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Nero Wolfe apricot omelet November 18, 2010

Posted by inspiredbywolfe in Fruit, Sweet things, Wolfe recipe.
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When I’d seen the selection of omelet recipes in the Nero Wolfe Cookbook, I must confess to a certain level of skepticism. Omelet with a filling of bacon and apricot, or strawberries? To me, omelets have always been savoury items, to be served with bacon or tomatoes, or other similar things. However, I felt it was best to try some of these combinations, in order to judge for myself.

I decided to make the omelet with apricot filling, which seemed the most sweet out of the variations provided, to truly test if it could work in an omelet. However, first I had to come to grips with the issue of kümmel. Kümmel, for those who don’t know – and I certainly didn’t – is a liqueur flavoured with carraway seed, fennel and cumin. I tried a couple of stores but no one seemed to know what it was either. To be honest, even if I’d found it, I was unwilling to buy a whole bottle of the stuff when I only needed about 30ml of it for the recipe. I decided to proceed without it.

As well as adding flavour, I determined that the addition of the kümmel would also work to make the apricot preserves slightly runnier, so I added some water to the apricot, and mixed it in. In another bowl, I cracked 3 eggs (I made half the recipe listed in the book, that is 1 omelet not 2) and added water, sugar and salt to the mix. I whisked this with a fork until it looked fluffy.

Next, I was instructed to heat a frying pan, then add butter and let it melt and foam. Detailed instructions were provided to help me determine when the pan was ready – I was to wait until drops of water danced around on the surface of the frying pan, before they disappeared. What the recipe describes is the Leidenfrost Effect, explained here (scroll almost to the end of the article) and here.

Anyway, once I determined that the Leidenfrost Effect was in…effect (!), I added my butter and swirled it around the pan, and then added my eggs.

Now, the next part I don’t have any photos of, as both of my hands were occupied! I gently stirred the eggs around using the back of a fork, while shaking the pan with my other hand to stop the eggs from sticking. I admit I wasn’t very dextrous at doing this, and pierced the bottom layer of the omelet more than once.

When it was cooked on the bottom and almost cooked on the top, I removed it from the heat and added the apricot mixture.

Using two spatulas, I carefully folded one half of the omelet over the other half. The recipe instructed me to either fold it or roll it, but I didn’t trust my ability to roll it several times. After folding it, I scattered some castor sugar on the top and placed it under the grill. the recipe instructed me to remove it to a warm plate and then place *that* under the grill, but since the pan I was using was oven-safe, I decided to leave it in the same pan.

After a few minutes, the sugar on top had begun to caramelise, and I took it out and (carefully) removed it to a plate. I chopped up some strawberries to serve it.

OK, it’s not the most beautiful omelet in the world, and I’m sure Fritz’s are prettier. As for the flavour: it was nice, but strange. My brain had some trouble comprehending the overall flavour – which was sweet but also savoury! I think I put too much of the apricot mixture in, as that did dominate, but I can see how the fruit and the eggs go together.

I’m interested to try some of the other omelets Nero Wolfe ate and to see if those combinations work too. While I am not yet a convert, I will confess my skepticism has reduced dramatically.

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