In which the world of culinary hedonism is explored with a cup and a half of curiosity, a heaping tablespoon of passion and a dash of clumsiness.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Post 113 ~ The Optically-Optimal Omelet

Today I completed a goal I've been trying to reach for two decades. And I only set one (very small) kitchen fire.

It's been twenty years since I took Life & Careers class at the Orchard Park Middle School. That's the class that used to be called Home Ec, but has gone through many iterations, and when my child takes it someday, it will probably be called something else. But two pinnacle learning moments stand out in my mind from that class:

Here is my 6th or 7th grade
school photo, complete with
popular 90s "wispy" bangs
and braces. You're welcome.
1.) Using a fork to make the little criss-cross pattern on the tops of peanut butter cookies is one of life's singularly pleasing experiences.

2.) I cannot make an omelet to save my life.

I tried. I really did. Despite Mrs. Huen's careful guidance, I just could never get the spatula to gracefully glide along the pan and turn that golden full moon into a half moon of egg like the other kids could. I resolved myself to making other egg dishes - mostly scrambled, poached, or my other specialty: Eggs Over Violent (nothing is ever "easy" with eggs for me).

But today, for some reason, I decided I needed to make an omelet. Here's what I used:

  • 2 eggs scrambled with a splash of milk
  • One shredded brussel sprout
  • Half a tomato
  • Several thin onion slices
  • Butter
  • Garlic salt
  • Cheddar cheese
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Chives
In my smaller stick-free pan, I melted some butter and sauteed the veggies. When they were cooked, I slid them onto a plate, and into the pan went the scrambled egg.

Here's where things started out really, really good.

The egg gently cooked in the pan, and I rotated the pan around to get the liquid egg nicely spread around the edges. Mrs. Huen would be proud. When the liquid bit was concentrated just in the very center, I put my ingredients onto one half and topped it with shredded cheddar. Mmmmm... Melty cheese...

Wait! Focus! 

: : PAUSE : : 

In my defense, the spatula I've gotten in this semester's apartment is awful. It's curved up on the sides, and the other option is a small, blunt wooden spatula. I tried using both at once today.

: : UNPAUSE : :

I slid the wooden spatula around the edge, and it immediately started to shred. I pushed it and prodded it and instead of all of it flipping at once, just the outer edge flipped - kind of a 1/3 flip instead of a one half. Of course, the flipped edge immediately adhered to the melty cheese.

Don't panic. I grabbed the other spatula and slid it under and took the stubborn outer edge with my fingers to try to coax it over the rest of the way, burning my fingers in the process.

Then, I tilted the pan, hoping gravity would aid me. It did!

But about two inches of outer edge broke off of the omelet and flipped right on top of the electric burner.

Soooo much smoke. 

I scooped it off the burner with the spatula and let it smolder away while I tried rescuing the omelet. Because now, it was flipped beautifully, but there was a burst-open tear right across the top. 

So I flipped the entire thing over. The underside is a hot mess. Quite literally. But the top is beautiful, as you can see in the picture above. It was truly photo-worthy, especially after I slid it expertly (ha!) onto a plate and topped it with shredded mozzarella and chives.

The Accidental Chef today.
Well, a year and a half
ago. But close enough.
And it tasted DIVINE. 

And so, my little Life & Careers readers, we have two lessons to take away from this post today:

1.) Looks don't always matter - it's what's inside (melty cheese! sauteed veggies!) that's important and

2.) Don't believe every perfect photo you see in a cooking blog! And don't underestimate the hard work and struggle that might have gone into it.

But in the end, it was totally worth it. I've gained practice, and I think with the right utensils, I might actually master the omelet someday. In the mean time, I devoured this one with a hot cup of coffee, and am now ready to continue grading!

Yours in the love of good food, lessons and experience,

The blogger is not an experienced chef. She takes no responsibility for the quality of the meals prepared while following her advice. Use your own judgment regarding cooking times and proper food handling.