Saturday, October 6, 2012

Making Omelets

I'll admit it, I got a little carried away with the tomatoes but yum, yum, we love omelets. At least once every weekend we have them.  They are an excellent way to start your day with all that protein and vegetables.
 There are some tricks I've learned over the years to making a pretty omelet. Some is in the equipment and some in the technique.

The first rule is to have all your ingredients ready before you turn on the pan because this will go fast. I mince my onions and bell peppers to save me from having to pre-cook them. Then the sausage or chopped bacon is chopped in larger pieces. The tomatoes I prefer smaller than this but I was in a hurry. It was 10:00 and we hadn't eaten yet and I was in the middle of chopping lots of vegetables for another project.

We put a variety of things in our omelets from Canadian bacon, bacon, ham, and sausage, you know one or a combination of all those pork meats. Then for vegetables, we add what ever is available in the refrigerator of  zucchini, broccoli, tomatoes, bell pepper, onions minced. I think next time I'll even try some minced apple with a little mustard in the eggs for I'm becoming real fond of the Swedish pancake recipe. You can also add some spices beyond salt and pepper like chopped Cilantro or parsley. Some of you may shop to make an omelet but ours are determined by what's in the refrigerator at the time. Omelets are great for using up a little bit of this and that left overs.

What doesn't change in making our omelets is the technique.

1. We make a 2 egg omelet but you can make a 3 which will give you a thicker shell. We make 2 egg ones and lots and lots of filling. Place the eggs in a bowl, minus the shells of course, and add approximately a Tablespoon of water per 2 eggs. Then beat. Why approximately? Well, I just turn partially on and off the water tap in the kitchen real quick so the measurement isn't exactly real accurate. Except I do it the same each time. But just know that the more water, the more firm your shell will be until you reach that too much stage and then you just have a runny mess. 

Water is a crucial ingredient. If you add water you get a firmer shell that holds together better when flipped. No, you don't need one of those fancy pans that flips the thing for you. They are a waste of money in my opinion. Get the right water/egg mixture and flipping isn't a problem in a good pan. Which leads me to my favorite.

2. Use a nice crepe pan. I make omelets, Swedish pancakes, and crepes in mine so it gets used on average a couple times a week. If Kirk didn't leave so early in the morning for work, it would get used more often than that.  
My favorite omelet cookware is a blue steel pan by de Buyer. One of these days I'm buying more blue steel cookware because of the performance on this pan. I just checked the Internet for you and it sells for around $25.00. Some site a little more and some a little less, so not an expensive pan.
This narrow spatula I've shown you is awesome too for going under the edges of your shell and loosening it for the flip over the other half stage.
But before you go putting your egg/water mixture in the pan, be sure and grease it and let it get hot. Then as you pour in the whipped mixture; oh yeah, did I tell you to whip the eggs and water together with a fork -- well, do; then pick up the handle and rotate the mixture evenly around the pan letting it creep way up the sides like you would a crepe.
This pan will help you get under your egg shell and reminds me a little of cast iron in how it works.

 When the egg shell is nearly cooked, sprinkle your shredded cheese all around. Doing this first makes sure it is going to melt. We like to add a of cheeses determined by whatever is in the refrigerator.  Feta, cheddar, smoked cheese, and Kirk likes Pepper Jack are all great cheeses to combine.

As for whether to lightly cook your vegetables first before adding. That's a taste issue. Sometimes we do and sometimes we don't. We like a light crunch to some of our veggies and so sometimes we stir fry part of them and part of them not, or not at all when in a hurry like on this day.

I add the meat next to the cheese so it gets warmed and then the veggies. I pre- cook all our bacon before hand and freeze it so I don't have to cook it before making the omelet.

Sprinkle salt and pepper on top or mix it in with the whipped eggs in the beginning is also your choice. I add mine on top because I like and need more salt than hubby.

Our all time favorite omelet has hash browns in the shell and I'll share my method another time. Just know it isn't store hash browns but good ole home-made so stay tuned. I'm also fiddling with home-made granola bars. Whether you use the thicker ones or the quick oat type is changing my outcome. Learning, learning every day. 

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