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Friday, March 18, 2016

Cabane a Sucre Style Puffy Omelets (Cabane a Sucre = Maple Sugar Shack)

Inspiration:  Le temps des sucres - maple syrup time in Quebec.

As the snow begins to melt in Montreal, we inevitably start thinking of cabane à sucre (the sugar shack).

The window for partaking in this North American early Spring ritual is very short (mid-March and April depending on the temperature).  Basically, for the sap to run in order to produce maple syrup,  the weather needs to be warm during the day and dropping to below 0°C at night (you can get a full explanation of the process here).  This is beginning to happen and so, when we are with friends and family, we begin to ask the big question: ''Are we going to Cabane à Sucre this year?" (This is Frenglish which is spoken and understood by most Montrealers).   

Cabane à Sucre is always a big group event and the food served is brunch style with puffy omelettes, ham, baked beans, fried smoked pork rinds (oreilles de crisse = one of my personal favourites) and everything maple syrup that you can think of. 

Inspired by the many wonderful lunches, brunches and dinners that I have had over the years, here is my version of the puffy omelette served at the cabane.  This is great a great way to serve eggs to a group - impressive and easy.   To get the full sugar shack experience, drizzle a little maple syrup on top.  It becomes a great balance of savoury/sweet and it's delicious!  I hope you enjoy!

Timing:  Active time:  20min.,  cooking time:  30min

Puffy Omelet (sugar shack style):  Generously serves 6 - 7 

How to make it:
  • 2T (30g) of salted butter
  • 2T (15g) of flour
  • 1 cup (240ml) of cold milk
  • 1 cup (95g) of cheese (I used 2 year old cheddar), shredded
  • 5 strips of partially cooked bacon*, finely chopped
  • 1/2t salt
  • freshly ground pepper
  • 1T (15ml) of oil
  • 10 eggs, separated at room temperature (take them out 1/2 hour before cooking)
  • 1T (7g) of icing sugar
* You can buy partially cooked bacon or make your own in a 350°F (180°C) oven + parchment lined baking sheet + sprinkle with freshly ground pepper and cook to desired doneness. Keep in the freezer.     Just reheat 1 minute in microwave when ready to eat. This is how I always prepare and store my bacon.

How to make it:

Start by preheating your oven to 375°F (190°C).  

Place the butter (2T - 30g) in a deep pan over medium heat.  When the butter starts to melt, add the flour and whisk until all the butter is melted.  Cook, whisking the mixture continuously, for 1 minute.

Add the cold milk (1 cup - 240ml) and whisk to combine with the flour and butter (roux).  Bring to a gentle boil and allow to thicken, while whisking, for 3 minutes.  Add the salt (1/2t) and the freshly ground pepper.  Add the chopped bacon (5 slices) and the cheese (1 cup -95g) and transfer to a large bowl to allow to cool while you separate the eggs.

Separate the eggs (10 large), placing the whites in a very clean  bowl of your electric mixer with a pinch of salt.  You can also use a hand mixer for this process.   

Whip the egg whites until stiff peaks form (about 5 minutes) adding the tablespoon of icing sugar halfway through the process.  The sugar will help to stabilize the whipped egg whites.

While the whites are being whipped, add the yolks to the cooled béchamel.  It should be cool enough that the yolks won't cook.

At this point, place the pan that you will be using in the centre of your oven to heat it.  I used a 25cm or 10 inch in diameter cast iron skillet for this amount of eggs and I could have put in a full dozen without it overflowing.    You can also use a large glass lasagna pan.  Just make sure the batter is at least 1/2 inch (1.3cm) below the rim of the pan.    

You can now incorporate the whites:  Add half of the whipped whites to the yolk/béchamel mixture folding them in delicately so they do not collapse .  Once they are incorporated, do this again with the other half of the egg whites.

Remove the hot pan from the oven and add 1T (15ml) of oil.  Brush the oil evenly up the sides to prevent the omelet from sticking.

Pour the batter into the hot pan and place in the centre of your oven for 30 minutes.  You can rotate the pan half-way through for even browning.

Remove and serve hot, directly from the skillet, drizzled with a little maple syrup.  Enjoy!

Check this out:  Found it while I was researching the process of making maple syrup:

So, maple syrup could cure Alzheimer's disease

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous14/3/17

    Thank you so much for this amazing recipe! Mine is in the oven right now. Un grand merci ❤


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