I am not a vegetarian. However, I can certainly appreciate a meal every now and then that doesn’t contain actual meat. When I lived on Busch Campus my sophomore year, I had class at 9 am on a different campus. This meant going to the dining hall and grabbing some breakfast before hopping on the bus. Day after day, I’d watch the cooks at the “Create-your-own” omelette station. The process didn’t seem that difficult and everything was cooked in one pan anyway.
Omelettes can be a real confidence booster for those of you who don’t usually cook. The process is one of the easiest to follow and you’ll get some experience controlling the heat of your pan as well.
- 2 Eggs, beaten
- 2-3 Mushrooms
- Green/Red Peppers
- A few slices of shallot or onion (optional)
- 1 Slice of American Cheese
- Parmesan Cheese
- Garlic Powder
- Black Pepper
I honestly dislike adding any salt to my food…but it’s proven that a little bit of salt will wake up your palate. Meaning…you’ll be able to taste the true flavors of your food better. In the professional culinary world, the “mandatory” ingredients are always salt and pepper.
STEP ONE: VEGGIES
After everything’s been sliced up, throw it into a small frying pan. You absolutely must use a small frying pan because this is going to be what shapes your omelette. Add a few dashes of garlic powder for flavor, a tiny pinch of salt, and some black pepper if you want. AGAIN – WITH SPICES, IF YOU’RE UNSURE OF HOW MUCH TO ADD, PLAY IT SAFE AND ADD LESS.
- Saute this for a bit on medium / medium-high heat until the mushrooms shrink a little and everything begins to brown.
- In this demo, I actually let it brown too much at first….which is why it looks burnt in one of the pictures. (Learn from these mistakes)
STEP TWO: EGGS
Now you can add your beaten eggs right into the pan. Make sure there’s still a bit of oil in your pan with the veggies. If there isn’t, add a little bit more and wait a few seconds for it to heat up before adding the egg.
During this step, your goal is to focus on the perimeter of the omelette. Pick up your pan and tilt it in different directions to fill in parts of the edge that are already cooked. This speeds up the cooking process but also ensures consistency.
Most likely, you’ll have a few air bubbles like I do here, use your spatula to pop these if possible. Otherwise the bubbles will just pop later and your final product might look like swiss cheese.
STEP THREE: FLIP!!!!
Learning to have complete control over your pan will take time. It can also become an extremely messy process but once you master it, you can elevate your cooking game to an entirely different level. Using the tip your spatula, go around the entire edge of the omelette, getting under it just enough to make sure the sides aren’t sticking.
If you don’t want to learn how to flip right this moment, you can keep it on one side but continue distributing the runny, uncooked egg in the center.
Here’s a quick and simple video outlining the basics of flipping eggs.
- One quick note about flipping an omelette. It doesn’t need to be completely cooked in the center before you flip your omelette.
Toss on your American cheese. I rip it in half so that it’s spread out more evenly. Keep in mind, we’re going to fold one side of the omelette over.
STEP FOUR: THE FOLD
You don’t need to wait for the American cheese to melt before folding. All the heat from the egg will take care of that for you. If you’re right handed like me, pick up the frying pan with your left hand and tilt it towards the right. With your spatula, get under the omelette about half way. Fold the omelette in half with your spatula hand doing most of the work. Your left hand should balance the pan and aid in making the fold clean.
Shred some parmesan cheese on top and add some black pepper.
You can honestly turn off the heat at this point if you have a lid for your pan. Cover, and the carry-over heat from the pan will melt the cheese for you. Once it’s melted, slice up a grape tomato or two and place it on top. Not only does this make your omelette look a little more aesthetically appealing, it also adds a bite of freshness to something that might feel greasy and heavy to some people.
Although I can cook, I’m not much of a baker. Picked these up from Shop Rite and popped it in the toaster oven for about two minutes. Keep your eye on it, they can burn easily and you only need to caramelize the sugar on the top a bit.
Part of why I love watching the seasons change is because all produce and fruit have their prime seasons. As the weather gets warmer, fruit like peaches and nectarines begin getting sweeter. Slice some up and add it to your pastry to add a little freshness.
AND BINGO! You have just created a nice and simple brunch that will give you the energy to enjoy your day. All without any meat!