I've recently discovered the wonder of omelets. Yes, I've had them before in diners, but it seems that diner omelets are a bit flat and don't have the nice golden brown spots on them. I won’t say I’ve perfected the art of omelet-making, but I’m getting closer. The key is to take a risk. After pouring the beaten eggs into the hot, oiled pan, let it cook just a bit longer than you think it should. This ensures that nice golden brown color. Then, once the edges firm up and it starts wiggling around the pan easily, use a big spatula to flip it. It's alright if it's a little sloppy - you can nudge the omelet back into shape. I've only tried this with a 2-egg omelet in a small saute pan. Alice Waters, author of "The Art of Simple Cooking", recommends sliding your spatula underneath the omelet to allow the uncooked egg on top to run underneath, thus ensuring a fully cooked omelet. This method would probably work well for a larger omelet.
Back to the wonder of omelets. They're quite tasty, you can use almost anything as a filling (cheese, herbs, leftover meat or veggies, even caramelized apples), they're quick, and they're very filling. Even more wonderful -- they're good for you! Eggs were villain-ized for awhile due to their high cholesterol levels. And yes, they do have a good amount of cholesterol, which our bodies need. It's been discovered, though, that a bigger influence on the amount of cholesterol in our blood is the amount of saturated and trans fat that we eat. Eggs are relatively cheap, compared to other protein sources (so splurge for cage free and organic -- you're still getting a good deal!), they are a complete source of protein, and they're packed with nutrients. So although you shouldn't eat eggs for every meal, an egg a day is OK.
I filled my fluffy golden omelet with goat cheese and basil. This simple combination was delicious. Each ingredient brought out the best in the other. The measurements below are estimates; use more or less depending on how you like your omelets.
Tell me: what is your favorite omelet filling?
Goat Cheese and Basil Omelet
scant 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
scant 1/4 cup of crumbled goat cheese
1) Heat small saute pan over medium-heat (I set mine at "4" on my gas-range). While it's heating, crack two eggs in a small bowl and whisk until almost blended. When pan is hot, spray with olive oil.
2) Add eggs to pan. You'll know it's the right temperature if you hear a loud sizzling noise. If you don't hear that noise, turn up the heat a bit.
3) When the edges begin to firm up and you can nudge the omelet around in the pan (about 1-2 minutes), it's time to flip it. Coax a large spatula underneath and quickly flip it over. If the egg is a bit sloppy, reform the omelet back into a circle.
4) Immediately add your goat cheese and basil to one half of the omelet. Cook for 1-2 minutes longer until the underside is golden with splotchy brown spots (you can lift up the underside to check).
5) Fold over the empty half to get a half-moon shaped omelet. Slide it onto a plate, guiding it with your spatula. Sprinkle with salt and freshly-ground pepper.
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