THE PERFECT OMELETTE

Being back in the swing of the school year and the swirl of parents that comes along with it, I’m reminded of the rich community of moms around me: So smart, and so full of clever ideas. Just this morning I found myself swapping lunch packing tips with Kelly, a mother of two, challenged with a picky eater, and healthy snack ideas with Suzanne, whose kids have put the kabosh on dried fruits and nuts (raw almonds and unsulfured apricots can only take you so far). I was impressed with how both of these moms approach the task of nourishing kids.

Maybe it sounds mundane, chattering about the nitty gritty of feeding kids. But exchanging stories and recipes is a time-honored tradition of mothering that is often where get our best ideas. In this spirit of sharing, I’m hoping today’s post will become a recipe swap of sorts. I’ll start by offering up my most tried and true 15 Minute Fix: The dinner omelette. Then, I’d love to hear what you do for a quick meal….on those nights when you blow into the house late in the day and have to get supper on the table in a flash. So please share in the comments section of the post. I know how busy you are, so a quick description is all that’s needed. With enough responses, I can write up our collective 15 Minute Fixes so we all can benefit from one another’s ingenuity.

Now, onto the omelettes. I wasn’t particularly keen on them until about 10 years ago when I had my first taste of a classic omelette over lunch at a teeny restaurant while on vacation in France. The omelette, tender, gently cooked, with just enough Gruyere to make you want more, was nothing like the overstuffed and overcooked ones I’d had all my life. I ate omelettes nearly everday for the remainder of the trip and returned determined to make a proper one myself. It’s now always the first thing I teach in my cooking classes for kids, and is my “go-to” dish when the cupboards are largely bare and the dinner hour approaches.

A classic Fresh omelette, perhaps with a simple salad or vegetable to go with it, is a perfectly nourishing and satisfying meal. All that’s required is a couple of eggs, a knob of butter, salt and pepper. Cheese is a nice addition, but not essential. A glass of white wine for the cook, never hurts.

I recommend a non-stick skillet with sloped sides (as opposed to hard edges) that is about 8 inches across, give or take. Good quality, organic eggs are worth the extra cost, and for cheese, I’m partial to sharp Cheddar and Gruyere, but use whatever suits you. I usually make two-egg omelettes, but bigger appetites may call for three eggs.

I’ll talk you through the basic technique in the recipe below. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t nail it the first time around. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and it may take a few times to get it right. To help you along, I recommend this “how to” video by Jamie Oliver. It’s worth the few minutes it will take to watch it.

Classic Omelette

• 2 to 3 eggs
• Pinch salt
• Black pepper
• ½ tablespoon butter
• 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Gruyere or sharp Cheddar cheese

Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Mix with a fork or whisk until the color and consistency is uniform.

Set the pan over medium heat and add about ½ tablespoon of butter. Melt the butter and swirl it around the pan to coat the bottom and up the sides a bit.

Pour the eggs into the pan and let them settle for a couple of seconds so the bottom cooks a bit. Then, run a fork across the eggs, pulling the cooked parts into the middle and allowing the uncooked eggs to run onto the pan. You can tilt the pan to help the eggs along. Do this a couple of times and then jiggle the pan so that the eggs settle into a nice round shape.

Let it sit on the stove until the eggs are nearly set. Sprinkle the cheese over the omelette. When it looks like the top of the eggs is cooked, or nearly so (they may appear a little runny, but will continue to cook a little even when out of the pan), take a spatula and fold one half of the omelette over. Then, lift the pan from the stove, tilt it and with the aid of the spatula slide the omelette onto a plate.

Serve immediately.

Makes 1 omelette

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17  Comments

Comments

  1. Stephanie
    09.02.2011 at 10:54 AM #

    Our “go to” meal is a bean & cheese burrito. We always have cheese on hand to shred and some cans of whole beans. If the kids are not looking I will shred some zucchinni into the tortilla as well.

    • katiemorford
      09.02.2011 at 11:36 AM #

      Love it. Thanks

  2. 09.02.2011 at 11:44 AM #

    Chicken noodle soup (homemade or canned) with an egg dropped in (one for each eater). Very satisfying and quick. Or pancakes! Brinner (breakfast for dinner). :)

  3. Natalie
    09.02.2011 at 12:57 PM #

    When in a rush to get dinner on the table I saute some garlic in olive oil and throw in a can of black beans, salt and pepper. Pop a potato in the microave and serve beans on the split spud topped with sour cream, yogurt or cheese with some green onions. Served with a salad or leftover green veggies and it’s the perfect meal!

