Culinary Corner

Neufchatel makes a tasty, low-fat omelet

Special to The CambrianSeptember 25, 2013 

Brunch need not be boring: Neufschatel omelet, heirloom tomatoes, caramelized squash and orange cream Greek yogurt.

CONSUELO MACEDO — Special to The Tribune

People who know me well are aware of what a night owl I am, but occasionally circumstances change and I adapt well. For instance, as I write this, I have been up since 5:30 a.m. two days in a row, observing from my west-facing bedroom the glorious golden orb, not of the rising sun but of the harvest moon sinking into the placid Pacific. Thank goodness the marine layer has not only cooperated, but also allowed a nice prism color shift!

I am planning, as this is written, to observe the autumnal equinox on Sunday, Sept. 22, as I usually do, but from an extra special place. (Tune in later to read all about that.) Meanwhile, enjoy as I do the harvest events provided for you by the Cambria Historical Society’s Scarecrow and Harvest Festival events.

There is lots of advertising available, or go to the Cambria Historical Museum, as well as each of their websites and Facebook pages, for colorful details. (From my personal vantage point, please get those pie applications turned in immediately!)

My friend Shirley Bianchi left off some remarkable bounty from her garden, which I have shared with family and other friends. Fragrant tomatoes and a gigantic mystery fruit which turned out to be a squash, not a melon, made it onto my mid-morning plate, as pictured here.

The tomato wedges needed no seasoning, and the chunks of squash caramelized very nicely sautéed in real butter, with plenty to reserve for some creamed soup later this fall.

Another good friend, Ellie Woodard, provided me with the inspiration for the variation on my cheese omelet. She had enjoyed a wonderful restaurant breakfast of scrambled eggs studded with diced cream cheese and green onions, which I also found delicious.

For today’s column I adapted the ingredients for a mouth-pleasing consistency and flavor, and lower fat content.

Neufchatel Omelet

  • Liquid egg whites equal to 3 eggs (or use 2 large whole eggs)
  • 2 tblsp. water
  • 4-6 oz. lowfat (not nonfat) cream cheese
  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced scallions, some green parts reserved
  • 2 tsp. butter and olive oil blended
  • Pinch of salt and generous amt. of pepper

Beat the eggs with water until frothy; season. Sauté the onions in hot butter until translucent, pour in the eggs and cook until desired doneness. Layer on the cream cheese, and fold eggs over so the heat will melt the cheese as you turn it out onto a plate; garnish with reserved green onions. Serve immediately.

It’s all about the taste. My daughter Kathy hosted a family reunion for us, and daughter-in-law Chika brought figs stewed in red wine, which I will share later. It was a pleasure for me to be the sous chef as we put together the watermelon salad, with an interesting juxtaposition of ingredients in advance so the flavors would marry:

Watermelon Salad

  • 4-5 cups cubed watermelon
  • 1 small bunch cilantro, washed, dried and shredded finely
  • 2 tsp. jarred jalapeños, minced until pulpy
  • 4-6 oz. crumbled feta cheese

In a large bowl, mix the melon, cilantro and jalapeños well, and allow to set in the fridge so the juices will flow and fruit will marinate with the chili. (Use your preference to adapt proportions.) Stir in the feta before serving, using a slotted spoon. (My portion was set aside to incorporate some less salty goat cheese.) Be sure to advise your guests to anticipate the surprising flavor!

Consuelo Macedo’s column is special to The Cambrian. It appears on the second, fourth and any fifth Thursdays. Please send recipes and ideas to Consuelo, c/o The Cambrian, 2442 Main St., Cambria CA 93428; or email to cambrian@thetribunenews.com.

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