Node your Breakfast
The below dish represents an upscale version of one of my preferred breakfasts. I call it an omelette though it has also been called a Spanish Omelette or a Frittata by guests,
I've yet to hear any Spanish complain about such a nameI've yet to hear any Spaniard other than Andromache01 (and a dubious Spaniard, princess loulou) complain about such a name. Update: I've found another recipe that uses a very similar technique, this one claims to be a Denver Omelette.
It's a large dish, easily feeding one person well or even two people if they feel like sharing (how romantic, perfect for a date that stays for breakfast). If needing to feed two very hungry people then adding toast will stretch it though it could end up being a bit of a dry meal and thus would benefit from being served with fruit juice or additional sauce (see below).
The tomato and spring onion give lovely bursts of red and green colour to break up the uniform orange of the eggs. With the onion, they give variation in flavour and prevent it from being bland. The overall impression is one of balance of flavour and colour with the main ingredients serving as a platform to showcase the optional ingredients listed later. Good quality produce is always an important factor in cooking but this dish is less forgiving than most as many ingredients are lightly cooked at best. If your herbs are very fresh then you might want to leave their addition until a little later, adding with the tomato and onion mix, this would keep more of their flavour.
Key steps in the cooking include the whisking of the eggs, the cream will allow the mixture to become a little thicker than eggs usually are and this should be exploited to create a frothy liquid with many bubbles on top. In cooking, the liquid portion of the egg will sink and set on the bottom of the pan whilst the bubbles set more slowly on top and create a light, fluffy texture that will be divine in your mouth.
The other key step is to oil the pan lightly, just pouring a spoonful of oil onto and around the pan and using a pastry brush to spread it thoroughly. This ensures a good coverage whilst using a minimum of oil. When cooking, use a very low flame (you are cooking with gas right?) to allow the heat to spread gradually through the dish. Covering the pan will prevent the top from being undercooked while the bottom is dry and burnt. It can be a little tricky to prevent the bottom from drying out before the top is cooked and the key is to cover quickly and not to lift too often as well as keeping a low flame, if necessary, a rescue could be attempted by quickly putting the pan under a grill for 30 seconds to finish the top off. This isn't really intended but would be preferable to allowing the bottom to become too dry.
Ingredients for one serving:
Herbs and spice: (a light sprinkle of each)
Sauce (fairly optional but nice)
- About two spoons of Hollandaise, enough to run across the centre of the cooked dish
Ok, the optional ingredients are really optional but that's what I use when I have them and they do carry the dish to new heights. It's still good with 'mere' smoked ham though. The sauce can be important to keep the dish from becoming too dry but if you use a little more cream or you are very careful with the cooking then you can do without. You can also do without if the tomatoes are very juicy or you're using seafood with their own juices.
Slice the onion into rings, dice the tomato, slice the spring onion and the garlic (I use a truffle slicer on the garlic to get super fine slices), put these to one side.
Slice or shave the truffle and set aside
Dice the cheese and set aside
Add the oil to your omelette pan and brush over the surface, put on the stove on a low heat
Use an electric whisk and whisk the eggs lightly then add the cream and whisk until frothy (there should be lots of bubbles, keep whisking until it looks like a milkshake)
Very gently pour the egg into the pan, moving quickly around the pan and being careful not to wash the oil off the surface, we need the oil coating to prevent the egg from sticking or burning
Keep the pan on a low heat and whirl the egg around a little to check that a thin layer has cooked at the bottom, once there is a thin layer cooked, place the diced cheese evenly over the egg (the cooked layer will prevent the heavy cheese cubes from sinking through to the pan and burning or sticking on the metal surface), sprinkle the herbs over the dish at this time also
Leave the cheese to melt slightly and use the time to reheat the precooked meat/seafood if required
When the cheese is just slightly melted, add the tomato, onion etc as well as the truffle
Cover the pan and leave for a minute, occasionally removing the lid briefly to release steam
Wait about two minutes then add the precooked meat/seafood
Using an egg lifter, loosen the sides of the omelette and slide out of the pan onto a plate. This should happen without breaking, though its an art
Add your sauce over the top, add pepper/salt to taste, fold the omelette almost in two to form a pocket then serve
The breakfast is well matched with Champagne leftover from the night before for the decadent or fruit juice and tea for the conventional.