Duck Bacon Aumlette
128 Old Topanga Canyon Rd., Topanga
We visited Inn of the Seventh Ray on Saturday morning @ 10:30am
Dish we will try to cook – Duck Bacon Aumlette $13
Romantic. Beautiful. Tranquil. These words perfectly sum up Inn of the Seventh Ray. Located along a windy road in Topanga Canyon, Inn of the Seventh Ray is one of the most romantic restaurants in the Los Angeles area, and well worth the drive. The parking lot is small, valet is available for $4, but once you walk through the gate you feel like you are leaving the concrete city for your own private little forest. A creek bed crosses the property and the back area has been restored to its natural state of nature. Round tables with white table clothes, lilac napkins and white, metal baroque chairs dot the brick lined outdoor patio.
We arrived right at 10:30am when they opened and were asked to wait about 10 minutes for them to be ready for us. We entertained ourselves by walking through the new age book store that is located to the side of the restaurant and watching workers set up a part of the patio for a wedding later that day.
Since we were obviously the first to arrive, we were able to choose any table we liked, and chose to sit at the edge of the back patio where we had a wonderful view of the creek and wooded area. The waiter informed us that 90% of their menu is organic and they do not use any refined sugar in their recipes. They also had several fresh squeezed juices available and quite a few vegetarian options. Their wine list is one of the largest, with most of the offerings also organic.
We purposely choose to visit the Inn during brunch, and happily decided on the Duck Bacon Aumlette (don’t let the French fool you, its an omelette), goat cheese quiche and the Belgian waffle. Bread was offered while we waited, which they bake on site daily.
All three dishes had great flavors and are about what you would expect for brunch. We split each plate so we could taste a little bit of several of their offerings. The goat cheese quiche was nicely flavored but was a bit on the oily side, even for an egg and cheese dish. The crust was nice and flaky but overall, one more ingredient (even an herb) added to the goat cheese would have helped give the dish a little pop. Since we both love duck, our favorite was definitely the duck bacon aumlette. The bacon, apples, shallots and brie all balanced nicely with each other – bold, sweet, bitter and creamy. We would have preferred the rind of the brie being cut off, although we know it is perfectly acceptable to eat this part of the cheese. The dish was served with either potatoes or fruit. And while we asked for fruit, it was served with potatoes, which meant we ended up having two sides. The potatoes were a nice surprise and probably the most interesting food we ate. They had a curry flavoring to them, which you would not expect with breakfast food. A yogurt/berry sauce was the highlight of the Belgian waffle, which overall was a bit dry.
We recommend all our readers take the drive to Topanga Canyon to visit the Inn of the Seventh Ray. You can even make an entire day of it by visiting all the little antique shops and stores lining Topanga Canyon Road. The Inn allows you to have a mini vacation of the city and the best part is, the restaurant is fairly casual where both jeans and small children are fine. While we dined, the table next to us even allowed their child to explore the creek area for a little bit. This is a great place to have brunch with friends or celebrate any occasion big or small. While we felt the breakfast food was pretty straight forward, we looked over the lunch and dinner menus and feel they are certainly worth a second visit.
(prices reflect the cost of the package, not the portion we used.)
Duck Breast* $7.69
Fuji Apple $.79
*We were unable to locate duck bacon at any of our local stores so we substituted duck breast. We asked the butcher to slice the breast lengthwise for us so it more closely resembled bacon strips.
Below is our take on a duck bacon aumlette.
Makes 2 aumlettes.
1/4 cup fresh chives, chopped into 3/4” pieces
1/2 fuji apple, skin peeled and center cored
6 strips duck bacon, sliced in half (or 1/2 duck breast, thinly sliced and seasoned with salt and pepper)
6 large eggs
3 TBSP whole milk
2 TBSP brie cheese
5 tsp olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
Shallot and Apple Slices-
Cut a shallot in half length-wise (you’ll only be using half of the shallot). Remove skin. Cut the papery end off the bottom. Slice across shallot crosswise.
Next, cut the peeled apple into thin slices. Heat a skillet on medium-high. Add 1 tsp of olive oil to coat skillet. Toss in shallots and sauté until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the apples, sprinkle with a little salt and pepper and sauté until apples are soft, about an additional 5 minutes. Set aside.
In the same skillet add the duck bacon over medium-high heat (if you don’t have duck bacon you can use the duck breasts). There’s no need to add more oil as the duck has enough fat on its own. Cook until the bacon is crisp, about 5 minutes on each side. Drain on a paper towel.
In a glass bowl, whisk the eggs. Season with salt and pepper. Add the milk and continue to whisk vigorously until the consistency looks airy.
Heat a small 8” skillet (preferably non-stick surface) on medium low. Add 2 tsps of olive oil. Then pour half the egg mixture into the skillet. Without stirring, allow the eggs to cook for about a minute, or until the bottom begins to set. With a rubber spatula, gently push one edge of the egg into the center of the skillet. Tilt the skillet to allow some of the remaining liquid egg to flow in underneath. Repeat with the other edges, until there’s no liquid left. Shake the skillet to loosen the eggs (it should easily slide around the surface) and quickly flip the egg over Sprinkle the chives on top of the eggs.
Next, add half the cooked shallots and apple to one side of the egg, then layer on the duck bacon and brie. Lift the other side of the egg and fold over. Cook for 1 minute, then flip the entire aumlette over and cook for another minute. Gently transfer aumlette to a plate.
Repeat steps for the second aumlette.
Carefully remove finished aumlette from pan and place on plate. Garnish with either roasted potatoes or fresh fruit and serve.
Rating – We give our dish 3.5 out of 5 stars.
We feel the flavors of our aumlette matched well the flavors from the Inn’s, however we scored ourselves in the mid-point range due to our lack of the key ingredient of duck bacon. Had we been able to find it, our aumlette would have scored a lot higher. That said, we think our dish is a very well executed home version of a duck bacon aumlette. This would be very impressive to serve for a brunch or afternoon get together, yet it is so simple to make. Two pans and a little bit of prep time are all that is required. We hope you give it a try, even as a treat for yourself on a lazy Saturday morning.
How would you rate our recipe? We look forward to hearing feedback from you guys on whether you think we got close or if we missed the mark, what would you add to make the dish better. Be sure to mark Inn of the Seventh Ray on your list of restaurants to visit. Feel free to email us if you have any questions on the cooking instructions and don’t forget to vote for next week’s restaurant!