9 September 2021
While there are still some nice veggies coming out of your garden and available at farmers’ markets, you might want to incorporate some into a dinner omelet. Add a side salad and this is a quick, nutritious, easy entree for a busy weeknight or a fun way to start the weekend.
An omelet is nothing more than whipped eggs fried in a skillet until firm and usually filled with vegetables, meat, cheese or some combination. Scrambled eggs are similar but are more curd like and are not folded. A frittata is started on top of the stove but finished in the oven. Omelets are generally prepared to serve a single individual while a frittata can be made larger and cut into slices to serve a group.
To cook a French omelette, the pan is shaken constantly during the cooking process until the eggs are just set. Then it is rolled into an oval and plated with the seam side down. It can be plain, filled, with or without cheese.
American omelets start out just like the French version except instead of shaking the pan, the edges of the cooked eggs are lifted with a spatula so the uncooked portion flows underneath. The filling is added and the finished product is folded in half rather than rolled. The advantage is that the diner can pick out the unfavorable vegetables more easily.
For a frittata you would precook your filling until almost done. Cook meats (bacon, sausage, etc.) first and then reserve the fat to saute vegetables. Return all the fillings (except cheese) to the pan and cover it with the egg mixture. Use an oven safe or cast iron pan. As the eggs begin to set, place it in a preheated 400 degree oven to finish. Top with cheese and chopped herbs.
Just remember that the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) warns against eating undercooked eggs due to the risk of salmonella. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) points out that the bacteria will remain in even a lightly cooked egg.
For the following recipe you can certainly substitute egg products you find in the dairy cooler or freezer and the vegetables adapted to preferences. Type of cheese is your option depending on what you like or what you have on hand. Suggestions include Swiss, cheddar, or colby jack.
3 Teaspoons of butter, margarine, or olive oil, divided
1/3 cup onion, chopped
1/3 cup bell pepper, chopped
½ cup sliced mushrooms
4 eggs, beaten
1 Tablespoon milk
1 Teaspoon of fresh basil, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
½ cup (2 ounces) cheese, shredded
Melt 1 teaspoon of butter (or add 1 teaspoon of olive oil) in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper and cook until just tender (about two or three minutes). Add mushrooms and cook for an additional 3 to 5 minutes or until the mushrooms are done. Salt and pepper to taste. Remove from the skillet but keep warm.
Whisk together eggs, milk, and salt and pepper to taste. Add the remaining butter or oil in the same skillet over medium heat. Add the egg mixture and cook until desired doneness.
Plate the cooked eggs, add the vegetable mixture to one half of the omelet. Add cheese or reserve it for the top. The eggs and mixture should be warm enough to melt the cheese. Fold over the remaining half of the eggs and add shredded cheese and top with basil.