By Terese Allen, Organic Valley Food Editor
For as long as I’ve been cooking, the omelet has been the little black dress of my culinary repertoire. Easy to master and quick to make, omelets are fitting as the main course for any meal and can be complemented with a variety of fillings to dress them up. I made omelets even during the cholesterol-scare years—they were just too convenient and delicious not to—and was elated when studies began to show that eggs aren’t as bad for most people’s cholesterol as had once been believed.
With today’s economic downturn, there’s another good reason to keep omelets front and center in one’s food “wardrobe”: they’re an affordable way to include healthful proteins, vitamins and minerals in your diet. And for organic cooks on a budget, omelets are a true boon.
Omelets come in many styles and shapes. There’s big, fluffy folded ones and skinny ones that are rolled up like a cigar. There’s egg white omelets and soufflé omelets, flipped omelets and baked omelets. My favorite is the classic, French-style omelet, the kind that takes less than two minutes to prepare and turns out barely-cooked creamy on the inside and golden on the outside. I started my food career at a French restaurant famous for this type of omelet; after years of churning them out on the cooking line plus decades producing them in my own kitchen, I believe I could make one with my eyes closed (but don’t try this at home).
Lately I’m into showing other people how to do it. I like to invite a crowd over for an omelet party, then line my work counter with a variety of fillings and toppings and let diners “order from the menu.” Invariably, as guests see how easy and fun omelet-making is, someone asks, “Can I try that?” Before you know it, there’s a queue of omelet trainees fast on their way to becoming professionals.
On the other hand, there’s nothing like being alone in the kitchen with a few eggs and a skillet. For me an omelet and a glass of wine make the perfect supper-for-one. Sure, I might be wearing slippers and sweat pants, but it feels like I’m dining in a little black dress.
How to Make an Omelet - A primer recipe for the classic, French-style omelet.
Egg White Omelet – Free of fat and cholesterol, and full of savor.
Soufflé Omelet - Omelets for dessert? Absolutely, when you give them an airy rise and sweeten them with fruit preserves.
Omelet with Fresh Spinach, Feta and Olives – Makes unusual use of Greek salad dressing, to both saute and flavor the filling.
Swiss Chard and Raw Sharp Cheddar Omelet – A one-pan method to make the filling and the omelet.
Omelet with Brussels Sprouts Chiffonade – Chef Ben Hunter of Madison, Wisconsin has an ingenious way with the “Mini Me” of cabbages.
Swiss Cheese Sauce -- Delicious for topping or filling omelets.
Fillings, toppings, and sauces -- Ideas to get you started.