Tag: tarragon

An omelette for all seasons

A beautifully cooked omelette is one of life’s greatest pleasures. As simple as an omelette may sound, it is not always easy to achieve the perfect ‘cuisson‘ (cooking). It must be light, fluffy and velvety soft, just as you would imagine it being served on a silver tray in your dream hotel.

One of our house guests earlier this month, Mathieu (see previous post), is a master at cooking omelettes. We would literally queue up at the kitchen table every morning kindly placing our orders – omelette nature for Thorir, omelette with herbs for Isabelle, omelette with cheese for my husband. My favourite one was the tarragon and Saint-Nectaire cheese omelette. The ingredients just happened to be ready and available on the kitchen counter, so Mathieu made an improvised mix. It tasted like a truffled omelette, only nuttier and more aromatic due to the exquisite Saint-Nectaire cheese. Pure delight.

It is always a pleasure to have guests, but even better when they are marvelous omelette cooking guest hosts.

3 free-range eggs
10 g butter
A small handful of chopped fresh tarragon
A few slices of Saint-Nectaire cheese (finely sliced and crust removed – you can use any of your favourite cheese)
Salt and black pepper to season

Crack three eggs in a bowl and whisk eggs until slightly frothy, about 3-4 minutes. Heat the butter in a frying pan over a medium heat. When the butter starts sizzling, pour the eggs in the pan. Using a spatula, move the eggs in a circular motion for a few seconds and allow eggs to cook on a low heat. Sprinkle salt, pepper, chopped tarragon and sliced Saint-Nectaire cheese. When the cheese starts to melt, take the pan off the heat and gently roll the omelette on both sides. Flip over, return to heat and cook for 5 seconds until slightly golden. Serve immediately on a plate.

Omelettes are best served with a green salad.

Brittany lobster with butter tarragon sauce

Nervous and excited, that’s essentially how I felt about cooking lobster. We had a very Annie Hall moment in the kitchen, as much as I had no problems holding these glorious shellfish, there was no way I would plunge them in boiling water, so I asked my husband to do the job.
To celebrate last week’s Bastille day, we ordered lobsters from Brittany at our local fishmonger. They are renowned to be the best lobsters in Europe, so incredibly refined and succulent. I asked Daniel Blondel, our fisherman friend, how he liked to eat his lobsters, he replied: ‘Avec du beurre fondu, de l’estragon frais, du sel et poivre‘ – fresh tarragon, clarified butter, salt and pepper. I served it with a simple salad, vinaigrette and sliced radishes – nothing too overpowering as I mainly want to taste the lobster meat.
It was simply the best festive lunch I ever had in Médoc.

2 fresh lobsters
200 g unsalted butter
A large handful of chopped tarragon leaves
Salt (Fleur de sel de Guérande) and pepper for seasoning

In a saucepan, heat the unsalted butter on a low heat. Simmer until all the solids (foam) detach from the melted butter. Remove from heat and remove the foam/solids until you are left with the clear melted butter. You can also strain the butter through cotton muslin, cheesecloth, or a very refined colander. Once you have your clarified butter, re-heat for 2 minutes on a low heat, add salt, pepper and the large handful of freshly chopped tarragon leaves .
In a tall and large pot (tall enough for 2 lobsters), boil water with 2 bay leaves, 2 tbsp salt and 2 tsp thyme leaves. When the water brings to a boil, drop in the lobsters (head first) and wait till the water returns to a boil. From then on, cover and cook on a medium heat for 20 minutes. Drain lobsters and slice from the center. Serve on a large plate with a salad and the butter sauce on the side.

With M. Daniel Blondel