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.
• 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.
Makes 1 omelette