Friday, January 09, 2009

Beginning with Breakfasts, Part Two: Omelets

My favorite breakfast (eaten normally at 2 am after being awake working on my computer, if I must confess! One new year's resolution is to eat breakfast daily) is an omelet. I've actually gotten pretty good at making these just the way I like them,and my two oldest children also do an awesome job at omelet making.

Start of course with the right tools.

The French have something called a crepe pan, and that is what 3 of my cookbooks say to use (do you have a crepe pan? no? Me neither!). Instead, I have an affordably priced (under $10 from Walmart) Lodge Cast Iron Tortilla skillet like this one here:

It also is ideal for baking pizza dough, but I am getting ahead of myself. I use the cast iron tortilla skillet because it makes my omelet just the way I like it...the right size, and that slightly browned finish on the outside. Cast iron also absorbs heat nicely, so I feel it cooks the omelets more evenly and they don't stick with that pan (as much).

Chop up any veggies you will be adding to your omelet ahead of time. I use about 1/8th of my favorite vegetable (besides romaine lettuce): a red bell pepper. I also use about 1/4 of a medium onion, a scant bit of garlic (1 clove or so), and today I had 1 slice of turkey breast, which I cut small.

Next, take your eggs (in this case, I am using 3 eggs, but I am splitting this omelet in half with my daughter :-)). Mix them well in a cup with a fork or a whisk. Add a small dash of salt and pepper. Sometimes I'll add parsley too. Also add about 1T of milk. Because of concerns about cholesterol, I used 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites. I have found that making an omelet of just egg whites is a little more difficult as it falls apart easier and also lacks that pretty golden color :-)

Heat a lightly oiled, well seasoned skilled (I used a cooking spray) over medium heat. Add the eggs to the skillet and swirl them around by tilting the skillet this way and that to get the eggs to coat the pan.

Your eggs should start to set up pretty fast, and evenly. Carefully lift the edges, as needed, to let the runny eggs flow down to the skillet surface.

When the egg is softly set (not runny but not dry either), add your fillings in a line following the handle of the pan. I find this makes it easier to flip the egg onto the plate. If you are using cheese, put that down first.

Turn off the heat. Lift half of the omelet, and flip it over 1/3 of the way, parallel with the pan handle/fillings.

Grab a plate (tip: warm your plate in the oven for a few minutes. Cold eggs, or eggs that get cold too fast, are not so appetizing), and carefully fold your omelet onto the plate by holding your pan, folded side up, and sliding it off of the pan, onto the plate, and allowing the folded side to flop over the rest of the omelet, and onto the plate. If you hold the pan right, it will probably land like this by default.


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