Saturday, May 19, 2007

Keep Portland Weird!

I really like that motto because it reminds me of the friends I've made here. You'd have to be a little strange to think it is perfectly normal to raise chickens in the middle of a bustling city. I barely need two hands to count my friends and five of the fingers represent people with pet chickens. When the ladies get together, the conversation can easily jump from parenting to relationships to chicken coops.

Of course, the good thing about raising chickens is having fresh eggs. I could get eggs from my friends, but it's more convenient to buy fresh eggs from hubby's coworker, who has a small farm a few miles outside the city. Every week we give him an empty carton and $1.50, and in return he gives us a dozen multicolored eggs. Some are greenish, some white. Most are some shade of brown. Their yolks are orange rather than pale yellow, and they are delicious. But at first, I was scared of them, especially the green ones. What if I cracked one open to find something horrifying? Luckily, I've only gotten one dud, and it wouldn't even crack open. I threw it away before telling hubby because I was afraid he'd want to crack it open with a hammer to see what was inside.

To get fresh eggs, you could get your own chickens (if you're city even allows them), or you could try finding a vendor at your local farmer's market.

Spiced Omelet
  • 6 eggs
  • 1-2 tsp Thai curry paste (red, green or yellow is fine)
  • 1/2 tbs oyster sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • squeeze of lime juice (about 1/2 tsp)
  • 2 green onions, finely sliced
  • 1 tbs finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbs finely sliced green beans (optional)
In a large bowl, combine the curry paste with the oyster sauce, lime juice and fish sauce. Mix it well, making sure to break up any clumps. The result should resemble miso paste. Add the eggs and beat them very well, until they are frothy. Make sure the curry mixture is uniformly distributed, otherwise you may get an unpleasantly strong bite of curry in your mouth. Add the green onions, cilantro and green beans and beat a little more.

I like to cook this type of omelet in a wok, but a skillet works too (if you use a skillet, cook it like a frittata: start in the skillet and finish in the oven). Add about 2 tbs oil to the wok and push it up to coat the sides. When the oil is really hot, add the egg mixture right in the center of the oil. The eggs will expand and push the oil up the side a bit. As the eggs are cooking, lift the mass to allow uncooked egg to flow underneath. I normally turn the omelet (it always breaks) to fully cook both sides, but if you are more traditional, you can try to fold it on itself and let it finish cooking. Or you could be a real rebel and just scramble them. I like serving eggs with steamed jasmine rice or Thai sticky rice with sambal oelek and soy sauce for dipping.