Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Fancy-Pants: Early Spring Omelette

I don't make breakfast quite often enough for you people. I don't know why, either - I tend to eat pretty fun stuff in the morning. Or a cold pork chop - you know, whatever's handy.

I love omelettes: they are quick and delicious, although not always easy. Jacques Pepin (a card-carrying master chef and friend of Julia) says he judges the skill of a chef by how he makes an omelette. Don't be scared of that though, because YOUR omelette doesn't have to be perfect. It should just be delicious! This VIDEO featuring the adorable Jaime Oliver is a quick lesson in omelette technique- he gives you a basic how-to in under 5 minutes.

I called this an "Early Spring" omelette because 1. It's the end of February, ergo: early spring here. 2. The produce involved is what's growing at my house right now. And hanging out in the fridge. Whatever - just go with it...

The spinach is growing in a pot on my porch, I planted it back in December. The cute, trendy, and possibly pretentious microgreens are merely the result of thinning out the salad greens that have sprouted up in a pot in my greenhouse. I think you can buy them, but they are stupid expensive because they are trendy and pretentious, so just leave them out if you don't have a crop to thin. They add nice flavor but aren't essential. (To be honest, I only added them at the end because my omelette was ugly, and they dressed it up.) Also, I went with sun-dried tomatoes because in February, there is no such thing as a truly fresh tomato.

On with the show!

Early Spring Omelet (for one)

2 eggs, as fresh as humanly possible (or chickenly possible?)

1 tablespoon milk

2 teaspoons sour cream

pinch of kosher salt

1 cup fresh baby spinach, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon sun-dried tomatoes, chopped (oil packed- you will need 1 tablespoon of the oil as well)

1 Tablespoon goat cheese, crumbled. (or feta, or monterey jack- whatever floats your boat)

A handful of microgreens (completely optional)

Have all your ingredients ready, because this comes together quickly!

Beat together the eggs, milk, sour cream, and salt in a small bowl and set aside.
Heat a small (7-8inch) NONSTICK skillet over medium high heat, and add 1 tablespoon of the oil from the sun-dried tomatoes. Toss in the spinach and tomatoes and saute till the spinach is just wilted. Transfer to a small bowl and pour the eggs into the skillet (there should be enough residual oil in the pan to cook the eggs in).

I have such a crush on eggs...mmmm...eggy goodness...
Now here's where watching that video I linked to earlier will have come in handy, because it's a lot easier to watch and copy than to try and explain in writing. I prefer the french technique because it results in a fluffier omelette. It involves stirring the eggs and shaking the pan violently and waking up everyone in the house with all the racket you're making, until the eggs are almost set. However, you can also gently move them around as the adorable Jamie Oliver does.

When the eggs are about half-cooked (still fairly moist, definitely not scrambled), add the spinach, tomatoes, and cheese.

Slightly off center. On purpose.
Now here's the hard part- rolling this puppy up. Yesterday it went really well and came out beautifully. Today was a bit more challenging (hence the microgreens). You're going to loosen very carefully the edges with a fork, and very carefully slide a spatula under the edge opposite the handle, and very carefully (but like you mean it) do a sort of jerking motion with the pan while flipping the free edge over the filling. And that was the longest sentence in recipe-writing history.

At this point the bulk of the omelette should be on the side of the pan closest to the handle. Slide it to the opposite side, and roll it onto a plate.

Many things can go wrong here, and that's OK. You can tuck loose edges under, wipe the plate clean, and do what I did because the darn thing cracked open when it rolled on to the plate:

Nobody needs to know that this was a train wreck seconds before the picture was taken.
I took advantage of the crack in the top and turned it into a fancy slit, which says "Peekaboo! There's tasty goodness hiding in here!" Then topped it with some microgreens that say "Ho ho! Look how fancy and delicious I am!"

Now, once you have mastered the omelette, your options are limitless. Stuff these babies with ANYHTING (although I wouldn't go over 3 items inside). Fix it plain. Serve it with a salad and a glass of wine for lunch or dinner. There's something really classy and special about it, even though its such simple food.

Try it now! Anytime can be omelette time!

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