Saturday, June 27, 2020

Saturday Morning Omelet

     Rain is bucketing down outside as I write; at the peak of it, thunder was rolling just about continuously.  Instead of my desktop, I'm on the little MacBook Air, running on batteries.  Not for fear of lightning -- for a hit strong enough to do damage, having the machine on or not won't make much of a difference.  Nope, the thing is, I'm not sure how well my desktop machine would survive the kind of brownouts we sometimes get as storms roll through.  The little Mac is a pleasure to use, slightly better than my (gen 1) Surface Pro, and it is floating on its internal batteries.

     Before blogging, I made breakfast.  I bought a new skillet awhile back, a twelve-inch one with a gentle curve from bottom to sides, and it is a real treat for making larger omelets.

     I fried bacon and sliced fresh mushrooms ahead of time, and poured off the skillet grease; with a non-stick pan, whatever small amount remains is plenty.  Put it back on the burner at low heat.

     Start with a half-dozen saltines, well crushed, plus whatever seasonings you like (I used Italian mix and fresh-ground mixed pepper).  Add enough warm water to cover and let it sit until absorbed.  Once it has soaked in, take a look; you want a wet slurry, early liquid.  Add more warm water if needed, then add three large eggs and beat it until uniform and lemony -- usually a little more than seams reasonable.  I use a two-cup glass measuring cup and a large fork for this.  Once it's all mixed, pour it into the warm skillet and give it a minute.  Then slide the skillet back so the burner is centered under the front half of it.

     Now you can scissor up a slice of cheese into small sections, 1/4" square or so -- I used Swiss, covering both halves.  The easy way is to make a series of short parallel cuts along one side, then cut across them right over the pan.  Repeat until done.  Keep an eye on the cheese and the top of the omelet; once the cheese is well-melted, you can add the other ingredients in layers.  I started with diced radish, on both halves, then loaded the back half with mushrooms, crumbled bacon and sliced Castletvetrano olives.

     From here on, it's a game of patience and judgement.  The front half will start to look pretty dry; when it does, sneak in under it with a thin, flexible spatula or omelet turner, and check -- carefully -- if it will lift.  If it lifts cleanly, carefully fold it over the other half, so you end up with a nice D-shaped omelet.  If it starts to come apart liquidly, lower it down and let it cook a little longer.  If it breaks, you waited too long, but you can usually herd the pieces into position.  Slide the pan back to center and use the spatula to pat down the curved edges.  You should be able to chivvy the folded omelet to the center of the pan, too.

     Omelets are not the easiest things to get to turn out pretty.  Don't worry about it -- the ugly ones taste just as good and with every one, you develop more of a feel for getting then to behave.

     It will want a few minutes to get the down side fully cooked; after a couple of minutes, you should be able to roll it over on the fold to check for done-ness.  You don't want the inside to be wet; past that, it's matter of taste: how done do you like your eggs?

     I like them pretty well done, but not crunchy.  This omelet turned out great; Tam had her portion with Cholula sauce, while I put more diced radish and black pepper on mine.

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