  4. Pamela Prime
    09.02.2011 at 3:49 PM #

    yum! this will be dinner tonight!
    thank you…

  5. Leslie
    09.02.2011 at 6:05 PM #

    OMG, just made, tasted and gave some corn, avacado, onion salad to my neighbor.
    He just called to say he was eating it and it is the best thing he has ever had!!
    It is delicious and SO easy..Thank you Katie

    • katiemorford
      09.03.2011 at 7:24 PM #

      Thanks for telling me that. Made my day!

  6. Alison
    09.03.2011 at 11:11 AM #

    I go for a quick pasta. Sautee garlic in olive oil. Add diced tomatoes, capers, olives and throw in Arugula or spinach at the end to just wil it.

  7. Suzanne
    09.04.2011 at 7:33 AM #

    My go to and kid’s all time favorite is breaded white fish with Old Bay seasoning and Lemon. I often use Talapia, but any white fish will work. Salt and pepper the fish, drizzle olive oil on both sides, coat with bread crumbs(panko, italian, plain all good), arrange in pan, sprinkle Old Bay Seasoning on the fish, lay slices of lemon on top, bake at 375 till done(10+ min). Sometime I remove the lemon slices and broil it for the last minute or so to make the top a little crunchy. While it bakes I usually saute a bag of spinach and slice up a bagette – Done!

    • katiemorford
      09.04.2011 at 9:10 AM #

      Excellent. Thanks!

  8. Pam
    09.04.2011 at 12:34 PM #

    I’m going to second the pasta suggestion. I take whatever vegetables are in the house (broccoli, cauliflower, kale, zucchini, tomatoes, etc), steam them if necessary (broccoli, cauliflower) in a big non-stick wok until al dente while the pasta is cooking then add tomatoes, onion, garlic and saute. I also throw in whatever greens are around, usually arugula, just to wilt it and then add the pasta when it is done with some parmesan cheese. If there is bacon handy a couple diced strips usually get sauteed with the vegetables too. Pasta with ham or bacon (cut into slivers or small pieces) and lots of peas is also a popular last minute meal here.

  9. Leslie
    09.06.2011 at 5:02 PM #

    Not being Jewish and growing up back east in a small beach town north of Boston I never ate Latkes. Trying them 20 years ago for the first time I loved them and we eat them often.

    The recipe from one of our favorite stories, Latkes, Latkes Good to Eat by Naomi Howland, is:

    3 large potatoes (what ever I have), 2 eggs, 1/4 C onion, 1 Tbsp chopped parsley, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/8 tsp pepper 3 Tbsp flour.
    I add more egg and a bit more flour.
    In cuisinart, grate onion and potatoe then mix and fry in a pan of olive oil and butter (not too much).

    Serve with salad, applesauce and sour cream..

  10. J McKay
    09.06.2011 at 8:12 PM #

    Fish supper…Sardines are abundant and fished in environmentally friendly ways. Empty a can of sardines in tomato sauce into a bowl, toss with some fresh cooked spaghetti (add a garlic clove to the boiling water and mash after draining) and a handful of finely chopped parsley and you have a plateful of goodness. Season and drizzle with olive oil if the sauce was lacking.

    • katiemorford
      09.06.2011 at 9:10 PM #

      Sardines are a wonderful, sustainable, healthy and delicious “fast food”. Thanks for that one.

  11. Meggin
    09.07.2011 at 1:21 PM #

    Saute some garlic in a little olive oil then add a pound of lean ground beef, season with S&P then brown. Once the meat is cooked pour in approx 1.5 cups of stock and a bag of frozen mixed veggies and put the lid on and turn off the heat. Cook up some whole wheat noodles and serve meat mixture on top. My family enjoys this!!!

  12. 10.17.2011 at 7:27 PM #

    For a quick meal, I like to bake salmon in the oven, with either lemon juice and several cloves of garlic, or, spread with mustard and maple syrup or brown sugar. Wilt some spinach while the fish is baking, and prepare a bit of couscous with chopped veggies (celery, onion, peppers — whatever’s in the fridge) and spices (usually garlic, parsley, cumin & cinnamon) and we;re good to go!

    • katiemorford
      10.17.2011 at 8:26 PM #

      That sounds delicious.

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