Lesson Three – Breakfast: Omelet or OMELETTE?

What Happened?! Somehow we missed Lesson three and posted lesson four. I guess I was more interested in coffee then Omelets! Now we should post about Omelets and how to make them, by the way which is correct? Omelet or Omelette? I can tell you that Microsoft Word does not like the French spelling and that figures, since it uses an American dictionary to correct spelling errors. Since I am teaching America Style cooking here (at least trying too) I think I will stick with the American spelling too – Omelet. Isn’t the English language hard enough WITHOUT multiple ways to spell the same F#$%^&@ word! UGG! Can I also say that as an amateur writer how I think, speak and write are three different things! For starters, I could never write down everting I think. I would possibly receive a lot mote hate mail. So I bite my tongue as it were when it comes to my opinion on politics sometimes. Besides you are all here to cook and have fun. Not to listen to my political or religious views here. It is also tougher for me to write stuff because I cant write how I would casually talk to my friends because it is too difficult to read. Once again, I blame this stupid language for not making things simple. Come on people, it’s the 21st Century! Can’t we make things easier to read, write or speak to each other? Maybe, that’s half the problem in government. They have to write everything down then two hundred years later they argue over it because think it means something different NOW! Okay done. Lets cook.

So you’re ready to step up too one of my all-time favorite breakfast foods: The Omelet! If you want to put more than just cheese in it then that means learning how to do some slicing, dicing, and chopping. As I look around for my YouTube production crew it seems they have all left…or are still nonexistent.  That means I will be writhing this it all out. Maybe later I can read it from the teleprompter as I record this lesson on my cell phone (laughing to myself).

Let’s start by learning how to do some slicing. Round things like potatoes and onions should first be  cut in half. Wait! Wait! Not yet…Lets peel that potato with a vegetable peeler first. Peel the skin off AWAY from your body and make sure your other hand has a firm grip on that slippery potato. Make sure too your hand holding said potato is also out of harm’s way. Vegetable peelers, when new will be sharp and that’s good. The older it is the more dull it will become and the more difficult it will be to use. Work your way around the potato making sure to slice off the entire outer layer. You can use a paring knife to carefully remove the deeper eyes of the potato or deep gouges. Now you can wash that slippery sucker. Some people wash it before they peel it but I say: “Six of one, half a dozen of another.” I wash it after peeling it.

For an onion, you need to peel the outer layers off by hand. If you want to dice or mince the onion then begin by placing it down on you cutting board. Hold it firmly with your non-dominate hand (that is the hand opposite of the one that is now holding the sharp knife). Cut off the top of the onion (the opposite side of the root end). Now turn the onion so that the flat surface is on the cutting board. Slice the darn thing in half. Now you can easily peel off those brown layers of tough to chew skin.

Perfect! Now place the halved onion back of the cutting board with the large flat side facing down. Then cut off the root end.  From here, you can slice it up. Working your cuts (slices) from the tip to the root end. Wha-lah! You have a sliced onion! To dice it, cut the onion into strips but not all the way across, and only go as far back as half way. This leaves the root end intact. Now turn the onion 90 degrees (that’s a quarter of a turn). Then, just like you did before cut slices across the onion so it will now form small square-like shapes as it falls away. If you want minced onion, just makes you cuts all closer to together. Too really mince it, put a chopped onion on the cutting board and use your brand new ZYLISS Zick-Zick classic food chopper! Then presto! One perfectly minced onion! I also have a nifty little onion holder that looks like a fork like thingy to hold the onion in place, but I never use it myself. My mother loved it because of the arthritis in her fingers made it difficult for her to hold an onion.

The potato is next and should be first cut in half, then each half into thirds then turn all three pieces together 90 degrees and cut it four more times. *Poof* Diced potatoes.

How about presliced deli ham? Roll up three slices of ham. For thicker cuts of deli ham or corned beef say 1/4 inch thick lay it flat. Slice them all the long way into strips or Julian. Then turn it and cut it into cubes or diced ham or corn beef!

Green bell peppers. OH boy! For this, there are more YouTube videos then Carters has pills! Cut off the top. Then Slice right down the middle. Clean out the seeds and the white pithy bitter membrane. Slice into strips AKA Julienne. Turn and then cut those into dice.

So let’s see we have two large or jumbo eggs, diced green bell peppers, diced onion, diced ham and even diced potatoes. That sounds like a fine western omelet (with potatoes).

Start by cooking the potatoes first in a small 9.5 inch Gotham copper non-stick pan with a tablespoon of oil over medium heat. When they start to brown, add the onion, green bell pepper, ham and cook for two or three more minutes over medium heat. While that cook’s scramble two large eggs that you have added a tablespoon of milk too. You can also add black ground pepper and a three drops of tabasco or not. Now add a tablespoon of butter to the pan. Wait until that butter is all melted and it starts to sizzle. Then pour that into the pan and cover it with all those yummy vegetables and the ham. Turn down the heat to low and cook covered until the top is almost firm.

“Now comes the tricky part” as I hear Julia Child’s voice in my head, “flipping the omelet”. First time flippers should use their brand-new and wonderful “pancake turner” that they just purchased from Amazon and received the next day. I have managed to learn (over too many years of trying) how to flip my omelets in mid air. Please do not practice that with your first time omelets but you can start practicing that trick later on with one of your fried eggs (if you dare) and only if you don’t want that egg over easy with an unbroken yoke. Pro tip: if you not practiced at it the yoke may break when it slams against the pan.

There you go, one western omelet done to perfection. Much simpler to make is the plain cheese omelet.  Preheat your non-stick pan with a tablespoon of butter added. When the butter starts to sizzle and bubble the pan is hot and the butter is ready to cook in. Pour in your newly scrambled eggs and cover that puppy up. Let that cook on low until the top is firm. Add the cheese to half the pan/omelet. The cheese selection is your choice. I like Kraft Deluxe American cheese for this. Why, because it is real American cheese not some processed cheese “product”. That’s why it costs more then the crappy fake cheese.  Cover cook one or two more minutes. Then fold your omelet in half and remove it to a plate. Add buttered toast, orange juice and serve. Don’t forget about the coffee we posted in lesson four that posted before lesson three. See we need coffee!

Other stuffed omelets are made the same way. Once the top is firm, add mushrooms and Swiss and cover or add broccoli and cheddar or salsa and Monterey jack or Spinach and Gruyère . You get the idea. 

Did I mention the coffee, don’t forget the coffee…

Omelets are a great way to start to experiment with flavors and cooking! A good tip would be to blanch or steam your vegetables like broccoli but not spinach in advance. This is also a great way to use MANY leftovers like corned beef. These are also great for lunch or a like dinner!

To blanch something place it into boiling water for a few minutes then plunge it into ice water to stop the cooking process.

Boil vs Simmering – Water at a boil will produce many bubbles that will rise up and beak the surface. Simmering will only show small bubbles on the pots bottom.

Now you’re cooking!

Until tomorrow, be happy, stay health and eat well.

The Drunken Chef

May 4, 2021

© Russ Ahrens and The Magic of a Perfect Pairing,2021

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