Sunday, August 14, 2011

Um, Umm, Omlette!

Last night's dinner: a four-egg omlette. Some folks shy off from these constructions but they're not as difficult as you'd think -- yes, even the folding-over part.

You'll need 4 eggs (well, duh), a little milk, cold water, Worcestershire sauce, curry powder, Gruyere cheese, small peppers (intensity to taste) streaky bacon and black pepper. You could add fresh chives or scallions if you were so minded; I did not.

Start by frying up three or four strips of bacon (cut in half) in a 10" non-stick frying pan. (A dash of black pepper in the skillet first would not be remiss).

While the bacon fries, prepare five or six small, hot red peppers. (My nephew, who provided them, says they're jalapenos; Tam says not. Either way, you'll probably want to wear kitchen gloves): take off the tops, split 'em, seed with a teaspoon* and cut into small sections.

Next, prepare five slices of cheese; I ended up with 4" x 3/4" x 1/16" strips. YMMV. You really want the Gruyere for this, as it has a wonderful flavor and melts perfectly.

Keep an eye on that bacon! If it's done -- it should be just crisp -- set it on paper towel (on a plate! Tsk, were you raised in a barn?) to drain and turn the fire off or almost.

Now mix up the eggs. (I like sending 'em to the intersection of Westfield and Westfield, though the place where Meridian tees from Meridian St. works, too.) Four eggs, quick splash of cold water, 2-3 tablespoons of cold milk, a dash of Worcestershire, a half-teaspoon of curry powder (vary the last two to taste) and beat the whole conglomeration with a fork until it's a mostly consistent lemony hue. (A fork seems to be just right -- wire whisks don't quite do it, a spoon is too slow. You could use a mixer but be sure to get it in cold water right after, egg'll set up like good glue otherwise).

Turn the fire back up (mediumish) and get the bacon grease hot. If you think there's too much, pour some off, carefully -- don't lose all the nice stuff at the bottom! Once the grease is hot, toss in the chopped peppers (and etc., if desired) and saute 'til the color perks up, a minute to so. Fish them out carefully and set on the paper towel next to the bacon.

You'll want a thin, uniform coating of hot grease in the pan. A bit too much isn't a big problem, though you may end up having to blot it later. Pour in the eggs, give the pan a gentle shake to level, and let it cook a bit. After thirty seconds or so, it'll cook faster covered. But keep an eye on it -- this goes fast. When the edges start to look dry, lay the cheese strips to cover half the omlette and cook until they start to melt. Then sprinkle on the peppers and follow with the bacon, torn into small sections. Remember, only put them on half! (Some people prefer to put the filling down the centerline and turn up each edge. This has the advantage of less tricky lifting but it's harder to get a nice sealed edge. Hey, whatever works for you....)

Take a good spatula and lift the edge of the omlette that doesn't have stuff on it. If it seems cohesive and comes up easily, it's time for The Turn. I often end up with a narrow spatula to make a gap for a wide spatula, so the omlette doesn't break (remember, they taste just as good even if they flip funny and you'll know more about the trick next time); the goal is to flip the empty half over the stuffed half and end up with a nice half-moon. Cook a bit longer, turn over and cook until done, i.e., eggs all "set," no runny egg mixture running out. Some people like them more done than others and it's a matter of finding out, but you can cook 'em more after checking a lot easier than you can uncook an overdone omlette.

Serves two -- cut in half, you get two nice wedges of a fluffy, crunchy, fragrant treat!

Concerned about the possible heat, I served ours with the mild canned corn-and-sweet-peppers mixture often sold as "Mexicorn" as a balance. It turned out the sauteed peppers had a slow, low, smoky-spicy heat, not at all burn-y but the corn was still nice on the side.

See how easy that was?
* Or don't seed them, if you want serious heat. The spoon trick is simple: take each pepper half and scoop out the seeds and white pulp with the tip of a teaspoon. Saves no end of time and trouble.


og said...

I warm the eggs.

I have never made a good omelette with cold eggs, they always get too crisp on the bottom before the top cooks properly. Following Alton Brown's advice, I put the eggs in water as warm as the tap will get it for 5 minutes before breaking them; every omelette I've ever made since has been flawless. of course, some like the bottoms crispy, I just don't. I also find a pinch of fine salt added to the eggs just prior to the pan helps to make them congeal more consistently.

Roberta X said...

News to me but a tip worth trying; thanks, Og.

In much the same way that home-use drillmotors and presses are usually set too fast, I find most kitchen stoves have a crummy medium-low range and often find myself stacking grates to get better control. (OTOH, I have only cooked over gas for the last 20 years. Maybe the newer electric types have fixed this.) Omlettes don't want very high heat and if I brown one, it's usually 'cos I didn't set the burner properly.

Jeffro said...

Have you ever tried separating the whites and the yolks, beating the whites then folding in the yokes? That makes a puffy omelet with a crisp skin. It's a pain, so I usually don't make 'me that way.

BGMiller said...

Well, if everybody is going to throw in their special omelet tricks I sure don't want to be left out.

So here goes.....

86 your water and milk and instead use a little creme fraiche. Making sure you fold it in completely. You'll notice the mix is a lot thicker than usual. More like cake batter than the normal crepe batter consistency. The end result should prove amazingly fluffy and the sourness of the creme fraiche works well with good bacon and gruyere (which is also my personal favorite).

And personally, a little crispness and browning is just fine for me. I like the variation in texture.


Anonymous said...

FYI... the little red peppers were probably habeneros. They make jalapenos seem mild in comparison, at least to my taste. Dang, now I'm hungry again