Create an Omelet Bar

It is so much fun to offer your guests a made to order omelet bar. It's easy once you know how.

omelet

THE SET-UP

You will need space for:

  • A sturdy, heatproof table (no smaller then card table size)
  • One or two stand alone electric cooktops
  • One or two 8-inch omelet pans or non-stick skillets
  • Mixing bowls and forks for beating the eggs. Two rubber spatulas or wooden forks for cooking
  • Paper towels for wiping out pans. Damp towel to wipe up spills
  • Bowls and spoons to hold filling items. Line up bowls on the table so guests can choose their favorites
  • Serving plates on or near the omelette bar




THE FILLINGS

Prepare as many or as few filling items as you wish. For each omelet, in total, add about 2-3 tablespoons of one or several fillings. Avoid over stuffing or adding too many moist ingredients. This will reduce the risk of the omelet tearing when you flip it out of the pan

Cheese: Shredded or crumbled Cheddar, jack, blue, feta, Parmesan

Vegetables: Finely chopped mushrooms, zucchini, broccoli, fresh spinach leaves, plum tomatoes, sweet pepper, hot pepper, shallots, green onion, red onion and garlic. For best flavor, vegetables should be seasoned and steamed or lightly sautéed in butter. If that's not possible, make sure they are finely diced or chopped. Season when placed on omelet, before folding

Seasonings: Salt, freshly ground black pepper, cayenne, chili powder, curry powder. Seasonings can be lightly beaten directly into the eggs or sprinkled over the other fillings

Herbs: Fresh, finely chopped chives, parsley, basil, cilantro, thyme, tarragon, Herbes de Provence. Herbs can be beaten directly into the eggs or scattered on top of the other fillings

Meats/Seafood: Crisply cooked bacon, fully cooked ham, prosciutto, browned and drained Italian or pork sausage, small cooked shrimp, crabmeat or lobster


Simple and delicious combinations:

Green chilies, white cheddar cheese, sliced green onion, cilantro, salsa

Bacon, Monterey Jack cheese, chopped plum tomatoes, chopped fresh basil

Sautéed zucchini, feta cheese, minced garlic, chopped chives, fresh chopped basil

Seared ham, chopped green pepper, sharp cheddar cheese

Chorizo sausage, chopped tomatoes, chopped shallots or green onions, shaved Manchego cheese, cilantro or parsley

Smoked sausage, tomatoes, green peppers, red onions, garlic, cheddar or American cheese

Chives, parsley, shallots or garlic, dollop of cream cheese



HOW TO MAKE AN OMELET

Here is the best example, I think, of how to make the perfect omelet. It is from none other than Jacques Pepin, the master of technique







Simple Omelette Recipe
Serves 1

As you know, there are different methods for making omelets. This method is probably the easiest and most foolproof
 
1 tablespoon butter
2-3 eggs, slightly beaten

Heat butter over high heat in an 8-inch omelet pan or non-stick skillet with sloped sides, just until the butter becomes fragrant and the foam subsides. Rotate the pan to coat the bottom and sides.

Quickly pour eggs into pan and let sit for 1-2 seconds. With a wooden fork or rubber spatula, gently draw the lightly cooked eggs toward the center of the pan. As you do so, rotate the pan to allow the liquid eggs to flow into the bare spots in the pan.

Watch out for thin spots, especially along the edges. Continue pulling the cooked egg and tilting the pan until there is only a little moist egg on top.

If using, add 2-3 tablespoons of fillings in a uniform line down the center of the omelet.

Tilt the pan and gently run fork under the cooked edges. If necessary, jerk pan sharply to loosen from the bottom. Fold one portion of the omelet towards the center and over the fillings. Turn into a plate, putting the unfolded edge on the plate first and then flipping the folded portion over so it is on the bottom.

Another method to remove the omelet is to tilt the pan away from you. Tap and slightly jerk the handle until (hopefully) the egg pancake folds onto itself. Turn out the omelet over the plate allowing the folded side to be on the bottom. This works best if you have little or no fillings.

Omelet should be lightly golden on the outside and moist on the inside

 

 

Tomato Omelet Recipe
Serves 2

This fresh tomato omelet recipe is made distinctive with the addition of flavored croutons.  Use 2 eggs, 1 tomato and about 1 tablespoon of croutons per serving.  Use cheese or garlic-flavored croutons  
 
4 eggs
3 tablespoons half & half
2 Roma tomatoes, thinly sliced
A little chopped chives or chopped fresh basil
3 tablespoons seasoned small croutons
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese for finishing

Beat the eggs with the half & half and season with salt and pepper. Lightly grease  a heavy frying-pan or omelet pan.  Pour in the mixture.  

As it begins to set, place the sliced tomatoes on top and sprinkle with the chives.

Season with salt and pepper and finally toss in the croutons. Fold the tomato omelet in half and serve as soon as possible.  Sprinkle with grated Parmesan.


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image of a cracked egg

Make Ahead Checklist

If using meat fillings, cook 1 day in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator. Warm briefly in the microwave, low setting

Lightly sauté vegetable fillings 1 day in advance. Keep covered in the refrigerator. Warm briefly in the microwave, low setting


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