By Diane Watkins
Eggs are wonderfully nutritious foods. Now that doctors have decided its ok to eat them again, its time to revive the omelet.
You will need a heavy skillet with curved sides. A thin pan will not properly hold the heat and will tend to burn the omelet. An 6 inch skillet is a good size for a 2 egg omelet, an 8 inch skillet for 3 or 4 eggs. You will find that it will work best if you use your omelet skillet only for omelets.
If possible, clean the skillet by wiping it with a cloth. This will allow a thin layer of grease to remain on the skillet and season it to prevent sticking next time the skillet is used. Whenever possible avoid using detergents, they should not be necessary.
If the filling from your omelet should melt onto the skillet and stick, clean this with a sprinkle of salt and wipe with a paper towel.
Heat the skillet slowly so that the heat is evenly distributed. A heavy skillet will aid in heat distribution as well and retain the heat. Place the skillet onto a medium –medium low heat and allow to heat for 5 – 10 minutes until the skillet is hot enough to sizzle butter without browning it.
Making a Basic Omelet
Choose good quality, fresh eggs. The omelet will only be as good as your eggs. Break the eggs into a bowl, being careful to avoid getting any shell into the eggs. Beat the eggs with a fork just enough to combine the whites and yolks. Do not use a beater.
2 or 3 eggs
¼ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon water
1 teaspoon butter
desired filling ingredients
- Heat the pan slowly over medium heat for 5-10 minutes. Test the pan by dropping ½ teaspoon butter into the pan. If the butter sizzles immediately without browning, then the pan is ready. If the butter blackens, the pan is too hot. Remove the pan from the heat for a minute and wipe the burned butter out of the pan with a paper towel.
- When the pan is hot, stir the water, eggs, and salt together just enough to break the eggs and mix the whites and yolks.
- Place a teaspoon of butter into the pan. Hold the with your left hand and pour the eggs into the pan. (Reverse if you are left handed.) Continue to stir the eggs in the pan with your right hand, while tilting the pan with your left. This allows all of the moisture to run to the sides. You want to gently lift and push the eggs on the sides and allow the eggs to run under the set eggs, but don’t break up the eggs. Within a few seconds the eggs will be set and shiny. Stop stirring!
- Place your desired filling into the center of the omlet. Cook for minute. Flip half the omlet over onto the other half and slide the omelet onto a warm plate. If you cannot achieve flipping half the omlet, you can fold the omelet into thirds.
- The eggs should be eaten immediately while still moist and soft. If you need to hold the omelet while the rest of the family’s are cooked, place them onto a large heated ovenproof platter and put into a heated 250 degree oven. If you like your omelets dryer, place under the broiler for 30 seconds.
For a Fluffy Omelet
Separate 3 or 4 eggs. Beat the yolks with a tablespoon of milk and add ½ teaspoon of salt. Beat the whites until stiff, but not dry. Fold the whites into the yolks. Start the omelet in a hot buttered skillet, but finish it in a preheated oven at 400 degrees for 5-7 minutes. Serve immediately
Variations and Filling Ingredients
Chop 1 tablespoon each of fresh chives, parsley and chervil finely. Stir herbs into the eggs before cooking. Or use ½ teaspoon each of the dried variety, but add spark to the flavor by adding 2 tablespoons chopped fresh spinach leaves.
Cheese: Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons desired cheese into the center in step 4.
Ham: Add ¼ cup finely chopped ham with or without the cheese.
Country Omelet: Fill with finely chopped onion, green pepper, celery, and tomato with 2 tablespoons of meat (ham, salami, or sausage)
Just about anything you can imagine can be put into an omelet. Don’t add too much filling, put some on top if you want more. Enjoy!
Deviled Eggs are making a comeback, and it’s about time!
Now that the nutritionists are allowing that perhaps eggs are a good food after all, we are seeing deviled eggs making a comeback. This old time favorite southern treat is a perfect appetizer or side relish for your next party. Each egg half is one to two bites of savory finger food that is universally well liked and easy to make.
Deviled eggs are an excellent way to use up the older eggs before they reach their expiration date. A fresh egg will not peel well when boiled, but an older egg- one that has been in the refrigerator for a few days will peel perfectly under cold running water.
Cover the eggs with cold water and bring to a boil. When the boiling point is reached, turn the heat down to medium and simmer for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow to cool. You can hasten the cooling process by cracking the shells and running cold water over the eggs. Remove the shells under cold running water, rinse off any bits of shell or membrane that may cling to the egg and place on a paper towel to dry.
Traditionally, deviled eggs have been cut lengthwise into two halves, but consider cutting across the egg instead. Trim a thin slice from the end as needed so that it will sit upright without slithering around the dish making a small cup to hold the salad mixture.
Remove the yolks, then mix with other savory ingredients and mayonnaise or butter to moisten, and put back into the egg shells. It is convenient to mix all the ingredients in a plastic bag, then snip off the end of the bag and squirt the egg back into the shells. You can use a pastry tip to achieve a fancy presentation. Garnish with paprika, chopped parsley, or pimento cutouts.
In addition to the conventional egg and pickle mixture, consider stuffing your eggs with chicken, tuna, shrimp, or lobster salad for a new taste sensation and presentation. Here are a few recipes to get you started:
Traditional Southern Deviled Eggs
6 hard boiled eggs
1- 2 teaspoons mustard to taste
3 Tablespoons chopped dill or sweet pickle (I also like chopped olives)
1 teaspoon pickle juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise (or more if needed)
salt and pepper to taste
dash of paprika for garnish
Remove the yolks, mash, and mix with the other ingredients. Use only as much mayonnaise to make a moist and creamy yolk mixture. Stuff the yolk and garnish with a sprinkle of paprika. Chill and serve cold. The pickles can also be replaced with finely chopped green olives omitting the pickle juice.
Avocado Egg Salad
8 hard boiled eggs
1 small avocado
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon mustard (optional)
Hard boil the eggs. Halve eggs, remove and mash the yolk. Mash the avocado pulp through a sieve that has been rubbed with garlic. Mix lemon juice into the pulp to prevent browning and add to the egg yolks with the mustard if using. Mix well and use a piping bag to stuff into egg shells.
Chicken Salad Stuffed Eggs
8 hard boiled eggs
1 cup cooked chicken, finely chopped
¼ cup finely chopped celery
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 to ½ cup mayonnaise or miracle whip
pecan halves or slivered almonds for garnish
Remove the yolks from the egg cups and mash. Add the chicken, celery, salt and pepper and just enough mayonnaise to moisten and bind. Stuff into egg cups and garnish with a pecan half or slivered almonds.
6 hard boiled eggs
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped tarragon leaves
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped capers
1 teaspoon anchovy paste
1 teaspoon French mustard
1 ounce butter, softened
1 ounce caviar
- Mix tarragon and capers with mayonnaise. Set aside.
- Cut hardboiled eggs lengthwise and remove yolks.
- Press yolks through a sieve. Add anchovy paste, mustard and softened butter.
- Fill egg whites with mixture. Top with a dollop of the mayonnaise, then sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of caviar on top. Serve very cold.