to low and let cook for a couple of minutes more.

Serves one very grateful diner.

*Shichimi-Togarashi is a wonderfully complex seven spice blend that gives dishes deeply subtle nuances of flavour. It's a medium-spicy blend of seven ingredients: black sesame seeds; the dried peel of the unshu mikan (Satsuma orange); Japanese sansho pepper; dried capsicum; roasted dry capsicum; hemp seeds and poppy seeds.  Shichimi-Togarashi is available online and is worth seeking out.