Sunday, September 23, 2012
I've been thinking about a Western omelet for a week now. Ham, veggies, eggs, what's not to like? Add some hash browns along the side and I'm a happy camper. Now, the obvious remedy to this craving would be to go out to brunch at one of the hundreds of places in town that serve Western omelets, but I think you've realized by now that this isn't the way this story ends. I'm picky about my omelets (okay, I'm picky about everything). I love cheese, but not so much that the eggs are swimming in grease, lots of veggies (pre-cooked, not crunchy), and nice chunks of ham. Don't even get me started on the mushy cubes of potato some diners try to pass off as hash browns.
To sate my craving, I started with the hash browns. I only accept grated potatoes as hash browns. You are entitled to your own opinion, but deep down in your heart, you know cubed hash browns are just roasted potatoes you are serving at breakfast. To make four servings of hash browns, I grated 3 medium Russet potatoes and sprinkled them with about 2 tsp of salt. After a few minutes of sitting, I spun them over and over again in my salad spinner until they had given up all of the moisture they could. Dry potatoes are the key to crispy browns and that is what I am after. I tossed the shredded potatoes with green onions and black pepper. I cooked the potatoes over medium high heat in two batches using about 2 tsp of butter per side. Be sure to start your browns cooking well before your omelets because I cooked mine for a total of 20 minutes to get a really nice, crispy crust.
While the browns were cooking, I sauteed green onion with red and green bell pepper. At the last minute, I tossed in cubes of ham steak to warm through. It took me forever to figure out how to make omelets. For years would give up half way through and make scrambled eggs with vegetables mixed in or, seeing the failure coming, just set out to make a frittata. The sticking point for me (sometimes literally) comes in trying to flip the omelet. So I don't. For each omelet, I whisked two (gorgeous, golden-yolked) eggs from Veronica's chickens with just a splash of milk and poured it into an 8" pan over medium. The result is a thin enough layer of egg that it will cook all the way through without you ever having to flip it. Once you get your eggs in the pan, let them sit for about a minute and a half without disturbing it. Give the pan a slight jiggle and keep cooking until there isn't much wobbling, raw egg left on top and then add in just a sprinkling (2-3 tbsp) of extra sharp cheddar cheese, a thin layer of veggies, and some ham. Remember that the egg layer is thin and fragile, so we don't want to add too much filling. Then realize you have an avocado that is about to go bad, ignore what you were just saying, and add in fat slices. Wonder why you don't have breakfast for dinner more often.