The Story of Waking Up to a Snow Storm, before making Breakfast.
On the 52nd anniversary of The Beatles coming to America and appearing on the Ed Sullivan show, we finally got a piece of real winter in NYC. It started snowing as I was sleeping last night, and will continue into today until about 3:00 this afternoon. NYC always looks like a winter wonderland in a big snow storm, but for a very short period of time, so it is good to get up and out early and enjoy it. Although in our neighborhood, the snow magic lasts for a long time in Prospect Park. Thoughts of a kale omelet for breakfast came to me as I did some early morning snow shoveling.
Much to the chagrin of Zack, my neighbor down the block's high school age son, I beat him to starting shoveling. I hired him to do all my shoveling last year when Dan was ill, and it was too much for me to do. But I apologized and asked him to keep coming back throughout the day, as this would go on for quite awhile.
The thing is that it is almost senseless to shovel too early, as the snow blows and re-drifts throughout the day, so that the 4 inches you clear in a half hour, will most certainly be right back, soon after you go inside and brush the snow off of your hat, mittens, coat and boots, before taking them off and hanging stuff on the radiator and door hook, where they will dry. This is especially true for the front steps, which can become as slick as the sliding pond in the park, despite the sand mix you put in with the paint for the treads of the steps.
So I shoveled, and got a little exercise and fresh air. In my hay days, I would sometimes keep going, making a path down the entire block. When neighbors would reciprocate, it would feel really good.
Breakfast is served.
So of course, always thinking about the next meal, I thought about what I would make for breakfast, after shoveling. I had some kale in the fridge, and like the idea of eating some, as it is so healthy. So I sautéed up a sliced up large clove of garlic in some olive oil, and then added the kale, after rinsing the kale to clean it.
Recently I read "Love, Loss, and What We Ate: A Memoir" by Padma Lakshmi. I am a fan of memoirs in general, as I love learning about how others have lived their lives. I also must admit, I do watch "Top Chef" on TV, and am a fan of Padma, who hosts the show. Lastly, I also must admit that I wanted to vicariously learn more about Padma's relationship/marriage to Salman Rushdie. I love Rushdie's books, and have seen him speak on panels at the Brooklyn Book Festivals over the years. He is so knowledgeable, intelligent, funny, charming, and well spoken, that he fascinates me. And Padma starts right off with their relationship in her book. She cuts right to the chase, which was very satisfying for this reader. I must say here that the story of her life was quite interesting. The author has a lot of depth. Her tale of growing up in India is fascinating, and she kept her ties to her family in India throughout her life and to this day.
One of the things Ms. Laksmi talks about is her relationship to Indian food, and the heat of the spices. I was not brought up in a culture of spices and that kind of heat. My cultural upbringing had more to do with lox, kugel, cabbage, kasha, etc. So this morning, as I sautéed my kale, I tried to channel a bit of Padma, and added two whole dried red chiles - "Chile Arbol," according to the Goya food label. Kale is often cooked with chili pepper flakes. I liked the idea of experimenting with whole chiles to create some heat to my kale.
When the kale was nicely wilted by being sautéed in the pan, I beat a couple of eggs. Then I pushed the kale to one side of the pan, added the egg mixture to start an omelet, and used tongs to place the kale atop the egg which then set a bit.
Whenever I make an omelet, I think of Jacques Pepin, who would test chefs who would want to work for him, by having them make a perfect omelet. My experience is that it is much easier to roll an omelet in a non-stick pan. And while I do have two non-stick pans in my cupboard, there is still part of me that wonders how safe that coating is for one's health. Anyway, today, I used a stainless steel pan, which made the omelet rolling more challenging. Once the pan gets a bit dry after the cooked food absorbs all the oil that was in the pan, it makes the rolling more difficult. But nevertheless, voila, a hearty kale and garlic omelet for a snow storm morning in NYC!
Kale Omelet after Shoveling Snow
- olive oil
- sliced garlic clove
- 2 C. kale
- two dried chiles Chile Arbol
- 2 eggs beaten
Heat olive oil.
Add garlic slices, and let garlic infuse the oil, and soften, but be careful to not burn the garlic.
Add the washed kale to the pan, and let the kale wilt.
Add the two dried chiles which will infuse the kale with heat as you continue to sauté the kale.
Remove the chiles, and push the kale to one side of the pan.
Add the beaten eggs to the pan, and use tongs to place the sautéed kale on top of the egg mixture, which should start to set.
When eggs are someone set, start rolling the eggs into an omelet with your spatula.