Winter Farmers Market Inspirations: Mushroom Cheese Omelette and Raclette

What I like so much about farmers markets, is that if you go with an open mind and buy what looks good, you never know where it will take you. When you go to the grocery store, you go with a list of things to buy for dishes you have decided to make in advance.  You could go to a farmers market that way too, but I think it is better to go without anything in mind and discover and buy what is really fresh and good looking that day, and then figure out what to make from it.  I had no idea when I left the house last Saturday for the Stonnington indoor winter farmers market that I would end up making a mushroom cheese omelette and raclette this week, or the adobo of my last blog.  So cool.  I thought I had lost that kind of adventure for a few months when the OS farmers market closed at the end of October.  Oh boy!  The adventure continues.

Here is my trove from that day:

My purchases included fingerling potatoes, acorn squash, shallots, two kinds of oyster mushrooms, and three cheeses. The cheese in the lower right is called Aged Bloomsday (named for Joyce’s Ulysses).  It tastes a bit like Vasterbotten, my favorite Swedish cheese. It’s made by Cato Corner Farm using raw milk from grass-fed Jersey cows. Vasterbotten is made with raw milk from grass-fed cows as well, which may be part of the reason why they have a similar taste.  The Black Ledge Blue in the upper right is also from Cato.  The other cheese is Caerphilly from Meadow Stone Farm.

Mushroom Cheese Omelette

Right away, looking at those beautiful oyster mushrooms and that wonderful Aged Bloomsday, I knew I had to try to make a mushroom cheese omelette.  This was one of my first attempts at an omelette.  The skillet I used to make this was my new Vesuvio from DaTerra Cucina, which makes ceramic-coated, nonstick cookware that is PTFE/PFOA-free.  I’ve mentioned it several times in other blogs.  Turns out, it is the perfect omelette pan.

Here is the step by step:

First, I pulled the oyster mushrooms into small petals and sauteed them in butter, and then put them aside:

Then I added some more butter and poured in three beaten eggs, which I bought at Kenyon Grist Mill:

When the omelette had started to set, I put the mushrooms on top of the egg:

Then I folded the sides of the omelette over the mushroom in the middle:

Then I flipped the folded omelette over briefly:

And then plated it:



When my daughter Liz Bauza looked at my trove from the Stonnington indoor winter farmers market, she commented that potatoes + cheese = raclette, inspired I think from a raclette we had together in London at the Southbank Christmas Market (accompanied by some mulled wine).  She suggested using the Aged Bloomsday.  I took her suggestion.  This is the finished raclette:

As Liz noted, raclette is basically potatoes plus melted cheese, but also whatever you happen to have around to jazz it up, which in my case included the shallots, a last head of garlic from a local farmer and some peppadews I happened to have in the fridge.  Peppadews are a South African sweet pepper with a little bit of a zing.  I simmered the whole, unpeeled fingerling potatoes in water for 20 minutes, cooked the smallest of my shallots, peeled but left whole, in olive oil over low heat, covered, for 10 minutes along with all of the peeled whole cloves from the head of garlic, then added the drained unpeeled, whole fingerling potatoes and 1/2 tsp salt and cooked for another 10 minutes, then added the peppadews and cooked until just heated through.  I put a cast iron skillet in a 400F oven for 5 minutes then added the coarsely shredded cheese and cooked till hot and evenly melted, about five minutes. Then I pushed the cheese to one side of the skillet and added the potato/shallot/garlic/peppadew mix on the other side to serve.  It was great!

In making the raclette, I worked roughly from the recipe in the link below, in case the narrative above was not clear:

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