Today we’re doing breakfast in Azeroth with some zesty, cheesy, Clamlette Surprise. For those unfamiliar with the game World of Warcraft, this is the crowning recipe of the goblin, Dirge Quickcleave, greatest chef in the known world. Also, before patch 3.1, completing the quest to learn it was required to gain artisan level in the cooking skill. The ingredients are simple enough: Roc Eggs, aged cheddar cheese, and zesty clam meat.
Unlike most MMO’s, there is no such thing as maxing out your cooking skills. Even as someone who mostly learns from reading about and trying things, I will readily admit that. I am not a trained chef. My main strength is in flavor combinations. I am still learning technique. The perfect, French style omelette is an achievement of technique and patience.
That said, there are certain cooking techniques better learned directly from someone who has already mastered the art. This is why I had signed up for an egg cooking class from Salud Cooking School at Whole Foods Market. The class boasted a menu of perfectly poached eggs with lemon hollandaise sauce, blue cheese souffles, the perfect omelette, and boccone dolce. It all sounded amazing, delicious, and the best way to learn proper culinary techniques to boost my cooking skill by a couple of points.
Yeah…about that. Twenty-four hours before I was set to take said class, it was canceled due to too few sign ups. Thoroughly pissed about it, I refused to let the fact that half of America erroneously believes that they know how to properly cook eggs keep me from learning how to make Clamlette Surprise. To the grocery store I went for a nice slab of aged white cheddar cheese, canned minced clam, and Old Bay seasoning.
The next morning a set out with a recipe for Julia Child’s hollandaise sauce and whipped up a batch of my own adaptation, using slightly less butter, and a few short dashes of the Old Bay. It turned out creamy and lemony, with a slight bit of spice to add depth and make it interesting.
Alright, one egg dish down, let’s make this omelette!
After reading over many tutorials on the perfect french omelette, I set out cracking and whisking eggs, mixing the fillings, and heating up some butter in the pan. Then I tried the technique…and nothing was cooking. Ok, I thought. The heat must be too low. I turned it up a bit and soon enough I had a pan of scrambled eggs – which to my husband’s disappointment, shortly got tossed in the trash. And so the morning started brightly with long strings of curse words, grumbles, and frustrated half-screams emanating from my kitchen.
The second attempt went ok, but still not great. Just as I thought I had it rolled up just right, it broke on me. My husband got served a deconstructed omelette for breakfast, and I found more new and very colorful ways to drop the F-bomb.
The third attempt I attempted to use some beer to keep the egg from sticking to the pan. This was a technique my husband discovered while trying to fry eggs on our stainless steel cookware. Obviously, this means having a beer with breakfast, something I highly recommend. Once again, it almost worked with less egg sticking. It still broke, and I once again found myself cursing like a level 1 player being chased by a mob of undead murlocs.
The fourth and final clamlette I turned the heat up a little bit more, used beer again, and it worked — kind of. It broke less than the other two, but it had to do as my patience had finally worn too thin and my body demanded sustenance.
It was EPICALLY DELICIOUS. One thing to keep in mind while practicing this recipe is that it tastes amazing no matter what shape it’s in as long as the eggs are not overcooked. So think of this clamlette as the quest that rewards you every time for trying. Later on, I decided to try it again for dinner as I was still not yet satisfied with the results pictures I had taken earlier.
I was now armed with the instructions from video tutorials and copious amounts of alcohol. Finally being able to see the technique in action made all the difference. A big note about making a French omelette is that you need a skillet that is completely smooth on the bottom. Mine had a series of little metal grooves that caught on the burner and impeded my movements.
Small mixing bowls, cheese grater, small saucepan, nonstick smooth-bottomed 8 inch skillet
Hollandaise Sauce Ingredients
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 Tbs water
- 1 Tbs lemon juice
- 12 Tbs unsalted butter
- dash white pepper
- couple dashes Old Bay Seasoning
- salt to taste
- Whisk yolks, water and lemon juice together in a small saucepan.
- When the mixture thickens and turns pale, set the pan over low heat and continue to whisk, making sure to stir the entire inside and bottom of the pan.
- When the eggs have frothed and thickened to the point where you can see the bottom the pan after dragging the whisk through it, remove from heat.
- Add butter in tablespoons and continue to whisk, only add another when the one before it has been thoroughly incorporated. If the emulsion breaks, add a ice cube and whisk rapidly.
- Season with the salt, white pepper and old bay. This recipe should yield enough sauce for several clamlettes
Ingredients per Clamlette:
- 2 Eggs
- Small handful of grated Aged White Cheddar
- ¼ to ½ can Minced Clam, drained
- Lemon Juice
- 1 Tbs unsalted butter
- Old Bay Seasoning
- White Pepper
- Dried Chervil, to garnish (optional)
- Grate white cheddar into a bowl, how much is to your preference, add clam, a dash of old bay, and a splash of lemon juice. Mix up until well incorporated
- In a separate bowl, whisk eggs and a dash of salt and white pepper until whites are fully combined.
- Melt butter with a small splash of beer in a skillet over medium-low to medium heat until it starts bubbling. Lower heat if you hear it sizzle.
- Pour in eggs. Move skillet like you are tracing a small circle on top of the burner with the bottom of the pan. While you are doing this, stir the eggs quickly in a figure-8 with the rubber spatula. Scrape around the edge of the eggs every once in awhile to shape the omelette.
- When the underside is mostly cooked, remove the pan from heat, add a tiny splash of beer to the edge and let sit for a minute. You can probably take this time to whisk up the eggs for another omelette.
- Add some of your cheese and clam mixture in a line across the center of the eggs.
- Start rolling up the edge closest to you. Tilt the skillet slightly away from you as you are finishing rolling.
- Slide or flip the clamlette seam side down onto your plate. Top with hollandaise, shredded cheddar, old bay and chervil.