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O, omelets! September is National Breakfast Month: Have you loved an omelet lately?

 

Half the fun of making omelets is designing the filling. This Mediterranean omelet boasts tomatoes, pepperoni, feta and red onions. Read on for more omelet ideas.

Half the fun of making omelets is designing the filling. This Mediterranean omelet boasts tomatoes, pepperoni, feta and red onions. Read on for more omelet ideas. Photo by: Photo from metro.ca

 

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Another variation on the standard omelet is this caramelized pear and gorgonzola version, with bacon and pecans, from closetcooking.com.

Another variation on the standard omelet is this caramelized pear and gorgonzola version, with bacon and pecans, from closetcooking.com.
Photo by: Photo from closetcooking.com

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

Few foods figure as prominently in American breakfasts as the good ole egg. So, in a nod to September as National Breakfast Month, how about a closer look at omelets? 

 

They are -- as Chef Sarah Labensky of Columbus succinctly shares in her reference book, "On Cooking: Techniques from Expert Chefs" by Labensky and Alan Hause -- "needlessly intimidating egg creations that begin as scrambled eggs."  

 

It's probably safe to say that cooks have been chasing perfection in color, shape and texture since the French word "omelette" came into use in the mid-16th century. Reliably producing a company-worthy omelet every time out may take a do-over or two, but even if things go awry, you'll still have some tasty scrambled eggs, right? So relax and have some fun. 

 

Most of us think of omelets as half-moons of cooked egg folded over our favorite fillings. But to add variety to your repertoire, you may want to try a French-style omelet, with the filling inserted into an opening cut into a rolled cooked omelet. Or mix your filling ingredients in with the uncooked egg mixture, pour it all into the pan at the same time, letting it cook into an omelet "pizza." You can even create a omelet that resembles a log roll. 

 

Celebrity chef Rachael Ray offers another suggestion: Cook beaten eggs, two tablespoons at a time, in a small skillet to make lots of thin omelets. Top each with deli-sliced ham and Swiss cheese or other sandwich filling, and roll each up like a cigar. Wrap these tightly in plastic wrap to keep cool and serve, sliced cross-wise, sushi-style with hot sauce for dipping. 

 

 

 

A few tips 

 

Most chefs recommend an 8-inch non-stick skillet for omelets; a heavier-bottom pan helps reduce browning. Two to three eggs usually work best for a nice-sized omelet (two eggs for kids or dieters) 

 

Many (not all) cooks recommend adding milk (up to 1/4 cup) to make omelets fluffy. You may prefer using a little water. Some swear by whisks or electric beaters to whip the egg mixture; others prefer a fast fork. 

 

Labensky recommends heating an omelet pan over moderately high heat and adding clarified butter to it, then pouring the eggs in and stirring until they begin to set, approximately 10 seconds. Pull cooked egg from the sides of the pan toward the center, allowing raw egg to run underneath, and keep it up for 20-30 seconds. Remember, your egg mixture will continue to cook a bit after it's removed from the heat. 

 

 

 

What's inside? 

 

This is where the fun comes in. The possibilities for goodies to put in an omelet are endless. Justchillhere.com offers some flavorful options. 

 

Go Italian with pepperoni, black olives, green bell peppers and maybe some Italian sausage. Mozzarella cheese is a must, along with minced onions and a pinch of garlic powder. (Add your cheese last with omelets, so it can melt down to cover the other ingredients.) 

 

A meat lovers version might have smoked sausage, browned hamburger, salami, pastrami, roast beef, steak strips, chicken, turkey, or any combination thereof. Kick up the flavor with American cheese, mushrooms and onions. 

 

For veggie fans, make a filling of spinach, romaine lettuce, olives and cheese. Add cilantro, chives and even a few cooked potatoes. Top with a few thin sliced tomatoes or a sweet but zesty salad dressing. 

 

Some like it hot. Fresh jalapenos, habanero sauce and pepper jack cheese, with chicken or steak fajitas, onion, bell pepper tomatoes and cilantro light the fire. You could top with chili sauce or even a pinch of chili powder. 

 

For a seafood dish, sauté some shrimp and crab chunks in crab boil seasoning with a little butter and add to your omelet. Include a light coating of sharp cheddar cheese, a few chives, minced garlic and a shake of sea salt and cracked pepper. When folded, add a squeeze of lemon or lime on top. 

