Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Perfect Meal

The title of this post is "A Perfect Meal". The reason why it is not "The Perfect Meal" is because one can have more than one perfect meal. And it would follow, naturally, that if one can have more than one perfect meal, one can have an infinite number of perfect meals. I posit that the perfectness of a meal comes not from the dish itself, but the circumstances surrounding the meal. This meal attains its perfection from simplicity. The following is the ingredient list of this Perfect Meal.

Ingredient List
1 egg
1/2 porcini mushroom
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

How often, honestly, do you see a Perfect Meal with 4 ingredients or fewer? I can immediately think of one other (Prosciutto e Melone), but there may be others. Do you know of any others? Leave me a note, it would be much appreciated.

The idea for this meal started while admiring a post at Chez Pim titled Porcini (c├Ępes), persillade butter, and fried egg - or the lunch that wasn't. IWhen I read it last week, I immediately had a yearning for eggs and fresh porcinis, together on a plate. I, unfortunately, did not have access to fresh porcinis. That all changed this morning.

Antonia asked me if I wanted to go with her to Old Navy in Vacaville. I always want to spend time with her, but I did have an ulterior motive: I wanted to pick up a bottle of Amarula at BevMo. So, as a condition of my company, I demanded that we first go to the Farmer's Market before leaving to Old Navy. This was a demand, only in the most theoretical framework, as Antonia was more than willing to take a detour past the market before leaving Davis.

While there, the Solano Mushroom stand had beaucoup champignons: chanterelles, matsutakes, maitakes, portabellas, oysters, and of course, porcinis.

Honestly, how could I pass that up?

I subsequently bought half a porcini mushroom for $5.60 to use as I saw fit.

Here is the recipe for one of the few Perfect Meals that I have had in my life:

Porcini Omelette with Parmigiano-Reggiano

1 egg (with two yolks or an egg plus a yolk)
2 slices fresh porcini mushroom
butter, to lubricate the pan and coat the omelette
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Sautee the mushroom slices in butter. Set aside.

Make a one egg omelette.... (Aside)....

I have a pet peeve. Well, I have many pet peeves, but one of them is cooked eggs. Eggs cooked in a pan should never be brown. Under no circumstances. Well except maybe as a component of French toast. Omelettes and scrambled eggs should be free from brownness.

When the omelette is almost set to your liking, add one slice of sauteed porcini and some grated cheese. Sprinkle with salt, if desired. Fold over the omelette in 3 parts. Place on a plate.

Rub the newly-folded omelette with some more butter, add the other slice of porcini, and sprinkle with some more cheese.

I had my omelette with a 2001 Petit Verdot made by a friend in Windsor, CA.

Porcinis are not often found fresh. They are often found dried in mixed wild mushrooms bags sold at the supermarket. While they impart a boatload of flavor once reconstituted, they do not have the light flavorfulness of a fresh mushroom. If you see them fresh, I recommend that you give them a chance.

Good luck finding one of your own Perfect Meals - they are out there ready to be eaten and enjoyed.