As I’ve noted several times, I don’t think of myself as much of a cook. My wife is much better. But I prepared food for myself many times when I was single. During the COVID lockdown, when I was retired, but my wife (teacher) and daughter (student) were doing education remotely, I often prepared lunch during the week. It was a good way to get me out of my office, frankly.
Recently, I made a spinach, ham, and cheese omelet. My wife RAVED about it. I thought it was fine. There are a couple of secrets, though, that enhanced the flavor.
Take one or two ounces of fresh spinach. That’s quite a bit, BTW. Put it in the frying pan with 1/4 cup of water per ounce of spinach until it reduces as it cooks. Put the spinach in a small bowl, and dump the water.
Spray the pan with non-stick whatever. Put three slices of deli ham in the pan at medium-high heat until it begins to carmelize, then flip them over and heat them. Take them out of the pan; I put them in the same bowl as the spinach.
Make an omelet. I used five eggs – two for me, two for her, and one for the pan, as my father would say – and about 1/4 cup of milk. As the eggs are beginning to cook, add the spinach – I use a fork – and the ham – you could cut it, but I tear the slices.
Clean-up is fast
When it’s almost cooked, turn down the heat to medium-low and tear up (or cut up) one slice of cheese. I used low-fat Swiss cheese but use what you like. Cover the omelet until the cheese melts, which happens very quickly.
This is extremely easy. The keys are using fresh spinach rather than frozen. (Canned spinach, BTW, is an abomination.) And frying the ham. It takes on a bacony flavor, which is good in my book. I suppose you could use butter or olive oil on the pan.
In any case, it’s easy, fast, and went over well with the better cook in my house. There aren’t many things to clean up – a small bowl and the pan, besides the eating utensils and plates.
Small Lid Stuck in Larger Pan
This happened to me recently. I put a too-small lid on the pan to melt the cheese. It vacuumed shut.
This site suggests placing the pan in the freezer. If that doesn’t work, then try tapping the pan with a wooden spoon. Repeat as necessary.
Only then did it recommend what I found in this video, which is to heat the pan. It may be counterintuitive, but it worked!
I discovered this when my father would spend hours cooking spaghetti sauce on the stove at low heat when I was growing up. Ask any barbecue chef and they’ll tell you that time is their ally in creating a great taste.
Bt it’s even true with mundane food such as oatmeal. My wife makes instant oatmeal in the microwave most mornings. But she always says it tastes better when I just boil a pan of water and cook it on the stove for a minute. The process takes an extra four minutes, vital for her on a weekday morning.
2. Water is useful.
I was watching the CBS morning show on Saturday earlier this year. It always has a cooking section. The chef was apparently world-famous, white, male, older, and I think with an accent, but I had never heard of him. He was frying eggs when he put a little water into the hot pan, much to the puzzlement of host Jeff Glor, and me.
I started cooking eggs that way and discovered that, for the first time in six decades of cooking eggs, I could successfully prepare them over easy.
Also, I make omelets with fresh spinach. I would prepare the spinach with a little butter/margarine/Olivio. But my wife wanted to avoid the calories and suggested I use a pan spray. For me, the spinach did not reduce properly. But it did with relatively little water.
3. All things being equal, I’d rather clean up afterward.
I’ve noticed that when my wife or daughter prepares food, they use far more dishes/pans/pots than I do so. As I try to keep up with the dishes, I’m forever surprised by that fact. If money were no object, I’d eat out or get takeout every other night. Maybe it’s that I’ve had more experience cooking for one.
But playing in soapy water: now THAT’S something I can get into. I get a certain joy from the cleanup than I ever get cooking or baking. At Thanksgiving dinner in 1987 with over a dozen people, I really didn’t mind the cleanup at all. It’s…USEFUL. Whereas others groan and kvetch about the scalded pots and sticky mixing bowls, I rather enjoy the challenge.
Coverville 1381: The 18th Annual Beatles Thanksgiving Cover Story
Recently, I referred to my wife as Ramsey Gordon, which was that she was the total opposite of Gordon Ramsey, that mean chef on whatever that cooking show he’s on that I have actually never seen five minutes of.
I think I keep reading about, and therefore writing about television, despite the fact that I watch it in decreasing amounts because I find it a fascinating cultural phenomenon. I was at our choir party this month, and we were talking about how networks, particularly ABC, will start broadcasting a serialized show and either never show the ending (The Nine, which I watched) or truncate it badly (this season’s Last Resort, which I wouldn’t watch for that reason). I saw the ads for the Dana Delany show Body of Proof; first, the season premiere was supposed to be the first week in February, but then it got kicked back to the third week in February. Why? Because they failed to realize that they had never broadcast the last show of the previous season, after which wholesale cast changes took place.
What particularly interested me is Mark Harris’ case against binge-watching in Entertainment Weekly, which I really related to. He has binged himself, but: “Sometimes your deep engagement with a series turns out to be intertwined with your patient willingness to spend weeks and months in the company of its characters, getting to know them in what feels like real-time and living their evolution as you live your own.”
His piece was in response to the disappointment some have felt over the fourth season of Arrested Development, 15 episodes available en masse on Netflix. I tried to watch the first season, but never got engaged. Some folks, particularly Gordon, suggested I give it another chance, and I saw seasons two and three, mostly enjoying them. Whether I ever see Season 4 – on DVD, because I’m not getting Netflix – depends on my time and inclination at that point. If I DO watch, it’ll be one or two episodes at a time.
Recently, I referred to my wife as Ramsey Gordon, which was that she was the total opposite of Gordon Ramsey, that mean chef on whatever that cooking show he’s on; I’ve not viewed it. Weird how the brain picks that up.
Apparently, the first season-ending of Game of Thrones, featuring a beheading (can that be a spoiler, from two seasons ago?), was not nearly graphic enough, so this season has the infamous ‘Red Wedding’. Big time thanks, but NO thanks.
Another show I’ll never see is Pregnant & Dating on the We network; Ken Levine’s description could have come from The Onion. It is “complete with the usual crying, angst, pretty people, upscale settings, cloying background music, and jaw-dropping stupidity.”
Read about the Latina stereotyping that’s endemic in a show such as Devious Maids. Someone once said to me that I can’t judge a show fairly unless I watch it; I totally disagree.
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