Catholic Recipe: Omelet of Mère Poulard
Also Called: Omelet of Mere Poulard
The Feast of St. Michael on September 29 has become a combined feast for the archangels Michael, Raphael and Gabriel.
To many, Saint Michael the Archangel, "Captain of the Heavenly Host," is best known as that dauntless spirit who vanquished his peer among the angels, Lucifer, once called "the Star of the Morning." Michael is a star of the love than conquers pride. Sometimes he is pictured as a winged angel in white robes, but oftener as the armed warrior on the errands of God, about his head a halo and under his foot the demon, prone and helpless. He was honored in Jewish tradition, and became the champion of Christian warriors as well, although in early ages he was also given the protection of the sick.
Of his early sanctuaries, the best known is Monte Gargano in Italy, where he appeared in the fifth or sixth century to the Lombards and insured their victory over the Greek Neapolitans.
In the Middle Ages Michael became in Normandy the patron of mariners. His shrines were built in high places, facing the sea, and Mont-Saint-Michel on its rock is the greatest example of devotion to him, a place of pilgrimage a thousand years ago as it still is today. In the early days much food was sold around the shrine "bread and pasties, fruit and fish, birds, cakes, venizens," according to an old description. The fare is simpler today but a visitor to Mont-Saint-Michel will eat a famed and favorite dish.
Melt the butter in a heavy frying pan (traditionally never used for any other purpose and never washed, merely being rubbed clean with salt after use) until it begins to froth and becomes a light golden brown. Beat the eggs with a fork lightly, just enough to mix the yolks and whites. Do not overbeat! Pour the eggs into the pan and cook gently, bringing the edges of the omelet as it cooks to the center of the pan, lifting the mass slightly so that the uncooked portion can run underneath. Increase the heat for about one minute, moving the pan about so that the omelet will slide in the pan. Invert on a platter and, when half is out of the pan, flip the pan quickly so as to cover with the remaining half. Do not salt as the quantity of butter used is sufficient to season the omelet properly. It is an old wives' tale that this omelet can only be properly prepared over a wood fire!Recipe Source: Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton and Helmut Ripperger, David McKay Company, Inc., New York, 1951