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Baked Omelet (Drachona)

Sunday, April 22, 2012

I loved baked omelet that was served in Russian canteens, the common lunch place of the Soviet era. It was one of very few eatable and even enjoyable dishes among an array of unattractive food. They used to make it on huge baking trays and cut off the portions with a special spatula. It was browned on the top and was  not losing the volume once on a plate, as usually happens with top-stove omelets. We called it omelet, and at that time I didn't know it had a special name drachona.  The name probably comes from either Ukranian or Belorussian cuisines. That's what my linguistic intuition tells me since I failed to find any proof of origin for this word. The research shows that basic drachona is made of eggs, flour and milk, it is oven-baked. But there are also numerous variations when it is made with wheat or millet, potatoes and even cheese.
When I found the recipe online and decided to cook, I forgot to separate eggs and my drachona, though deliciously puffy right out of the oven, quickly and disappointingly decreased in volume on our plates. My second attempt was successful (I tried to wake up completely and concentrate :): drachona increased in volume nicely and did not sink - it was holding until the last bite. The texture was light and delicate and would fit for a dessert pudding, but it was not. It was our unusual and very pleasant Sunday breakfast.

The recipe was adapted from RusCuisine.com.

What you need:
4 large eggs, separated
1/2 cup milk
2 Tbsp sour cream
2 Tbsp flour
1/4 tsp Kosher salt
1 Tbsp butter + more for serving
Chopped parsley

Time: 50 minutes
Feeds 2-4 people

Set the oven at 325 F then start prep work.
1. Beat egg yolks with salt and sour cream.
2. Mix flour and milk until even.
3. Beat egg whites until soft peaks form.
4. Mix well 1 & 2, then fold in the whites, don't beat after that.
5. Grease the baking form with 1 Tbsp butter.
6. Pour in the mixture and place in the heated oven.
7. Bake for about 30-35 minutes or until set. You can broil it a little if you want if you want it browned.
Egg yolks and whites separated in two layers while baking,
 but it didn't change the taste to the worse. 
Serve drachona immediately with more butter and chopped parsley.

I don't get tired to repeat: people, please use organic eggs from free range chickens - it makes the whole difference in your omelets. Please support your local farmers that sell fresh clean eggs!
Blue eggs from a nearby farm - the base for my drachona. So good... :)
Experiment with your baked omelet by adding more spices, bacon, green onions and other things your imagination will whisper.