Sunday, 25 January 2015

Nigella Lawson's Spanish Omelette

OCD Panic Rating: 2/5 during preparation; 5/5 by the end
Handwashes: 4

I'm always looking for new and interesting things to take to work for lunch.  I'm not much of a sandwich fan and the office microwave is a health hazard, so I often have to resort to a pre-packaged salad concoction from the supermarket or a trip to one of the cafés or food stalls in the area.  I'm not averse to the latter (there is a supreme falafel stand about two minutes from my office) but it can become costly and more calorific than recommended.  Nigella's Spanish omelette from Nigella Express looked like a brilliant answer to my dilemma, something quick to prepare and suitable for chucking into the lunchbox for a couple of days too.  On a Sunday evening, ready for the working week,  I gave it a go.

On first glance, the instructions seemed delightfully straightforward.  Chop up a few veggies, crack some eggs (the first two handwashes), grate in some cheese, then heat through.  As with the croissants, there was no real reason why this should have been a problem. The slicing and dicing went fine, as did the mixing and combining.  But, also like the croissants, Nigella's instructions here were not idiot-proof.  And I am most decidedly an idiot.

I popped the frying pan onto the hob for the required length of time, then placed it under the grill, just as I was told to.  Nigella suggests that this is only needed for a couple of minutes but, even after ten minutes, the omelette was still clearly wet on top.  I upped the temperature and gave it longer until the top had firmed up and become golden.  It was still a little loose in the middle but the recipe told me that this was ok as it would continue to cook while it cooled.  In fact, it was already time to pop it on a plate.  Which was when this happened:

The unset egg started to ooze out of the omelette, leaving it floating in an eggy puddle.  I left it to cool for a bit longer then shifted it onto another plate (the final two handwashes, in case you were wondering). The oozing had stopped but there was some sinkage in the middle where the mixture had been lost.  I put it in the fridge where it stayed until my husband was brave enough to try it.

That's right: the final 5/5 OCD rating comes from the fact that I just couldn't eat it.  The soggy ooze freaked me out so much that I would have had to wash my hands if I even touched it.  Thankfully, my husband said that the taste was very good even though the texture suffered from being too wet.  It was “like a crustless quiche” apparently.  He recommends that I make it again, so maybe I'll get to try it eventually.  Just not this time.

Key points:

  • You've gotta cook those eggs.  Next time, I'll cook it for longer both on the hob and under the grill, and will also leave it to cool in the frying pan before I turn it out.  If it doesn't set then, it's Nigella's fault, not mine.
  • Maybe leaving the office at lunchtime isn't so bad... I mean, you don't want to be sat at a desk all day...

Win rating: 1/5

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