 

If you're counting calories, you may like Rachael Ray's peas and asparagus omelet. It calls for one whole egg and three egg whites, instead of three whole eggs. Stir thawed frozen baby peas and snipped fresh chives into the beaten egg mixture. Fill half the omelet with pieces of blanched asparagus and dabs of a lower-calorie cheese. 

 

For the adventurous, the justchillhere.com site even suggests adding some mayonnaise to your egg mixture instead of milk, for a unique zest. 

 

In other words, your final creation is pretty much a matter of personal preference. Have some fun with it, and go break a few eggs. 

 

 

 

MEDITERRANEAN OMELET 

 

Makes 4 servings 

 

Prep time: 15 minutes 

 

Total time: 23 minutes 

 

 

 

2 small tomatoes, coarsely chopped 

 

1/4 pound feta, diced 

 

2 ounces salami or pepperoni, cut in small cubes 

 

1/4 small red onion, finely chopped 

 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley 

 

8 Irresistibles Oméga-3 eggs 

 

1/4 cup milk 

 

Freshly ground pepper, to taste 

 

4 teaspoons butter 

 

Italian parsley leaves, for garnish 

 

 

 

  • In a bowl, mix together tomatoes, feta, salami, red onion and parsley. Set aside. 

     

  • In a separate bowl, whisk eggs with milk and pepper. 

     

  • In a large non-stick pan, melt 1 teaspoon butter over medium-high heat. Pour in 1/4 the egg mixture and tilt pan slightly to spread mixture evenly. Cook until it begins to set and gently lift sides with a spatula. 

     

  • Add 1/4 of the feta mixture, fold in half and continue cooking for about 1 minute, until omelet is of desired consistency. Slide onto a plate. 

     

  • Follow the same steps for the other omelets. Serve hot and garnish with fresh Italian parsley. 

     

    (Source: metro.ca) 

     

     

     

    CARAMELIZED PEAR AND GORGONZOLA OMELET WITH BACON AND PECANS 

     

     

     

    1 tablespoon butter 

     

    1 tablespoon brown sugar 

     

    1 pear (cored and sliced into big chunks) 

     

    1/4 cup gorgonzola 

     

    1 strip bacon (cooked and crumbled, optional) 

     

    2 eggs (lightly beaten) 

     

    1 tablespoon pecans (toasted and chopped) 

     

     

     

  • Melt the butter in a none stick pan. 

     

  • Add the sugar and cook until bubbly. 

     

  • Add the pear and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. 

     

  • Lower the heat and sprinkle on the crumbled gorgonzola and bacon and let the cheese melt just a bit. 

     

  • Pour the eggs into the pan and let them cook without disturbing them until they have set, about 2-4 minutes. 

     

  • Slide the omelet out onto a plate and garnish it with the pecans and enjoy. 

     

    (Source: closetcooking.com) 

     

     

     

    HAM AND CHEESE OMELET ROLL 

     

     

     

    4 ounces cream cheese, softened 

     

    3/4 cup milk 

     

    2 tablespoons all-purpose flour 

     

    1/4 teaspoon salt 

     

    12 eggs 

     

    2 tablespoons Dijon Mustard 

     

    2 1/4 cups shredded cheddar or Swiss Cheese, divided 

     

    2 cups finely chopped fully cooked ham 

     

    1/2 cup thinly sliced green onions 

     

     

     

  • Line the bottom and sides of a greased 15-by-10-by-1 inch baking pan with parchment paper. Grease the paper and set the pan aside.  

     

  • In a small mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and milk until smooth. Add flour and salt, mixing until combined. In a large mixing bowl, beat the eggs until blended. Add the cream cheese mixture, mixing well. Pour into the prepared pan.  

     

  • Bake at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until eggs are puffed and set. Remove from the oven. Immediately spread with mustard and sprinkle with 1 cup cheese. n Sprinkle with ham, onions, and another 1 cup of cheese. Roll up from a short side, peeling parchment paper away while rolling. Sprinkle top of roll with remaining cheese. Bake 3 to 4 minutes longer or until cheese is melted. 

     

    (Source: fertalawn.wordpress.com)

     

  • Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

     

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