Ham & Cheddar Cheese Omelette
So this is one of the first things I learnt how to cook and I already uploaded a recipe for it. However, I have since changed the technique and recipe so I feel the need to reupload it.
First off, the ingredients.
Eggs: Free-range organic is the way to go. Omega-3 enriched is second best (they feed the chickens that poop these eggs flax, I believe). Anything below this is for the cheapskates.
Cheese: A good quality sharp cheddar. Don’t know what good quality is? Well in North America, good quality cheese is the cheese you won’t find in the standard grocery isle. You have to go to the part of the grocery store that specializes in cheeses that has cheese-experts you can talk to about good quality cheese. Ask them what their most expensive cheese is, and if they say cheddar and point to a very orange cheddar or even suggest that the very orange cheddar is good quality, switch grocery stores immediately, and boycott that one for as long as you live in the area. (This actually happened to me once. Full story below.*) Cheddar cheese that’s overly orange is that colour because it has been dyed that way, and they dye it because back in the day a darker colour meant a stronger tasting cheddar. However, if the cheese is too orange then it’s obviously dyed and there’s no way to tell if it’s good quality or not, but it’s best to assume that they dyed it in order to make up for it’s shitty quality. Now if you just don’t like cheddar, any semi-firm cheese which is good for both grading and melting will do. And to all the clueless American mothers of 3 who only cook Italian-inspired dishes, no, “grated parmesan” or mozzarella will not work and have no place in this omelette, so don’t even try.
Ham: Here is the ingredient that I’m actually not too anal about. I use turkey black forest ham, but you can use any cold cuts or smoked meats that you believe would pair well with cheddar. As long as the meat is safe to eat as is when you use it in this dish (because we won’t be cooking it very much besides heating it), you can use it. I’ve done it with szalonna (Hungarian back bacon) before, and it tasted amazing. But since bacon upsets my stomach, I generally just use black forest ham.
Seasoning: Salt is the only important one, really. Kosher or sea salt, doesn’t matter. I like to garnish with parsley flakes and perhaps scallions too, but that’s about it. No pepper for this one, since it tends to dry out the mouth a little and ruin the rich, juicy mouth feel provided by this omelette.
As for cooking equipment, use a small nonstick or cast iron pan with a flat base. No curves. Curves may help with other omelettes that aren’t sealed, but for this one we’re going to be sealing in the filling so that you can neatly slide it onto a plate without the damn thing’s contents spilling out. You will also need a flat rubber spatula; something you can use to safely pick up an omelette and flip it without destroying it.
And now that that’s out of the way, the recipe:
Ingredients (makes 1 omelette)
25g sharp cheddar cheese (about 1/4 cup grated)
2 slices black forest ham (or any meat that doesn’t need to be cooked)
1/2 tbsp butter
1/4 tsp salt
parsley flakes for garnish
1. Grate the cheese and slice the ham into squares and set them aside.
2. Set a small frying pan on medium heat and melt your butter, tilting the pan making sure it’s completely covered.
3. While butter is melting, beat your eggs in a bowl with a pinch of salt using a fork, or a whisk if you want to clean a whisk and not just simply use the fork you used to beat your eggs to eat your omelette and save yourself the trouble of cleaning 2 utensils. You’ll want to beat the eggs long enough for the mixture to be relatively even.
4. Once butter has solidified a little bit in the sense that it stays relatively stationary when you tilt your pan, pour in your eggs, and shake the pan around so the mixture evens out.
5. Once the bottom of the omelette has started to solidify a little, drag the edges of the omelette slightly to the center with your spatula and tilt the pan so that the raw eggs on top of your cooked eggs fills this gap. Do this once around the entire omelette, then stop. Just once around is enough.
6. Wait about a minute, until you’re confident that the bottom is cooked enough so the omelette won’t rip when you try to flip it, then reduce the heat to low and add your ham and 2/3 of the grated cheese (ham first) onto one half of the omelette. Then, carefully fold the omelette with your spatula so that the empty side flips onto the side with your filling. Press down, making it as flat as possible and cutting off any of the raw egg that spills out of the omelette onto the frying pan trying to sabotage your presentation.
7. Sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top of the omelette, reduce heat to minimum, then cover the pan with a lid and wait about 5 minutes, or until the cheese on top has melted and the omelette is cooked through and sealed.
8. Slide the omelette onto a plate, garnish with parsley flakes and/or chopped scallions and enjoy with a cup of tea. Earl grey. Hot.
*Basically all that happened was I walked to the cheese section of a grocery store where the “cheese experts” were supposed to be and asked the lady who was there at the time what their most expensive cheese was, for no reason really. It was sort of out of instinct. Her response was “probably the cheddar…” and she proceeded to point to a cheap-looking, obviously dyed orange cheddar. I responded, visibly furious “That’s not real cheddar…” and stormed out of there, never returning to the store again.
The same place also previously let me sample a piece of Hungarian winter salami which tasted like shit, but I lied and said “MMMM I’M BUYING THIS NEXT TIME I COME IN HERE” and never did. That store clearly didn’t train their employees and had no standards when it came to, well, anything. On another occasion I asked one of the employees when he expects pomegranates to be coming in, and his response was, in a robotic, formal, clearly rehearsed manner: “I’m sorry, I am unable to answer that question.” Uh, why? Do you not know? Am I not supposed to know? Will you have to kill me if you tell me or something? I later heard the exact same line again, same wording from another worker when I asked him if the peanut butter I picked was good for luring mice. Clearly this sentence was the only thing they trained their employees to say. It was a test of patience, and that cheese incident was the last straw.
Fuck Loblaws. (´･ω･`)
Oh, and I almost forgot. Here’s the dish evolution: