Thursday, March 13, 2008

Sometimes Inspired: Asian-style Omelettes with Mushrooms and Spinach

For those of you who have read The Great Clam Massacre, you are aware of my "creative" streak when it comes to cooking. While usually this leads to... mixed results, tonight I appear to have tapped into my inner-muse of cooking. The original idea was easy enough, cook mushrooms and goat-cheese together and use it as a filling for an omelet. The idea of mushrooms and goat-cheese is something that is often recurring in our cooking, particularly when we are hosting a party (lots of finger foods can come out of that combination).

Walking to the grocery store, on my way home from work, however, I had second thoughts. Now, usually, this is where the tragedy would begin, but not today - oh no, not today. I started having visions of spinach and sesame seeds with my mushrooms. "Spinach, sesame seeds, mushrooms, and goat-cheese?" I asked my self. It didn't take me long (about the time to walk from the metro station to the grocery store) to decide that wasn't going to work. But I knew that I wanted spinach in the omelet, so I bought some along with the eggs and mushrooms. As I walked home the image of wilted spinach, with sesame seeds in an Asian-style sauce formed in my head, and I was sold.

The final recipe involved light soy sauce, sesame seed oil (we were out of sesame seeds), vegetable bouillon, spinach, onions, mushrooms, sunflower seeds, red pepper flakes, parsley, and cilantro. The mixture was folded into some fluffy omelets, and served. It was a massive success. Both Neen and I were wishing that I had made extra, not because we were hungry - it was just that good. Actually it wasn't good - it was addictive. Now, before anyone tries it, please keep in mind that we love the flavor of soy sauce and sesame seed oil. If these are not flavors that you enjoy - this is probably not the recipe for you. But, oh man was it good.

As a final comment, for anyone who likes the heat, the chili paste that Neen made for her Indian dinner was a fantastic complement to the dish. I wouldn't make it just for this, but it is a great addition. If you don't have any chili paste lying around, it might be worth using some ground cumin and a touch of lemon juice in the original dish.

Since I made this one up as I went along, the proportions are all guess work.
1.5 Tbps light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame seed oil
1.5 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 box of sliced button mushrooms (normal mushrooms)
1 small onion
"handful" of fresh chopped cilantro
"some" fresh chopped parsley (about 1/2-1/3 of the above)
1/4 of a lb of spinach
1/4 cube of vegetable bouillon
garnish with sun flower seeds (sesame seeds, maybe?)

Add the soy sauce, sesame seed oil, and vegetable oil to the pan over medium heat. Once the pan is warm, add mushrooms and onions. Allow to cook until mushrooms are soft. Add parsley, cilantro, and bouillon. Add water if needed to keep a small layer of liquid cover the very bottom of the pan. Mix as needed to get bouillon dissolved. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Top with sunflower seeds.

Add this to the inside of an omelet or anything else.

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