In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

First Post: Mediterranean Supper

So this is my first ever blog, and my first ever post, so I guess I could say I'm new at this. I don't think that a decade-plus of "lurking" makes me any kind of expert, but here goes.

I've decided to start a blog for anyone who is interested, and my topic is food and wine. I'm a novice, by the way - hence the name "Accidental Chef" - but I am taking both cooking and wine as a serious set of hobbies, ones that I can say I thoroughly enjoy researching and studying!

Up until about a year ago, I thought that gourmet cooking was a sort of witchcraft that took place over double boilers and open flames, with incantations muttered in French, and thoroughly secretive to the outside world.

Then I discovered my own magic spell. Repeat after me: GOOGLE.

Right. I take the viable ingredients in my fridge (as a 20-something singleton, that can vary greatly) and Google them. I see what other people have done with the ingredients, and then I "make it my own." And by that I mean substitute anything that I don't have on hand, and muddle up the methods, and basically create my own dish out of a semblance of order that some might call a recipe.

Take tonight for instance. It's nearing 11:00, I haven't had dinner yet, I'm two-thirds of the way though analysing Stevenson & Greenberg, and I decide that I need to use up the Wegman's cheese flight in my fridge. (For those of you who don't know, Wegmans offers a "Cheese Flight" of small servings of 3-4 cheeses for singletons with a taste for dairy to enjoy). I quickly learned (via Google) that goat cheese, red peppers, eggs and oregano can be combined. So I do the following:

Heat olive oil in a small pan.
Sprinkle oregano into oil.
Throw some sliced veggies (anything from a previous meal or take out would do) into the oil. I had sliced bell peppers and yellow squash on hand, so I started that sizzlin'.
In a bowl, beat three eggs with a little milk.
Pepper the veggies in the pan, 'cause that seems like a good thing to do
Assuming that you're a slow egg-beating-person, your veggies are sizzling merrily by now. Pour the egg mixture into the pan.
Let sizzle for a bit, then crumble Wegman's herbed goat cheese on top. Use as much as you like. Lick your fingers off when you're done.


Here's the thing. This was supposed to be a special dish that was like an omelet, minus the pesky flipping part. It was served on an ocean liner in the 1940s and was said to be rather glamourous. Here's where things went wrong.

Know this, brave reader: I have a history of miscommunicating with eggs. My over-easies tend to turn out over-violent. This was supposed to turn into a flat, sizzling, Mediterranean specialty. Mine turned into a perfect version of that, but with a frustratingly undercooking middle. So I attempted the pesky omlet flip. The whole thing split down the seam. So I decided that the eggs were attempting to communicate to me that they wanted to be scrambled, so I decided to listen.


Scramble the eggs. It's what they want.
Hack them up a bit in the pan. Savor the smell of the cheese, oregano and peppers.

When it looks like it's cooked (it is by now, trust me) transfer the whole thing into a bowl. Instead of a Mediterannean specialty served on a plate with a garnish of parsley, you have a bowl full of Mediterranean goodness.

I paired this meal with a glass of Catawba and Concord Rose (Vetter Vineyards makes Cracker Ridge Rose - I'm a long-time fan). It's what I had on hand, and I thought the salt from the goat cheese would complement it. It did. The herbs and salt brought out the fruity sweetness of the wine, making it jammy, but not cloyingly sweet. Think strawberry jam on toast, mopping up egg yolk.

All in all, it was a good dinner. Not the prettiest in terms of presentation, but hey - it sure was delicious. And it gave me the energy and motivation to decide to start this blog. Hope you enjoy it, and that the posts to come bring you culinary enjoyment.

Yours in the love of food and wine,

* The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.