~A French Country Affair ~
An Elegant Omelette Gateau
with Chive Flowers
|So elegant and yet wonderfully rustic too!|
~ Thursday 4th August 2011~
~Jeudi 4 Août 2011~ St J Marie Vianney~
Kit~Dressing: Since the 14th Century, the word Kit has been used in several English counties to mean a wooden object with handles similar to a milking pail, or a receptacle for carrying butter or fish to market; in 1829, Stephen Glover described the custom of “Kit~Dressing” in his book about Derbyshire history:
At Baslow the rural festive kit~dressing took place on the 4th of August…..the decoration of the kits surpassed in beauty and taste any that had been seen before…..A beautiful garland and large pink flag were emblems carried in the procession. Twigs of willow were bent over the tops of the kits and entwined with flowers and ribbons. The garlands were formed upon a framework of woven willow twigs, and were adorned by means of silk, muslin and trinkets of silver and gold….
(Taken from The English Year by Steve Roud)
|A French Country Affair|
A French country affair eh? A bit of hanky panky behind the hen hut perchance? Hot smouldering glances and winks…….whispered endearments and casual footsie under the table, hurried naughty text messages and sly embraces by the cherry tree, or frantic fumbles in the pantry maybe………….NO, not that sort of affair at all; this is a French country FOOD affair of course ~ an amazing omelette gateau that would take pride of place at any French country affair or luncheon party party. And, the best thing is that nearly all of the ingredients are seasonal at the moment too……..using fresh summer courgettes (zucchini), chives and their flowers, a selection of fresh herbs, spring onions (green onions or scallions) and beautiful free-range eggs. It takes a bit of time to cook the omelettes, but once they are made, it is such fun assembling the gateau. It is so elegant and yet wonderfully rustic too, with a certain French chic!
|A French Country Affair|
This is such an impressive savoury gateau and would be a wonderful centrepiece for a special celebratory meal, such as a summer wedding, christening, anniversary, birthday or a bridal shower. Open faced omelettes, studded with fresh vegetables and herbs including chives and chive flowers, are sandwiched together with herb and garlic cream cheese to create a savoury vegetarian gateau! Top the gateau off with Parmesan cheese shavings and toss baby salad leaves on and around the gateau to serve.
|Serve with a crisp and chilled white wine such as Chardonnay or Chablis|
This does take a little time to prepare, however, it could be made the day before it is needed, making it ideal for a special event. You could add thinly sliced ham or crispy bacon if this is not required as a vegetarian dish, that would add a wonderful crunchy texture to the filling. Preparation time includes the chilling time overnight. Now for the recipe, and a small note ~ do try to use good free-range or organic eggs, they will be the shining stars in this dish along with the seasonal vegetables and herbs! I cannot wait to use my hens eggs for this recipe……when they finally start laying!
|Add bowls of freshly picked flowers in the table to add to the atmosphere of a French Country Affair!|
~A French Country Affair ~
An Elegant Omelette Gateau with Chive Flowers
|Sautéing the courgettes and chives with chive flowers|
(This recipe was taken from a Good Food magazine – summer 2008.)
(Serves 10 to 12 people)
10 eggs, free-range or organic
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 small courgettes, finely chopped ( zucchini)
4 spring onions, thinly sliced ( green onions/scallions)
8 stems of chives with flowers if possible, finely sliced and flowers shredded
4 roasted red peppers, from a jar, drained and finely diced
6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 small red chilli, de seeded and finely diced
salt and pepper
400g (14oz) cream cheese or 400g (14oz) Boursin cheese
4 tablespoons milk, to mix
4 tablespoons fresh chives, snipped in to small pieces
1 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fresh basil, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Baby spinach or rocket or mixed salad greens
Fresh shaved Parmesan cheese
Fresh chive flowers
1. Take 2 bowls and add 5 eggs to each bowl – whisk lightly.
2. In a large frying pan, add 1 teaspoon of the olive oil and fry the courgettes, spring onions, chives and chive flowers. Sauté for about 8 to 10 minutes over a low to medium heat until the vegetables and herbs are soft but not coloured. Set aside and season with salt and pepper.
3. In one bowl of whisked eggs, add the fried courgette mixture and in the other bowl of eggs, add the red peppers, garlic and chilli – season well with salt and pepper.
4. In an 8″ omelette or pancake pan, heat up some of the remaining olive oil and using a third of the courgette omelette mixture, make an open face omelette; fry the omelette for about 5 minutes or until the omelette is firm. Carefully invert the omelette on to a plate – then slide it back in to the pan cooking the other side of the omelette for about 3 minutes or until firm. Make two more courgette omelettes this way and set them to one side to cool.
5. Continue with the red pepper omelette mixture – making three more open face omelettes. You will now have three courgette omelettes and three red pepper omelettes. Allow them to cool before assembling your “Gateau”.
6. Whilst the omelettes are cooling, make the filling. Mix all of the filling ingredients together – check the seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
Take an 8″ cake tine, line it with some cling film, making sure that it overlaps the sides to about 6″.
7. Assemble the gateau – start of with the most attractive red pepper omelette, and place it in the cake tin – spread some filling over the top of the omelette. Continue with a courgette omelette and then a red pepper omelette – continue stacking the omelettes this way, spreading the filling in between them as you go. You will end up with a big multi-layered cake or sandwich of omelettes!
8. Take the excess cling film and cover the gateau to cover it completely. Allow to rest in the fridge for 24 hours.
9. When you are ready to serve it – carefully take the gateau out using the cling film to help you lift it out of the tin. Serve it on a pretty plate or cake stand, with the red pepper omelette facing the top.
10. Sprinkle baby salad leaves and Parmesan cheese shavings over the top and around the gateau. Chive flowers would also be an attractive garnish.
11. To serve, cut in to wedges and serve with the salad leaves and Parmesan shavings – with extra salad leaves and dressing if you wish.
|This is so pretty when cut and served|
I hope you have a suitable country affair this summer at which you can serve this beautiful omelette gateau………and don’t forget to set the table to create the ambiance and atmosphere, crisp linen napkins and gleaming cutlery along with simple white plates will make a strong statement, as well as bowls of blousey roses and other summer blooms!
See you later and I hope you have enjoyed today’s recipe and ramblings……