July 9 is the official Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Omelette Day. No, I didn’t know such a thing existed either, but it seems appropriate to highlight the versatility of the egg with a few varieties of omelette.
I’ve posted before about how omelettes are like brunch’s kitchen sink dish. Basically anything you pull out of your fridge (within reason) would mesh well with eggs. Plus, omelettes are quick and easy and make for a great pre-work, post-workout, or lazy weekend meal.
Anyway, I believe the point of this observance is to get brunchers out of the “omelette rut.” In other words, we get comfortable just sticking with our go-to ingredients (mine would be spinach, tomato and feta) and don’t acknowledge that there are infinite opportunities to be creative. Here are a few new takes on the traditional omelette.
Tortilla Espanola/Spanish Omelet (courtesy of Food Network)
I had a fantastic tortilla espanola at El Rinconcillo, the bar in Seville at which tapas originated. It’s basically like a potato casserole–simple, but oh so delicious.
- 3 large eggs
- Salt, to taste
- 3 to 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 3 large potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- Green olives, for garnish
Crack the eggs into a bowl. Whisk with a fork and add a pinch of salt.
Heat some oil in a frying pan (not one with a heavy base as this will prove to be a hindrance when preparing to do the flip).
Add the potato and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the onion and mash together.When the potato starts to brown a little on the edges and is mashed up with the onion in a lumpy fashion then add the eggs. Make sure the potato and onions are fully submerged by the eggs. Poke the potato to allow some of the egg to seep into the mashed mixture.
Fry this gently on a low heat. While cooking shake the pan to loosen the tortilla from the base and tidy the edges up with a wooden spoon. Do not over cook. The middle is meant to remain runny and gooey.
The egg will start setting, as this happens place a plate over the pan, a large enough plate to cover the pan substantially, and with a quick co-ordinated movement of both wrists ?flip? the tortilla over onto the plate and slide back into the pan to cook the underside.
Keep shaking the pan lightly so the tortilla does not stick to the bottom.
Once it feels firm on the edges and soft in the middle (after about 1 minute) then slide the tortilla back onto the plate. For the brave heart you can do the flip again if you wish.
Let the tortilla rest for about 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Cut into cake slices or cubes. Garnish with green olives. [Note: I’d leave the green olives out.]
Huevos Rancheros (courtesy of Boil Toil and Trouble)
Also a bit of a departure from what you would traditionally call an omelette, huevos rancheros is a Mexican dish that involves corn tortillas and spicy chiles.
- 2 cans fire-roasted tomatoes
- 1 onion
- 1 tsp garlic
- 2 jalepeno peppers
- Corn tortillas (1 per guest)
- 12 eggs
- Cilantro and queso fresco to taste
The night before brunch, spin two cans of Meir Glen fire roasted tomatoes with an onion and a little garlic in the food processor. Cut two jalapenos in half and take out the seeds (unless you want all the heat, in that case leave them). Process one jalapeno with the tomato puree, then taste it. If it isn’t hot enough for you, put in the other half.
Heat a little bacon fat in a heavy skillet over medium-ish heat. Carefully pour the pureed tomato mixture in. Let it cook until it changes color a little bit, veering more toward orange. Let it cool down then put it in the fridge.
The next morning, chop up some cilantro and crumble some queso fresco while you heat up the sauce in a saucepan.
Scramble a couple dozen eggs over low heat. I do this in two batches, keeping the first batch in the oven while the second batch cooks. Allow yourself about an hour for this part; cooking 12 eggs slowly to keep them nice and fluffy takes time.
Meanwhile, melt a tiny bit of bacon fat in a heavy skillet. Warm corn tortillas two at a time for a minute or two on each side. You’ll need to add a little more bacon fat now and then as you go. You don’t want the tortillas crispy, just warmed up and softened. And baconized. Wrap them in foil as you go to keep them warm.
Let everybody construct their own dish. From the bottom up: tortilla, eggs, sauce, cheese, cilantro.
Serve with beer and mimosas even though it’s 10 o’clock in the morning.
And, if you’re feeling like simple is just what you need, there’s always the infinite combinations of veggies, cheeses and meats to work with. Enjoy!