Wednesday, 5 October 2011

Omelet, Prince of Denmark

I want there to be pictures. Lots of 'em. To show you all that I actually did create the magnificence I am describing. But I made this before I started this here blog. In fact, this was the dish that inspired this blog. Read on.

Sometimes a craving suggests the meal. For example, on this particular day, after reading a Food and Wine article involving barely-cooked eggs on salad for lunch, I wanted eggs. But not on salad... something more... omelet-like. With peppers. Then I thought, I had some excellent huevos migas at a place in New York once; I could go that route. But I didn't want something in a tortilla; maybe just on a tortilla. This is when I did a web search and found something called huevos oaxaca. Basically, it's scrambled eggs and peppers and onions and cheese served along with a fried tortilla. THAT was what I wanted, and since it was basically the only thing I ate that day, worth the high everything content.

Improvisation is key for the actor as it is for the chef. Yes, there are some of both who believe not in the powers of making things up as one goes along, but in the frugal kitchen, in the actor's kitchen, we have to be ready for anything. Don't have an egg? Can it be replaced with milk? Or avocado? Accept the new reality your kitchen gives you. Yes, it may turn out awful, but the experience may well be worth it. More often than not, it turns out quite wonderful, like my adaptation of these huevos oaxaca.

Eggs à la Oaxaca

Serves 1 - Prep time approx. 15 min. - Cook time approx. 5 min.

Mix together in a medium bowl:
- 2 large eggs
- 1 oz. milk (or another egg, if you want)
- ¼ c. finely chopped onion
- 1 finely chopped jalapeño (take the seeds out for mild; leave 'em for spicy-hot)
- ¼ c. finely chopped bell pepper (red is nice, but green is usually cheaper)
- 1 tbsp. finely chopped cilantro
- Pinch ground cumin
- Pinch salt
- 1 oz. shredded or crumbled cheese (anything from feta to cheddar)
- 3-4 crushed tortilla chips
Set aside. In a pan, heat up some vegetable oil (or corn or canola or whatever) and lightly fry:
- 1 tortilla (corn or flour)
When desired crispness is achieved, set on a paper towel to drain. Add more oil to the pan if necessary and pour in the egg mixture. Stir/scrape as it cooks, about 3 minutes, or until eggs become as done as you want them. Throw the tortilla on a plate, scrape the eggs atop, and dash on some hot sauce and/or black pepper if you want. 

Things like peppers and onions can be chopped in advance. I keep them in an air-tight container for no more than three or four days. Whole pieces of pepper and onion can be wrapped in plastic; pepper will keep about a week once cut, onion will keep... I don't know, indefinitely? Onion is pretty resilient; I've never had to throw out bad onion. But then, maybe I use it in time. The most expensive item here per pound I believe is the jalapeño, but you have to remember: a pound of jalapeños is a LOT of jalapeños. You just need one.

This dish is good for any meal; I love food like that, because, as an actor with an ever-changing schedule, you never know which meal(s) you'll be having in a given day. So, eat up!


Title inspired by The Tragedy of Hamlet, Prince of Denmark, written by that imitable bard William Shakespeare around 1600.

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