Friday, May 4, 2012

Omelette It Be

There's quite a few things I like about my current job, but one of my favorites is the compressed work week; by working a little longer every day, I am given every second Friday off. Strangely, I didn't avail myself of this perk as soon as I was eligible to, but after our office moved from downtown Edmonton to the outskirts, I had to give up taking the bus, and I saw the Compressed Day Off as an easy way to cut my commuting fuel costs by ten percent.

It also makes it easier for me to do banking, buy groceries, return bottles and other tasks that draw larger crowds on the weekend. Today, I am prepping for a dinner party, so there is both cleaning and running about to be done, but having a quiet house to myself and some flexibility in my timetable meant I could bypass my go-to breakfast of toast and cereal and make myself an omelette.

I had been about to fry up an egg or two when I realized it requires only marginally more effort to produce an omelette, and when I also recalled that I had bought a smoked blue cheese (cheekily named 'Moody Blue') on my last Costco run, my course was set.

If you've never made your own omelette, I highly recommend giving it a go, provided you have a proper pan. Mostly this is about size: not too big, not too small, but being non-stick is also critical. In my case, Audrey's folks gave me a perfectly sized pre-seasoned cast iron pan a few years back which has proven indispensable for not only omelettes but also green onion cakes, pappadums, single grilled cheese sandwiches, and other small scale fry-ups.

You can barely call it a recipe: 3 eggs, 3 tablespoons milk, salt and pepper to taste, plus whatever you stuff it with. Stay away from soft cheeses, but you can drape a piece of Brie across the top of a finished omelette if you like. I usually sprinkle in some crumbled bacon from the jar we keep on hand for salads and such, but I've made a couple of creative ones based on leftovers, like slices of grilled steak paired with horseradish infused white cheddar.

The great leap forward for my omelettes came when I watched a chef at The Muddy Duck brunch in Mississauga lift the side of a half finished one and let the uncooked liquid on top roll around to the hot surface underneath. I had previously tried doing this after the fold, with disastrous results, and had heard others talk about baking them in the oven to prevent runny bits, but once you get the timing down, this lift and twist is the ideal solution.

As much as I enjoy blue cheese (and it should be mentioned that I am the only one in the household who does), its crumbly nature makes it a chore to work with, so I am not sure I would do this again. It also lacks the delightful gooeyness of cheddar or Monterey jack that adds so much to the texture. The sharpness of this smoked blue was also a bit of a jolt to the morning palate, but not unpleasantly or insurmountably so. All in all, a worthy breakfast experiment and a good way to start a busy day!

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