Omelets for dummies

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Eggs are known as one of those bachelor/student foods that even people who don’t really cook can make, without incident, right? But for a long time I was not good at consistently making beautifully folded omelets. One side would scorch while the other was runny, or the filling would fall out … goofs that ended in a tasty mess, edible but not very photogenic.  But I’ve gotten my omelet routine down to a science now. My husband (Paleo Boy) is back on the wagon after a very un-Paleo, unhealthy end to the spring semester (I was off the wagon with him and am still falling off the back sometimes even now!). I made a spinach and prosciutto omelet for him a couple nights ago when he wanted a not-too-big, quick dinner. As I made the omelet I realized I had zero anxiety about runny eggs, spillage, and other mishaps. So I thought I’d share the creation process.

-I turned an 8″ frying pan on medium heat with a spray of olive oil, and when it was hot, tossed in about a quarter of a yellow onion, finely chopped. I added fresh ground pepper and a pinch of oregano.

-When the onions were cooked to translucent I added a big handful of baby spinach and allowed it to wilt down, stirring occasionally with the onions. I whipped two whole, free range, organic eggs together in a small bowl with a pinch of salt and another dash of black pepper while the spinach cooked.

-I tossed in two thin sheets of prosciutto, sliced into small pieces, and allowed them to simmer with the spinach and onions for a couple minutes. Prosciutto is already cooked, but this allowed the spinach to absorb the flavor of the meat and added a fine layer of fat from the prosciutto to the frying pan.

-Then I removed the cooked spinach, prosciutto and onion from the pan, set them aside on the corner of the cutting board, and turned the pan to medium low heat (about 4.5 out of 10). I added one more squirt of olive oil to the empty pan to make sure it was ready for the eggs.

-I poured the eggs into the frying pan and allowed them to cook without disturbance on low heat until the bottom was solid and the top almost so. Then I added the spinach/prosciutto mix to one side of the eggs and folded the other side over on top of the filling, pressing it down to form my omelet using a big spatula. One side of the omelet always seems to cook marginally faster than the other on my stove, so this works well.

-I flipped the now-formed omelet over in the pan one time and cooked it a bit longer to make sure all of the egg mix was well cooked, then plopped it onto a plate. Done!

In summary:
-Cook the filling first and add it back in later
-Use medium-low heat so the eggs can cook through without scorching.

This post probably gives away just how clumsy I am in the kitchen. I see master chefs at fancy brunch buffets whipping up omelets at scorching heat, tossing the ingredients and flipping the omelet right there in the pan with a flick of the wrist. White puffy hats off to them!

 

Halibut with Peach Salsa

This is a very mild but still tasty salsa that I made to go with fish. Marinating the fish in the salsa is not essential but gives the fish the flavor of the sauce. I might reduce the proportion of peaches to other ingredients in a future version of this recipe, or add a pepper with a little more kick, like habanero. I cooked the fish fillets late one night when doing a bunch of things in the kitchen, and then warmed one up the next day in a pan, chopping it into small sections. I let the sections cool to just-slightly-warmer-than-room-tempurature and ate them tossed over salad greens with the salsa flavoring the salad instead of dressing. Yum!

Using these portions I had easily four cups of leftover salsa even after making the fish. So half the salsa recipe or plan to make use of the leftover (as a sauce for chicken or pork, salad topping, a dip for chips or veggies, or frozen for later!).

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Peach Salsa
3 heaping cups chopped ripe peaches
1 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro leaves
1 red bell pepper, prepped, no seeds
2 medium-sized tomatoes
1/2 of a large red onion, prepped
1 clove garlic, peeled
3/4 tablespoon sea salt (more to taste)
1 jalapeño pepper, prepped, no seeds
Fresh ground black pepper to taste
Juice of 2 limes

Combine ingredients and run through a food processor until they form a rough puree. Makes a medium-sized bowl of salsa.

Halibut with Peach Salsa
About 2 cups of the peach salsa from above
2 6 oz. wild caught halibut fillets
1/2 tablespoon cooking oil of choice
Lime or lemon wedges to taste

Marinate the halibut fillets covered, for up to 24 hours in the refrigerator in enough peach salsa to submerge the fish (I used about a 1/2 cup for each fillet, in ziplock bags). Warm a lightly greased frying pan to medium heat. Remove the halibut fillets from the salsa marinade, scraped clean of any salsa. Dispose of the excess salsa used to marinate. Cook the halibut fillets for about 10 minutes on each side or until cooked through. Add a squeeze of lime or lemon juice to the pan if you like a more citrus-ey flavor to your fish. With about three minutes of cook time left, add a fresh portion of peach salsa (about 1/2 a cup per fillet) to the pan to warm it. Serve the fish and salsa together garnished with lime wedges if desired.