Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Cooking In A Kettle: Cheese And Ham Omelette

I watched a documentary the other night which featured a former jailbird who was giving advice to his wayward, younger brother in an attempt to keep him on the straight and narrow. He was having little success, despite his accounts of how grim life behind bars could be.

But he said it had made him a better cook, and boasted of the number of dishes he could cook in his cell using just a kettle. He seemed very proud of his "apple crumble", which involved putting slices of apple in a plastic bag, and them boiling for a couple of minutes in a kettle until they had turned into a "mush". "You then crunch loads of digestive biscuits and bung them in for the crumble bit," he told the camera.

It reminded me of my attempts at cooking in a kettle when I lived in budget hotels in Asia for a couple of years. And after flicking through some photos of Cambodia I thought I'd lost, and feeling a wave of numbing nostalgia taking me, I thought I'd have another go at 'cooking in a kettle' - this time a foray into the realms of the omelette. I must say it tastes better than it looks, but it works and, more importantly, you'll win the bet.

One kettle (preferably one where the element is concealed)
1 litre cold water
One zipper-seal freezer bag
2 eggs
2 slices of serrano or similar ham, sliced
8 thin slices of cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
1 tbsp oil
A small glug of cooking lager (optional)

Crack the two eggs into the freezer bag, and gripping the zipper end, mush them with your other hand. Add the salt and pepper, and oil and shake the bag again,

Add the cheese, ham and beer (the latter is a nice touch I got from watching the French film Le Diner De Cons, when two of the characters discuss the best way to make an omelette) and scrunch up again.

Seal the zipper on the bag, making sure all the air is removed - you can do this by keeping a corner open and sucking any remaining air out of the bag. Put about one litre of water in the kettle - it should be about two-thirds full. Then roll up the sealed bag into a sort of cylinder shape as best you can, and pop it into the kettle.

Put the lid back on. Switch the kettle on and let it boil. When it has switched itself off, leave the bag in there for one minute, then switch the kettle on again. When it has boiled again and switched off, leave the bag in there for another minute and carefully take out and serve.

:: Cooking In A Kettle: Perfect Soft-Boiled Eggs


Helen said...

No prizes on the looks front but I bet it tastes alright. I scrambled eggs in a Thermos flask for a train breakfast once. Worked a treat. Kind of.

Alex Watts said...

Hi Helen, tasted very good. I'm intrigued about Thermos flask cooking - what a great idea. You may have started a new craze among commuters.