Unless I’m traveling, I seldom sit down to breakfast in a restaurant or diner. But when those few occasions do arise, I’m rarely satisfied with the results. Even when perusing a substantial buffet, I wind up with the most basic of choices—scrambled eggs or omelets, neither of which fail to disappoint.
I’ve written about the ideal scrambled eggs before. Not those abominations slapped onto a hot commercial grill and wind up resembling pancakes, but my favorite technique for preparing them the French way. That is, softly scrambled with butter in a non-stick skillet over low heat—a process not to be hurried.
Even more frustrating in my diner’s view is what passes for a commercial cheese omelet, one containing a pathetic amount of un-melted shredded cheese that could easily pass for packaged sawdust.
So, I ask you: how difficult can it be to make a cheesy omelet, big enough for one or two, depending on the individual appetites. Easy-peasy. Seriously. After one or two endeavors, you’ll have this baby down to a science. I did and you can too.
Here’s how I make mine.
Classic Cheese Omelet
9 or 10-inch non-stick omelet skillet
Pancake or omelet spatula (non-metal to preserve non-stick finish on skillet)
Platter or plate for serving cooked omelet
3 extra-large eggs (I get mine direct from the farmer but that’s not essential)
1 Tablespoon butter (preferably without salt)
2 or 3 ounces of cheese that melts easily (Your choice. I prefer Cheddar but in a pinch, American works fine. Cut cheese into small pieces or shred by hand.)
Salt and pepper to taste. Perhaps a dash of hot sauce or some finely chopped French tarragon or chives.
Assemble all of the above ingredients before beginning.
Break three eggs in bowl and whisk until well-blended. Add salt and pepper now or during cooking process.
Melt 1T butter in skillet over medium-low heat, making sure butter covers entire bottom surface.
Add eggs to skillet, retain medium-low heat.
When eggs start to set, carefully loosen the edges and give the skillet a slight shake.
Arrange cheese over entire egg mixture, except for 1/4-inch around the rim. If salt and pepper wasn’t added before, do so now. Also hot sauce or herbs if you’re so inclined.
When cheese starts to melt, place spatula under one-half of the omelet and fold onto the half remaining in the skillet to create a half moon.
Turn skillet for better access and roll raw edge of half-moon omelet onto the folded center.
Cook omelet another 15 to 20 seconds before sliding it onto a platter.
Divide the omelet into two portions or treat yourself to the whole thing. Decadent calories be damned! This is not a daily occurrence (unless you reduce the amount of cheese and only use the egg whites, which makes for a decent though less delectable compromise). Ready? Press your fork into that omelet you just created and watch the melted cheese ooze out. Yum!
Excellent for breakfast with toast or English Muffins or bagels. Plus, freshly brewed hot coffee or tea.
For lunch, add a salad of mixed greens and pair with a nice dry wine.
What about other ingredients to either complement the cheese or substitute for it—use your imagination!
You can do this. Yes, you can. I did, and when it comes to cooking, I’m one, maybe two notches, above mediocre. Okay, two notches.