Growing up, my dad cooked breakfast most mornings. There were the run of the mill mornings with toasted biscuit halves and jam, or a big bowl of grits, or Cheese toast and bacon, or the dreaded pancakes. And, there was the rare morning of the odd bowl of cereal…. but those were – like I said – rare. Most days he cooked… something.
Every so often he would make this frittata for breakfast – Eggs, cheese, and whatever meats he had on hand…. although to be fair, he didn’t call it a frittata – he called it an oven omelette. Regardless of the name, the process is pretty simple:
Greased Heavy Iron Skillet – check!
Pile o’eggs Beaten to a froth – check!
Grated Cheese – check!
Diced Meat – Check, Check, Check, check-y check!
whisk everything together, pour into a heated skillet and bake it until brown, crusty, golden and bubbly.
I can’t do it… never have been able to. The crust never forms right, or it’s too greasy, or the cheese falls through the mix and burns to the skillet, or 10,000 other problems with the frittata.
I know it shouldn’t bother me. I know I should keep right on trying until I master it – but the fear and pain of knowing it’s something I can’t accomplish is just more than I can bear…. really – It’s this huge unimaginable weight crushing my soul.
So, I just gave up.
After years of feeling bad for myself, sometime in the 90’s I came across a recipe for a Souffle Omelette in some in long forgotten industry magazine.
No, it wasn’t that frittata, but it was in reality just as easy as my dad made that omelette appear to be.
And it came to pass that I too could finally look cool to anyone I was making breakfast for.
Souffle Omelette with Mushrooms and Fontina
Serves 2 to 3 (4 if you’re having something else other than eggs.)
4 Large Eggs – Separated
1/4 Teaspoon Cream of Tartar
1 Tablespoon Water
1 Cup Sliced Mushrooms (pick your favorite, it doesn’t matter… except oyster – don’t use those)
1 Tablespoon Oil
1 Teaspoon Butter
1 Cup Grated Fontina Cheese (or less… I like me some cheese)
Salt and Pepper to taste (since “some people” take issue to the whole “to taste” wording…. start with 1/4 teaspoon and go from there)
Tools of the Trade:
Large Mixing Bowl
10″ Oven Safe Skillet
Butchers Paper or Tin Foil
Preheat the broiler on high. Add the egg whites, water and cream of tartar to a large bowl and whisk until they form STIFF peaks – set aside.
Saute the mushroom in oil until they are softened and lightly golden – Set Aside
Beat the yolk with salt until smooth, then gently fold the whites into the yolk mixture
Heat the skillet over medium heat with the butter – swirl the butter around to coat the bottom of the skillet evenly
pour the egg mixture into the skillet, place back on the heat and do not touch for 1 minute – the bottom of the omelette will just set and brown slightly.
Gently spoon the mushrooms onto the omelette and top with the cheese. Place the skillet under the broiler until the cheese is just melted and the top of the omelette is just set (it will jiggle just slightly when tapped – about 3 minutes)
Remove and slide the spatula under the edges to loosen the omelette from the pan and slide onto the readied paper or foil.
Using the foil, lift and fold the omelette over in half to close the omelette.
Cut into wedges and serve