Tuesday, October 4, 2011

My First Omelet - Success! (Except for the flipping part)

People might ask me, how can you be so obsessed with cooking, and never have made an omelet before?! I consider omelets to be a breakfast food and I am way too lazy to haul my sleepy butt out of bed in the morning and cook something. Second, I always considered omelets to be kind of bland.  My mom's omelets were fabulous, but then I went to college and ate omelets from the campus cafeteria.  You know, one ladle of eggs from a giant vat containing who knows what else, toss in some onion, green pepper, and tomato that definitely could have been chopped more finely, and then drown in Tabasco sauce so you can't taste that the eggs have been in the vat since dinosaurs roamed the earth. But, a recipe from one of my Indian cookbooks caught my eye: a garlicky mushroom omelet that contained a hot pepper and some cilantro. It was enough of a departure from the traditional omelet to tempt me to make an omelet. This picture represents my first attempt ever at one!

My "flip" wasn't very successful. 

This is a fabulous vegetarian recipe!  It's easy, quick (especially if you have a mandoline or hate cilantro), and has just enough spice to kick you in the tastebuds without making you want to dunk your head in a bucket of milk.  The spice of the peppers goes well with the tomatoes and the tiny crunch of the mustard seeds.  The cilantro flavor is also strong, since it doesn't cook for very long.

I made three small changes.  First, I doubled the amount of tomatoes, because 1/4 cup seemed puny.  Second, I used minced ginger instead of grated.  This was a directions fail on Dave's part, but it turned out to be just fine, and less work than grating since we already needed to mince some garlic.   Lastly, I used a serrano pepper because the store was out of Thai chiles, which is what I assumed I needed. 

I've never "flipped" an omelet before.  I used one of my larger spatulas and was somewhat successful.  As you can see from the picture, the middle broke while I was flipping.  I began by running my spatula along the edge of the eggs.  My guess is that I didn't allow the eggs to cook long enough before I dumped the filling in and tried to fold them in half.  Next time, I'll be more patient. 

I served mine on a plate that was way too big, with a small salad topped with white grapefruit and tossed with chipotle balsamic vinegar. 

Garlicky Mushroom Omelet
From Madhur Jaffrey's Quick and Easy Indian Cooking
Serves 2

5 eggs (I used organic)
1/4 c vegetable oil
4 large or 6 medium mushrooms, sliced lengthwise (I used 6 medium sized crimini mushrooms)
1/2 tsp mustard seeds (black or yellow.  I used yellow)
1 hot chili, stemmed and cut into thin rings, do not remove seeds.
4 Tbsp coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
3 scallions, cut into fine rings, green and white parts
1/2 c petite diced tomatoes, drained (from a can!)
1 large clove garlic, minced
2 tsp peeled minced ginger
salt and pepper

1) Beat eggs with some salt and LOTS of fresh ground black pepper.  Lots of pepper.  Seriously, add some more pepper.  I beat the eggs in a bowl and then poured them into a measuring cup because it was easier to divide them in half that way. 
2) Make the filling.  Heat 2 Tbsp of the vegetable oil in a skillet.  When the oil is hot, toss in the mustard seeds and cook until they begin to pop.  This will only take a few seconds! Then add the garlic and stir until it begins to brown.  About one minute.
3) Add the mushrooms and cook until they no longer look raw, about one minute.  Then add ginger, chili, cilantro, and scallions.  Cook for about one minute, or until the cilantro looks like it's starting to wilt.
4) Stir in the tomatoes and add some salt and pepper.  Cook for about 1 minute and then turn the heat off and set the skillet aside.  You're done making the filling!
5) In a separate, non stick (this is important!) skillet, heat 1 Tbsp of veggie oil.  (The recipe calls for a 7 inch non stick skillet.  I don't have one, and used a 10 inch and it was fine).  Add 1/2 of the eggs. 
6) Using a spatula or wooden spoon, stir the eggs carefully for a few seconds, until they "look like lumps of soft custard in one unbroken layer."  Then add half of the filling down the center of the eggs.  Flip the omelet in half and cook for a few more seconds, until it looks done.  This took about 20 seconds for me.  Place on a plate and keep warm with foil or a warming drawer.
7) Repeat with the second omelet. 

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