Friday, April 3, 2009

light and airy, warm and gooey

My list of favorite foods is topped by eggs and cheese. Chuck roast is on that list too, but that's a story for another day. I would be perfectly happy to eat eggs everyday of my life and cheese just makes me inexplicably happy. I just think cheese makes life better is all.

This was breakfast this morning. Friday during Lent equals no meat. Cheese omelets it is! I recall learning to make omelets in culinary school and the chef I took egg cookery from (yes, egg cookery was its own class. Heaven for me!) emphasizing that a proper omelet should never have any brown on it. Never. He was right, of course since brown on eggs equals burnt flavor, no matter how subtle. A good cook should be able to taste even a subtle scorching on an egg. Also, according to my chef instructor, an omelet is never flipped. Regardless of all that food snobbery, the finished flavor of a delicate cheese omelet is amazing, I think.

My husband and always call cheese omelets "omelet du fromage" in honor of his little brother, Josh. Josh visited us about 5 years ago and had apparently seen the episode of Dexter's Lab where Dexter endeavors to learn French from a record (do kids even know what records are?) while sleeping but the record gets stuck on "omelet du fromage" and that was all he could say the next day. Josh walked around our house saying "omelet du fromage" until I thought I would go mad with wanting a cheese omelet! Ah, the cheese omelet, one more fabulous culinary creation associated with Napoleon. Wouldn't it be fun to compile all of the foods associated with different historical figures? call it "Cooking History" or something like that.

Cheese omelet
3 large eggs (I know, a lot of eggs but we are not eating any meat or wheat products)
1/8 cup of heavy cream - really just a splash
1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt
a few fine grinds of black pepper - white pepper is better, if you have it
1/4 cup of shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 tablespoon of butter

Heat a non-stick pan (for a tri-folded French omelet, I use a 9 inch pan, so a Western omelet that is folded in half only, I use a 6 inch egg pan)with the butter over medium heat. Don't heat the pan and then add the butter or the butter may color brown which in turn will color the omelet brown. Whisk the eggs with the cream and salt and pepper. Once the butter is foamy and melted add the egg mixture. Using a heat proof, rubber spatula swirl the eggs around and move the pan back and forth gently. Very gently, you don't want to wear the eggs, you want to eat them. Once the edges begin to set, lift the edge and tilt the pan to pour the uncooked liquid under the omelet as it cooks... do this all around over and over until you do not have any liquid left. Add the cheese right down the center and then fold one side over the cheese. Slide the omelet folded side first onto a plate and use the pan to flip the other side over for a French omelet. Really, if you have a nice non-stick pan that isn't too hot, this should be super easy.

There are all sorts of toppings possibly, more cheese, spring onions, chives, etc, etc. I was in the mood for a cheese omelet... just the delicate balance or the light and airy eggs and the warm and gooey melted sharp cheddar. Maybe we''ll have these for dinner tonight, too!

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