15 October 2011

Omelette Rice

Zombies walk among us. I know because yesterday I was one of them. But I invited Gavin over for dinner anyway because it was Shabbat and I just wanted to have a calm, civilized dinner at home. After 2 hours of trying to plan a simple dinner that I could make while exhausted, I gave up, called Gavin, and told him I was just going to have to make a frozen pizza. Then I took a short nap.

Twenty minutes later, I sprang up, human again, and remembered the Japanese comfort dish Omu Raisu. I've never eaten Omu Rice because it usually contains chicken, but I've seen it in many pictures plus this great scene from Tampopo, the most delightful meditation on food ever filmed:

In this scene a bum breaks into someone's house and make a little boy some vegetarian Omu Raisu. He cooks the omelette with chopsticks! The Japanese are crazy physical geniuses.

I did not exactly make Omu Raisu, but it served as my inspiration. I cooked some hot fresh rice in my rice cooker. Then I filled small bowls with chopped onion, chopped tomato, chopped bell peppers, some fresh baby spinach, some shredded chedder, and chopped avocado. All of these ingredients remained from previous cooking ventures.

The jewel of my left-overs was a head of roasted garlic from our garden. Roasted garlic works wonders squeezed into savory dishes, mashed potatoes, or on top of fresh-baked pizza. All you do is wrap a head in aluminum foil and bake it at 400º for an hour (you can do this while cooking a sweet potato or something). You can store it in the refrigerator at this point if you want. Then you slice off the very top and squeeze from the bottom; all that golden goodness oozes out.

I didn't bother trying to fold the egg over—an invariably messy and disappointing proposition. Instead, after the eggs had set over the sauteéd vegetables, I sprinkled the avocado and cheese on top and covered the fry pan with a lid for a minute. Once all the cheese and melted and bubbled, I divided the omelette into 4 equal parts like a personal pan pizza. I served each part over a bowl of fresh hot rice and offered taco sauce, hot sauce, Pick-a-Peppa sauce, and sour cream as condiments. 

George didn't like it. Gavin enjoyed his so much he started spooning George's leftovers into his mouth. And I really, really enjoyed it with taco sauce and sour cream. In my mind, I was eating American Sarah's Omu Raisu.

Omelette Rice

1 and 1/2 Cups dry rice, washed and cooked

1/2 Cup chopped onion
1 large steak tomato, chopped
1/2 Cup chopped peppers, broccoli, or vegetable of choice
1 head roasted garlic
several handfuls fresh baby or chopped adult spinach

4 large eggs

1/2 avocado, cubed
1/4 Cup shredded cheese

Optional Condiments: taco sauce, ketchup, sour cream, fresh herbs, hot sauce, etc.

  1. Put on rice to cook. When it's done, keep it warm.
  2. Meanwhile, heat up a medium wide fry pan on medium low heat with some oil or butter. Sauté the onion until softened, darkened, and giving off a mellower scent.
  3. Add the tomato. Cook one minute. Add peppers or optional vegetables. Sauté 3 minutes or so until they seem mostly cooked.
  4. Squeeze in roasted garlic. Mix. Add spinach and cook down.
  5. Meanwhile, beat eggs together. You can add a little milk or soymilk. Salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Make sure vegetables are evenly distributed in fry pan. Pour egg mixture over. When the eggs start setting, gently lift edges with a rubber scraper/ spatula and tilt the pan so runny egg on top trickles under.
  7. When most of the eggs aren't runny any more, sprinkle avocado and cheese evenly on top. Cover with a lid and wait 1 to 2 minutes.
  8. Turn off the heat and divide into sections. For each person put a layer of rice in the bowl and top with some omelette. Offer condiments.
Serves 4.

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