• Tommy Centola

Whip up omelets with twist

Last time, I shared recipes for what is usually considered the last dish of the day, dessert. Today, I want to share dishes that are part of what is considered the most important meal of the day, breakfast. Specifically, today I have two omelet recipes, Cajun Tasso Omelet with Smoked Cheddar cheese and Omelet a la Creole.

An omelet is made by beating eggs, then cooking them in a pan without stirring them, like you would with scrambled eggs. Omelets are then filled and folded before serving. If you don’t want to fold the omelet, you would then be serving a Frittata. So feel free to serve these dishes either way, folded or not.

Omelets are a great way to clean out your refrigerator. There is no limit to the fillings that you can use. Traditionally, I like to have at least a meat and cheese in my omelets. Here are two recipes that use various ingredients.

Tasso is a seasoned piece of the pork shoulder. It is often used as a seasoning for a dish. Here I am using it as the meat component of this omelet. It adds a little spice without having to add any pepper or hot sauce.

Cajun Tasso Omelet with Smoked Cheddar Cheese

4 large Eggs

1/8 teaspoon Salt

1/8 teaspoon ground Black Pepper

3 tablespoons Butter

3/4 cup diced Tasso

3/4 cup grated Smoked Cheddar Cheese

In a small bowl, beat the eggs, salt, and pepper with a fork until blended. Melt the butter in an 8-inch skillet or omelette pan, then add the egg mixture and tasso, stirring briskly. Cook the eggs over low heat; lift the edges of the omelette and shake the pan several times during cooking to keep the eggs from sticking. when the eggs are almost set, fold in the cheese. Cook until the bottom forms a golden crust, then fold the omelette over and transfer it to a heated plate to serve.

Here is my Creole style omelet. Tomato is the ingredient that distinguishes the Creole style of cooking. Tomatoes are rarely found in Cajun cooking. In the early days, tomato products were readily available in New Orleans. In Cajun country, they were harder to get. The use of tomatoes makes is easy to see the difference between Creole and Cajun cooking.

Omelet a la Creole

Filling

2 tablespoons Olive Oil

1 cup Onions, finely chopped

1 cup Green Bell Peppers, finely chopped

1 tablespoon Garlic, minced

1 cup Tomatoes, chopped

1/4 cup Ham, finely chopped

Salt and Cayenne Pepper

Omelet

12 large Eggs, lightly beaten

4 tablespoons Water

Salt and freshly ground Black Pepper

4 tablespoons Butter

For the Filling

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onions, bell peppers, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, for 2 minutes, or until the vegetables are softened. Add the tomatoes and ham, season to taste with the salt and cayenne, and cook for about 1 minute. This will make enough filling for 4 omelets.

For each omelet

Combine 3 of the eggs, 1 tablespoon of the water, and salt and pepper to taste in a small mixing bowl. Melt 1 tablespoon of the butter in a 8 or 9-inch skillet, preferably nonstick. Over medium heat, add the egg mixture and shake the skillet to allow it to spread out evenly. Use a fork or chopsticks to pull the sides of the egg mixture into the center several times and tilt the pan to let the mixture run underneath and set. Cook until the bottom firms up and the omelet is slightly runny in the middle. Tilt the skillet slightly so that the omelet slides down the bottom curve. Spoon some of the filling on top of the egg mixture, then fold the omelet over the mixture. Cook for a few seconds to set the omelet. Slide out of the skillet onto a serving plate. Make 3 more omelets in the same way.

Omelets are not just for breakfast. You will often find them on brunch menus. They also make an excellent breakfast for dinner entree. Go to the store today. Buy a dozen of eggs and start crackin’.

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