As fans of the absurdist gothic mystery books, we were delighted (as delighted as one could be at the misfortune of the Baudelaire orphans) to see an assiduous—a word that here means respectfully reflecting the flair, tone and values of our brokenhearted documentarian Lemony Snicket—translation of text to screen. One device that Lemony Snicket favors in his account of the Baudelaires misfortunes is the symbolic and often comical use of food. The first book is best known for the puttanesca recipe, the second book for Uncle Monty’s Coconut Cream Cake, and the third book for Aunt Josephine’s Chilled Cucumber Soup, while the fourth book stood out for its lack of food (while food themes pick up again in the fifth book.)
However, Netflix’s TV show version of the books released just last month on Friday the 13th revealed a recipe that befittingly reflects the inventive use of food, and one that use to fill in the space of the fourth book entitled The Miserable Mill. In the 7th episode of the TV series (correlating to the first half of book four), the dopey partner of the mill’s boss, simply referred to as “Sir”, prepares for Sir a Goat Cheese and Beef Jerky Omelet. True to the book, wherein Sir states that his so-called 50-50 partner’s job is to iron his shirts and make him omelets, the subservient Charles is seen following his meek duties throughout the TV show.
Bless his heart (a phrase we use here to mean that the he in question is as endearing as he is an idiot), Charles is one of the few characters that shows the children a kindness and offers them whatever meager food he can (in the book: a single peach, beef jerky and raisins) as they scramble for sustenance throughout their stint at The Miserable Mill. So we dedicate this fun and simple recipe to this dopey character made even more lovable by actor Rhys Darby. If you haven’t caught the show yet or want to re-witness the gruesome fate of the poor Baudelaires (you sadist, you!), toss together this reverential dish, hit “full screen” and endure the woe and strife of the thankfully clever and oh-so-unfortunate Baudelaires.
Goat Cheese and Jerky Omelet
YIELD: 1 portion
TIME: 1 hour
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 30g beef jerky, chopped
- ¼ pc red onion, diced 1cm x 1cm
- ¼ pc large green bell pepper, seeded and diced 1cm x 1cm
- ¼ pc large red bell pepper, seeded and diced 1cm x 1cm
- 3 pcs chevre, sliced 1″ x 1″ thick
- Pinch of salt
- 1 handful watercress, tender stems and leaves picked
- Pinch of salt
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 pcs toast
- chevre, as needed
- Break eggs into bowl and whisk. Set aside in fridge.
- Heat a pan over a medium flame and add 1 tbsp olive oil.
- Place the jerky in the pan and cook till color has slightly darkened. Strain oil and remove jerky from pan and set aside.
- In the same pan return oil and sauté the onion till translucent. Add the red and green peppers, and toss through. Season to taste and remove from heat into a container.
- Chop up jerky into the size of bacon bits and add to the cooked vegetables. Mix through evenly.
- Heat a small non stick pan over high heat and add a tablespoon of oil.
- Add the whisked eggs into pan and tilt pan to evenly coat surface.
- Swirl eggs with a spatula to create a fluffy omelet. Work the sides of the pan to make sure eggs don’t stick.
- When eggs are beginning to set but are still runny, place the cooked filling in the center of the omelet.
- Tilt the pan in the direction you are folding, take spatula and scoop edge of omelet to fold over filling.
- Serve on a plate.
- Place watercress in bowl and season.
- Toss with lemon juice and olive oil.
- Place on same plate as omelet and serve with buttered toast.
- Sprinkle some extra goats cheese on top.