Monday, September 6, 2010

"Oeufs De Provence" With Spinach and Rice

I'm sorry I missed my Thursday deadline last week, I thought I'd be able to come up with something food related, but my brain was fried due to the heat, and my pots and pans were all over the place due to the move, so it took me until Sunday to cook something that could be a suitable subject for a post.
By Sunday, the weather had cooled down considerably, and the general Sunday vibe seemed to indicate omelets would be a welcome food for dinner.  I wanted to try something different from the burritos, veggie burgers, and pasta I've been eating lately, so I made "Oeufs De Provence", which sounds complicated but is simply an omelet flavored with Herbes de Provence and stuffed with a filling of spinach and rice.

As a spice mixture, Herbes de Provence has only been around it its present, Americanized, form since the 1970's.  I went through years of foodiedom without really hearing that much about it, but it seems to be enjoying a comeback lately.  This summer, I was lucky enough to be given a baking class at King Arthur Flour for my birthday.  The virtues of Herbes De Provence were praised during that class.  After that, I started hearing references to les herbes pop up on cooking shows and in magazines, so my curiosity was whetted.   When I made my weekly grocery trip and saw that Badia had a Herbes mixture, I decided to try it.

The flavors are pretty subtle, a nice alternative to the fiery hot pepper blends I've been favoring this summer, and they seem to work well with the two dishes I've used them in: fried peppers with beans, and the following omelet recipe.

The egg "shell": 

4 eggs
1 tablespoon of Herbes De Provence
4 teaspoons water

Greasing and flavoring the pan: 

Pour enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan.  Add garlic to taste.

Whisk the eggs, water, and herbes together in bowl until throughly blended. Sauté the garlic in the olive oil until brown, and then add the egg mixture. When the egg mixture solidifies, take a fork and gently loosen it from the sides of the pan.  Then take a fork and a spatula and gently try to turn it over until the "top" of the shell is on the bottom.  I find this method works much better for me than the more traditional "flip".

The filling:

1 cup leftover rice
1 package frozen spinach, or 2 bundles fresh spinach
2 slices swiss cheese (known as emmenthaller cheese to European cooks)

Defrost or wilt spinach in small sauce pan.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Mix one cup of leftover white rice into the spinach.  Bring to a boil for three minutes.

Put omlette shell onto a plate, placing the slices of swiss cheese on top of the omelet shell.  Cover half of  the shell with the rice and spinach mixture, and then fold the uncovered side of the omelet on top. 

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