Have you ever had to come up with a meal and just don’t know what to do? I suggest you take a page, or at least a hit, from our British cousins. Consider the not so humble omelet. Omelets are amazingly versatile. They can be simple, complex, sweet, savory, pretty much anything you want them to be. But most of all, they are relatively quick and easy to make.
Now, there are two schools of thought when it comes to omelets. The fluffy and the – well, less than fluffy. It’s the fluffy school that puts most people off and makes omelets the province of the cordon bleu chef. I’m not a fluffy fan. (Bet you’d never guess that because I’m so subtle about my opinion.)
In order to make a truly fluffy omelet you need to whisk the egg whites until they form soft peaks and then carefully fold in the seasoned yolks. Or you can try whisking the eggs whole, in a copper bowl, and use iced water in the mixture.
Both of these laborious (and, if I may say tedious) tasks are meant to create loft. The first from air trapped in the whisked whites, the second from the steam released by the evaporating water. Of course, when you put a filling into either of these mélanges, it tends to flatten at least the bottom of the omelet. The other side effect I’ve noticed is that these omelets tend to be dry. I am not a fan of dry eggs. Tender, yes. Desiccated, no. So, how do you make an omelet that is tender but not as thin as a single layer of Tamago? Actually, it’s quite simple.
It all starts with the eggs. Ever had a frittata? It’s that wonderful Italian style omelet that is light, tender and oh so delicious. They get that texture by not overbeating the eggs. That’s right, put that balloon whisk down and step away from the bowl please. The Italian method is to whisk the eggs until the yolk is just blended through the white. In other words, you whisk until you have yellow threads running through the whites. That’s it. You can add milk, cream, or whatever before you whisk but, always stop when you have ribbons of yolk. Never whisk to a uniform, pale yellow color. If you do this for your omelet or even for your scrambled eggs, they will come out light, tender and eminently edible.
Back to the omelet and our British cousins. One thing that is quite popular among the knowing set is a fresh herb omelet. For those of you who have never had a fresh herb omelet, you are in for a real treat. Chives, parsley, cilantro (or as our cousins call it, coriander leaf), and particularly sage make stunning herb omelets. Of course, being a rude colonial, I believe in cheese. In my opinion, an omelet is not an omelet without cheese. But, then again, I think that about most foods.
Permit me to lobby a moment. When you use cheese, use good cheese. Cutting corners on quality will lead to a very unsatisfactory omelet. You don’t need to use a ton of cheese. In a two egg, two person omelet, a loosely piled half or so of grated cheese is more than enough. In fact, using a sharp cheddar, provolone, or a good quality Swiss (Gruyère, Emmentaler, or Madrigal) will yield a tasty omelet.
One more thing, season the eggs in your omelet. In addition to salt and pepper, I use Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning. It’s a delightful blend of wonderfulness that adds tons of subtle flavor.
Now, to the recipe.
SWISS AND FRESH SAGE OMELET
- Two eggs
- 1 Tablespoon of milk or cream
- 8 – 10 grinds of Trader Joe’s Everyday Seasoning (about ⅛ teaspoon)
- 2 shots of Tabasco sauce
- Salt and pepper to taste (NOTE: Try using Trader Joe’s garlic/herb salt in the convenient grinder)
- ½ cup finely grated Swiss cheese
- 6-8 fresh sage leaves
Finely chop the sage leaves and set aside. Season the egg, Tabasco, and milk or cream. Whisk lightly and set aside. Warm a shallow pan lubricated with olive oil or ghee (clarified butter) over medium heat. When the pan is ready, pour in the egg mixture. As it begins to solidify, pull the egg away from the edges of the pan and toward the center. This makes the loft that you would get from the fluffy school. You can tilt the pan to let the unset egg run into the empty spaces.
Once the egg is setting up, add the grated cheese and sprinkle with the chopped sage. You can put the filling in the center and fold the edges up over it or you can put it on half the omelet and fold it in half.
Either way, let the egg brown lightly (around one to two minutes) and flip it over to brown it on the other side.
Remove the omelet and garnish with chopped parsley and whole sage leaves. Enjoy!