Tuesday 22 May 2012

Puffy Omelette with Cheddar and Chives

When thinking about cooking on a budget, I find myself harking back to recipes I learned in college or as a young bride.  I’ve learned a lot since those days (I’m certainly a more accomplished cook than I was then) but, when I’m faced with a challenge that requires frugal living it’s those early dishes that come to mind. The lessons we learn about thrift as young adults are usually hard-earned, and they tend to stay with us for life.  In middle age I find that my mind often travels along those long-familiar paths, and I find reassurance in revisiting skills I know to be useful.

This recipe dates back to my first years out on my own, while I was in secretarial school:

I had only three eggs in the fridge, a few carrots, some onions, and no money in my bank account with which to buy more food.  Supper was looming large on my mind.  What could I make for two people with so little on hand?

A school chum came to the rescue, teaching me how to make those three eggs into a beautiful, puffy omelette; turning almost nothing into really something.  Paired with a salad of shredded carrot and onion, we felt like we were dining at the Ritz!

I haven’t seen my school chum since we finished the course but I think of her every time I make this dish.  It has become a staple at our house and I remain grateful to her for her kindness in sharing it.  It’s delicious whether made just with eggs, salt, and pepper, or with whatever amendments we happen to have on hand.

Yesterday I made a puffy omelette for supper, flavoured with cheddar cheese and chives.  It was a pretty dish, inexpensive to make, and perfect for our Meatless Monday meal.

I made an omelette for two.  If you’re feeding more than two people, increase the number of eggs by two for each additional serving.  Up to six eggs may be used in a single, large pan but if you are using more than that, I’d recommend making two omelettes, in two separate pans.

To make a Puffy Omelette with Cheese and Chives, you’ll need:

  • 4 eggs
  • 1 to 1-1/2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • A little butter or oil for the pan
  • Salt, pepper, and/or whatever other seasonings you care to add

Begin by separating the eggs. 

Put the yolks into a medium-sized bowl and beat them.  Add in the cheese and chives and stir so that the yolks coat them.  It will not look like enough liquid, but it is.  Don’t add more.

Whip the egg whites until they’re very stiff.

Take about 1/3 of the egg white and fold it into the egg yolk, cheese, and chive mixture.  Try to be gentle, and to avoid collapsing the whites any more than you have to.  It’s okay if a few streaks of unincorporated white remain.

Fold the mixture with the egg yolks in it into the remaining egg whites, again retaining as much volume as possible.

Place a 10-inch non-stick pan on medium heat.  (If the pan’s handle is not oven safe, you should wrap it in foil.)  Turn on your broiler.

When the pan is hot, melt in a little butter or add a small amount of oil.  Turn the pan so that the butter or oil coat the bottom and sides of the pan.

Turn the omelette mixture into the pan, spread it out into an even layer, and season it.  Leave it on the heat just until the bottom of the omelette is set.

Transfer the omelette to under the broiler, keeping it some distance from the flame or broiler element.  I place mine on the middle rack in my oven.)  Allow it to brown (Watch it carefully!) then turn off the broiler and leave the omelette in the oven’s residual heat until the middle dries and sets.

To serve the omelette, you can either fold it in half and then serve one half of the folded omelette to each person or you can do as I do, cutting the omelette into quarters and stacking two quarters on top of each other on each plate. 

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Jan Messali said...

Whipping the egg whites...Now I know how the restaurants get their omelets so fluffy. Great to know. Thanks!

Aunt B said...

Thank you for stopping by to check out the recipe Jan. :)

Six Sisters said...

YUMMMM. Omelets are so good, and this one looks absolutely fabulous. We're definitely going to make these for breakfast asap! :) Thanks for sharing your ideas on "Strut Your Stuff Saturday!" We'll see you next week! -The Sisters

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like the recipe. :) Thank you for hosting. I appreciate the opportunity to share it.

April J Harris said...

What a wonderful recipe - I love how gorgeously fluffy your omelette is! I like the idea of serving it with a carrot and onion salad too. Thank you for sharing this very special, yet very frugal, recipe!

Aunt B said...

Thank you April, that's a really compliment coming from such an accomplished cook as yourself. :) Thank you for hosting again. I always enjoy the links I find at the Gallery of Favorites.

With A Blast said...

Looks absolutely delicious ! I have full confidence this recipe will out-do my hubby's - he doesn't know about whipping the egg whites ..
Thanks for sharing

Aunt B said...

lol Linda! I don't want to cause any domestic disputes. ;) Thank you for stopping by to check out the recipe.

Mary Hudak-Collins livingthescripture.com said...

Aunt B, that right there would go so well with my coffee this morning! We don't get to enjoy eggs too much anymore with my daughter's allergy, but omelets have always been a favorite with my husband and son. It really didn't matter what I added to them, they always consumed it. I don't believe that I have ever added chives to one though. I have several pots of fresh chives going at all times throughout the summer and add it to almost everything...just never eggs. I will have to try that the next time I whip one up ☺ Thank you for sharing!

Aunt B said...

It can be challenging to accommodate allergies, can't it? I couldn't eat milk products for several years and missed them terribly. I know I'd sure miss eggs! They form a big part of our diet!

I'm glad you like the recipe, Mary. Thank you for stopping by to check it out.

Alea Milham said...

Your omelette is gorgeous! Isn't it amazing how recipes always remind us of the person who first shared it with us? I find that I have started thinking of online friends when I use their tips and recipes. :)

Unknown said...

This is perfect, can't wait to try this! And I love that I'll be able to make enough for everyone in one pan! Pinning! Thanks for sharing.

Aunt B said...

It is amazing, and one of my favourite things about cooking. :) I'm glad you like the recipe Alea. Thanks for hosting.

Aunt B said...

Thank you Joan. :) I'm glad you like the recipe. Thank you for pinning it forward.

Printabelle said...

You have wonderful egg recipes, I will definitely be trying this! I've been married more than two decades and we're still on a tight budget, lol! Thanks so much for linking up and I was happy to feature you!

Aunt B said...

Thank you. :) We're three decades in and still on a tight budget too. That's why we eat so many eggs! I'm glad you like the recipe. Thanks again for hosting.

Diane Balch said...

I love eggs as a meal they are economical and so nutritious. I would love if you could share this on my foodie friday party today.

Aunt B said...

Thank you Diane. :) I'll be delighted to join in. I'll be linking up later today.

Unknown said...

MMMM...This looks wonderful! Thank you for sharing on Thursday's Treasures Week 36. I hope you will join again each week. <3 and hugs! http://www.recipesformyboys.com/2012/05/thursdays-treasures-week-36.html

Aunt B said...

Thank you for hosting, Debi. I appreciate the opportunity to share my recipe.

I've been enjoying your FB posts very much.

Alesha @ Full Time Mama said...

You know, I've never thought about whipping the whites to make it fluffier... We just always add milk! This a great idea, esp when we have no milk on hand!
Thanks for another great recipe!

Aunt B said...

I'm glad you like the recipe. Thanks again for hosting. It's fun to participate.