Saturday, July 19, 2008

St. Jacobs Market

We thought we would go to the market at St. Jacobs this morning. What a joke. Millions of people decided the same thing. When we saw just how far we would have to walk from the parking lot, we drove on through and came home again. Pity, but there it is. I was going to take some pictures to show you what it is like there. I think all I would have got was pictures of people. I have been to markets all over Europe, but never seen one that busy. Surprising in a way as it is 30°C today and somewhat humid. I guess that doesn't worry a lot of people. I was a tad dubious about going anyway because of the heat. The French and Spanish markets used to be the ones we enjoyed most - someone would go out early in the morning to buy fresh bread for breakfast and then we would return later to buy fruit, vegetables and often meat or fish, frequently cheese. Once the marketing was done we would go to a vendor who sold coffee and cognac and enjoy a refreshing break after our shopping. We could sip our drinks and watch the other shoppers go by. We would then wend our way home (whether it were the boat or the house) and by this time it would probably be lunch hour. Although that was not as early in Europe as it is in the Americas. When my parents lived in Spain we would often spend the rest of the morning around the pool and sometimes have lunch there. Later, of course, a siesta would be in order which took us til about 4:30 in the afternoon. My father used to call this a horizontal height test. Later we would have cocktails and then dress for dinner and head out around 8 or 9 to whichever restaurant we had decided upon. In Spain as many of you know, they serve tapas which are small helpings of food which are served with your drinks. You can make a full meal of these, or you can have a few as an hors d'oeuvres before you have your main meal. One of the classic tapas dishes is a Spanish Omelette which is made with potatoes and is absolutely delicious. Once when we made it, one of our guests couldn't leave it alone. I haven't made one for a while and this is making me hungry. Spanish Omelette Serves 4
  • 1/2 pint of olive oil
  • 5 medium potatoes, peeled, sliced and lightly sprinkled with salt (I like Yukon Gold although in Europe you have many more potato choices)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped (in fact I would use a Vidalia if in season)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 5 eggs
  • Salt
Heat the olive oil in a 9-inch skillet and add the potato slices carefully, because the salt will make the oil splatter. Try to keep the potato slices separated so they will not stick together. Cook, turning occasionally, over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the onions and garlic and cook until the potatoes are tender. Drain into a colander, leaving about 3 tablespoons of oil in the skillet.

Meanwhile, in a large bowl, whisk the eggs with a pinch of salt. Add the potatoes, and stir to coat with the egg. Add the egg-coated potatoes to the very hot oil in the skillet, spreading them evenly to completely cover the base of the skillet. Lower the heat to medium and continue to cook, shaking the pan frequently, until mixture is half set.

Use a plate to cover the skillet and invert the omelette away from the hand holding the plate (so as not to burn your hand with any escaping oil). Add 1 tablespoon oil to the pan and slide the omelette back into the skillet on its uncooked side. Cook until completely set. Allow the omelette to cool, and then cut it into wedges. Season it with salt and sprinkle with lemon juice to taste (optional).

Serve warm or at room temperature.

Have a great day.


  1. I'm not sure if I'd make a good (mainland) European ... although I can eat a meal that late at night, I'm beginning to lose interest by then.

    I do love omelettes though. At university I used to cook omelettes with not just potatoes but all kinds of vegetables and peppers in, sometimes even some minced beef, whatever I had to hand in my student kitchen really. :D

    What I've been meaning to try for some time is a soufflé omelette, but I just never seem to get around to it.

  2. Never tried one either. I think my favourites are seafood omelettes with a good white sauce. Scrumptious. I make one with tomatoes, onions, garlic and potatoes which I think is pretty good too. I sauté all the veg in olive oil and then bung it into the part cooked egg.