Fajita Omelet

21 Feb

Dear Jess,

Remember when you were in high school and thought it was funny to say “Teflon” whenever anyone insulted you?  As I recall, it was like a shorthand way of saying “I’m rubber and your glue so whatever you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.”  Teflon: nonstick.  I don’t own any teflon pans because I always forget and scrub them with the steel wool and then the teflon gets all flaky and gives my dinner guests cancer, which isn’t cool.  But yesterday I wished I had one because they really do make the best omelets.  But you know what?  With enough olive oil, cast iron works almost just as well!


So, this is neither original nor creative, but it is delicious so just in case there is some reader out there who has never had this thought, here is my recipe for Fajita Omlettes.

Step 1: Make fajitas for dinner.  Stir fry onions, garlic, bell peppers, and whatever else you like (jalapenos, zucchini, frozen corn…).  Season the veggies with a combination of something like cumin (2T), cayanne (4t), ancho or chili powder (3t), and, if you are lucky and have some, aleppo pepper (1T).  Also salt at the end (to taste).  Heat some frozen corn tortillas.  Put the stir fried veggies into the tortillas.  The end.

Step 2: Put leftover fajita veggies/meat into a Tupperware and forget about it for a few days.

Step 3: Wake up really hungry and/or hung over and wonder what in the name of all that is good a person can even find to eat in this house.  Realize that you have eggs, but think to yourself that you don’t really want eggs, and anyway you don’t have any bread for toast and what are eggs without toast.  Continue to rummage around in the fridge half-heartedly, feeling defeated and groggy.  Stumble upon the Tupperware and wonder what is in there.  Realize that it is full of fajita veggies!  Fill with hope.

Step 4: Heat a frying pan approximately the size of the omelet you wish to make to a medium-low heat (*For the science of low-heat egg cookery, see the bottom of this post).
If your pan is teflon, add a small amount of butter.  If it is cast iron, add one-two tablespoons of butter (**Why do eggs like fat?  Why do cast irons love fat even more?  See the bottom of this post for answers).
While the fat is heating in the pan, scramble two eggs with a dash (read Tablespoon) of milk and a pinch of salt and pepper (1/4 teaspoon each).  Grate cheese (cheddar, jack … probably even mozarella would be good).

Step 5: You will notice that the pan is heated when the butter is just bubbling, or so when the oil (if you decided not to use butter for some reason) moves rapidly around in the pan when you tilt it.  You will add the eggs now, allowing them to fill to the perimeter of the pan.  Sprinkle the cheese over the egg.

Step 6: Once the egg has started to cook on the bottom, spread the fajita veggies onto the half of the omelet that looks more cooked than the other (this is assuming that your stove, like mine, tilts for some reason and so everything cooks unevenly).  With a spatula, lift the omelet a little and let the runny egg on top spill underneath to allow it to cook faster.  Keep doing this lifting and spilling thing until most of the runny top is under the omelet.

Step 7: As soon as it looks like all the egg has cooked, use the spatula to flop the veggie-less omelet half over top of the veggie-full half.  You might want to try and squish the last remaining runny egg part out of the omelet at this point by pressing down on top with your spatula.

Step 8: Make yourself a second cup of coffee to enjoy with your omelet.

Step 9: Take the omelet out of the pan and put it on a plate. Good luck with this part.  Mine did not hold together all that well.  Maybe if you turn it out or slide it out of the pan that would work better than trying to lift it with your spatula?  Let me know if any of you have a better technique.

Step 10: Wish that you had toast to eat with your omelet.  Then take a bite and realize it doesn’t matter.  Best breakfast ever.

* Scrambled eggs, and therefore omelets, should always be cooked on medium-low heat.  When you cook eggs on high heat, the curds cook too fast and become rubbery.  To allow the eggs to form those creamy, even curds scrambled egg-lovers long for, cook on a heat just below medium and move them around with a spatula to help them cook on all sides.  Because you don’t stir the omelet in the pan, cooking them requires a slightly higher temperature than a scramble to cook all the way through.  Still, a high heat will overcook the eggs – or worse, burn them!

**Why do eggs, and cast-iron pans, love butter so much?  First of all, who can blame anyone for loving butter?  More importantly, cast-iron pans require fat, and specifically cooked fat, to keep them “seasoned.”  Eggs love fat too for kind of the same reason.  The fat keeps the eggs from setting too quickly and adds moisture so things don’t get too flaky or crusty or any of those gnarly things.  So, even if you’re using a non-stick pan, still use some butter or oil.  Your eggs will thank you.


2 Responses to “Fajita Omelet”

  1. Jess February 22, 2011 at 3:48 pm #

    Mmm… this sounds delicious! Another note on fat and eggs, if you have it or have the time to make it, clarified butter is even better for cooking eggs. Then you can cook them at a higher temperature without worrying about rubberiness or burnt eggs.

    • Robin February 22, 2011 at 10:56 pm #

      Love the description of searching the fridge for edibles. And the aleppo pepper. We now have a small hand-held grinder (originally for flax seed) filled with a mixture of cumin and coriander seeds, so that a fresh-ground mixture can easily be added to things. This recipe would be a candidate. num!

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