Sunday, February 6, 2011

Retro cooking

I've been doing so much in the kitchen again; not just the normal everyday cooking, but plenty of new, fun things. Today was no exception. As I was falling asleep last night (or attempting to), I was trying to come up with a good Sunday breakfast for the whole family, and finally decided on an old favorite that I hadn't made for years.

This morning, I dug out the recipe card, from a collection by McCall's magazine, dated 1973. This lovely collection, packaged by category and sitting in its original plastic box, was from my grandma's best friend Bea. When Bea passed away, my mom and I inherited many things, including this recipe collection. It always intrigued me. I was probably in junior high, and would sit in front of the box, reading all the gourmet meal suggestions, wondering what I could cook. For some reason, though, I never did cook with my dad. I baked, though, from as early as I can remember, both with my mom and by myself. I remember making this "elaborate" omelet in high school and feeling very fancy. The recipe card suggests it as part of a "Children's Sunday Supper" -- the omelet, whipped cream or ice cream, and hot cocoa. Ah yes, the 1973 version of healthy children's meals?

Once I graduated college and moved to Austin, the recipe collection was something I asked my mom to bring down to me on one of their trips. It sits up on a high cupboard shelf, rarely used, but greatly loved.

I altered the original recipe, doubling the amount of ingredients (except for sugar -- I cut that way back!), added toasted almonds sprinkled on top, and we declared it a hit. It's more of a pancake omelet; a little springier, not fully egg-ish. Spongy, but dry without being too dry. A little difficult to explain, but if you try it, you'll understand!

Here is my version of the retro recipe.

Fresh Apple Omelet
6 T. flour
1/2 t. baking powder
1/2 t. salt
4 eggs, separated
scant 2 T. sugar (based on personal taste)
6 T. milk
2 T. lemon juice
1 large unpared apple, thinly sliced

topping: 2 T. sugar mixed with 1/2 t. cinnamon

- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Mix flour, baking powder and salt in large bowl.
- In medium bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Gradually beat in sugar until stiff peaks form. (I love that the original recipe calls for a rotary beater!)
- In measuring cup or small bowl, beat egg yolks with milk and lemon juice.
- Mix milk mixture into flour mixture in large bowl.
- With spatula or wire whisk, gently fold egg whites into milk and flour batter just until combined.
- Slowly heat a large ovenproof skillet and melt enough butter in it to coat bottom and sides evenly.
- Turn batter into skillet, spreading evenly.
- Arrange apple slices in pattern over the top and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar mixture.
- Bake about 10-12 minutes or until top is glazed.
- Serve warm, cut into wedges.

We sprinkled toasted almonds on top, but agreed that walnuts would work well, too. Perhaps next time, we will chop some nuts and mix into the batter before baking. Perhaps add the nuts on top for baking ... Nevertheless, very tasty, and could be rounded out for a nice brunch with a slice of whole wheat toast and additional fresh fruit.


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