I was making my breakfast omelet this morning (I have a 2 egg omelet almost every morning – usually stuffed with some kind of breakfast meat and/or some of last night’s left-overs). Today, I was sautéing some kielbasa that I had diced up and I had decided to just put the beaten eggs over that and forgo the filling. As the diced kielbasa was cooking, I notices some of the little pieces were jumping around in the pan! And that gave me the idea for today’s blog! A MINI and I do mean MINI, French lesson.
OK, before you go running for the hills (or the desert sand dunes), a story! My first language teacher – my very best teacher in all the world – was a real linguist. She spoke something like 12 languages fluently and had a nodding understanding and ability to make herself understand in half a dozen more. She was way ahead of her time in that she believed – and I agree with her – that the best way to learn a ‘foreign’ language (by which I mean a language that is not the primary language of the country or part of the country in which you live – whether by choice or happenstance) is total immersion! She said you cannot learn a language by thinking in your native language, i.e., English and mentally translating into French or Spanish or Greek or whatever. You must learn to think in the language you are speaking. (And it’s why children pick up languages so much more easily than do adults!)
My first language with her was Hebrew. Later, she was my French teacher. In French class, we had Puerto Ricans, Italians, a Greek, several from Eastern Europe and she could speak to each of them in their native language. It was fascinating to hear her speak to all of us in French – and in mid-sentence, speak to one of us in the language spoken in our home – whatever that language was – so we learned a smattering of several languages in French class.
So – getting back to my jumping kielbasas, the French word ‘sauter’ pronounced: saw-tay, means: to jump and is the verb from which we get the cooking term: sauté! Interesting, eh? So, when you see things you are sautéing ‘jumping’ around in your pan, just remember my French teacher, Mme. Lillian Sugarman or Gevaret Sugarman as we called her in Hebrew class!
Strawberry Dessert Omelet
- 3/4 cup sliced strawberries
- 1 tablespoon sugar or to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 eggs, separated
- 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup cold water
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- Powdered sugar for dusting
- optional: 1/2 cup strawberry jam + 1 tablespoon brandy, warmed
Preheat oven to 350 F.
To the sliced strawberries, add the 1 tbsp. sugar (or to taste, depending on how sweet they are) and the vanilla. Toss gently and set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Add cream of tartar; beat until whites form stiff peaks.
In a small bowl, beat egg yolks with salt, remaining 2 Tbsp.sugar and water until light and fluffy. Fold yolk mixture into egg whites.
In 10-inch ovenproof skillet, over medium heat, melt butter. Add egg mixture and cook for 3 minutes, or until the bottom of the omelet is nicely browned.
Transfer skillet to the oven and bake for 7-10 minutes, or until the surface is barely golden and springs back when gently touched.
Remove skillet from the oven, and allow omelet to rest in the pan for a minute while you get organized.
Run a butter knife gently down the center of the omelet, cutting into it to create a fold, but NOT cutting through.
Loosen the entire omelet from the skillet, and slide onto a serving plate. give the strawberries another quick fold. Pour the strawberries onto one side of the omelet, and fold the other half over it, using the slit as the crease. You can use a spatula to slightly life the top of the omelet so some of the flavored strawberries are inside and coming out onto the plate.
Dust with powdered sugar, cut in half, and serve.