The Versatile Omelet

I almost never order an omelet in a restaurant. Too big, too fluffy (often watery), not browned properly and worst of all, cooked in rancid frankenoils. You can really taste it unless, of course, you get one of those kitchen sink omelets loaded with so many ingredients you can't properly taste any of them.

Oh, and don't forget the plastic cheese that even some upscale restaurants use. When I make omelets I generally stick with one ingredient. Often that's onion. Sometimes bacon. Rarely cheese. When I do onion it's what I call a "burnt onion omelet." Slice 'em thin and then let them sit in butter until nice and toasted brown/black, them pour in the egg & finish it off.

Another version is a simple brown butter omelet. Simply let your butter (lots) sit in the pan on low until the milk solids get really brown, then finish off your eggs.

That's what this one was, accompanied by bacon (click for the hi-res version).

Brown Butter Omelet
Brown Butter Omelet

I believe this one was one of my rare late evening snacks. Used to do that a lot, but hardly ever do I eat anything after my dinner meal anymore.

Comments

  1. anonymous chris says:

    What’s your take on oxidized fats? Aren’t some paleo-folk concerned about high heating fat. Don Matesz had a few really good postings on the subject, but I’m having trouble relocating them. Seems the sous vide method that you champion is optimal.

    • I’m not high heating the fat. I never do that except occasionally with coconut oil in a wok, but for a brief time. In order to get the effect I’m taking about I use low heat — lowest setting in fact — it just takes longer.

      On the other hand, we evolved eating meats grilled on the fire and in manny cases right in the fire, so the fat on the meat is definitely getting very high heat.

      So, I’m not sure what to make of it all.

      • anonymous chris says:

        That’s what I believed as well: that we evolved roasting meats/fats. But Matesz had an article somewhere where he argued that paleo-man would have preferred indirect heating, much like slow-smoking a pig underground. (Anyone familiar with the article? In fact I believe he posted the article on another blog.)

  2. anonymous chris says:
  3. Hey anonymous chris, he talks about this here: http://www.thehealthycookingcoach.com/2010/04/grilling-is-it-safe-is-it-risky-one-of-my-friends-who-lives-in-the-pacific-northwest-emailed-me-last-week-to-ask-if-i-kne.html

    I confess, I haven’t been able to form a clear opinion on the issue either. Appears to boil down to how often indigenous groups tend to throw their meat directly into the fire, and if so, do they eat the charred or extremely well-done portions? I even think throwing meat directly into a fire may be safer than grilling if the outer charred portions aren’t eaten, since it doesn’t result in a vapor of organic compounds that gets lodged into the meat. It would be analagous to grilling a steak to well-done and then peeling off the charred layer. Drip pans, indirect grilling, and not grilling to well-done probably reduce this effect greatly. I used a combo of these techniques with a short period over the direct flame to get a little “finish” on the meat. And I never grill to anything beyond medium.

    Richard, I think the reason that many omelettes in restaurants are so fluffy is that they use a significant amount of flour. Sort of like a very eggy pancake. Not cool. Boy, do I agree on the rest as well… I can really taste it now when restaurant food has been fried in rancid PUFAs. I never noticed it before going paleo.

  4. Emily Deans MD says:

    My basic motto is – if you don’t like the grass fed meat, you haven’t cooked it in enough pastured butter. As a native Texan – is sauce is needed in lieu of a rub, it’s been cooked at too high a heat.

  5. Had omelette for breakfast today. Grilled some bacon (think that you Americans call this broiling), fried some mushrooms in olive oil. Chopped bacon into small bits and added to pan, mixed some eggs and put in pan on low heat. No flour – why would you do that to eggs? pushed cooked parts around to let liquid to edge of pan and after a few minutes had a great meal. Perfect paleo breakfast – not sure about the olive oil but I think that even that is ok. My kids had the same and but SWMBO who does not believe my paleo research had porridge oats and was hungry two hours later…….

  6. Had a party for my 31st birthday last night and had too many Norcal Margaritas. Wanted to make some eggs/bacon this morning but the thought of standing up and cooking was giving me the shakes. So after some recovery time this morning we’re making a bacon, spinach, and egg quiche for dinner. Also gonna annihilate some pork steak left overs from yesterday.

    Having Tequila after not drinking for nearly three months wasn’t the BEST choice to make. But hey, birthday’s are only once a year, right?

    • I exchanged a coupla emails with Robb last week about NorCals. I actually came up with that a lot earlier from when I heard about it. But lately I’ve been using coconut water instead of club soda. He told me he’s done similar and including mojitos, with mint & lime. Anyway, BBQ party today and paleo mojitos were in force.

  7. Does it really matter whether our ancestors ate charred meat or not?

    We have evolved to consume some Advanced Glycation End-products along with meat, but it doesn’t mean it couldn’t be deleterious in the long run. There’s not much evolutionary pressure to keep us from getting cancer after we reach our 60’s.

    Having read various papers on AGE consumption, I’m no longer as fearful of them as I used to be, but I wouldn’t consume an excess of them either, just because Grok did back in the day.

    – JLL

  8. Richard,

    Good choice on not getting omelettes in a restaurant. Back in April I was out of town and was eating breakfast multiple mornings in an IHOP. I noticed the first day there that I had weird sweats and stomach upset within 30 minutes of eating breakfast. I didn’t think anything of it since I knew all I had eaten was an omelette and some extra bacon.

    The next day I had eaten breakfast at the same IHOP and was just starting to feel sick again when the waitress asked how I liked my food. I told her it was okay, and she seemed shocked. Her response: “Most people rave about the omelettes…they’re so light and fluffy because we put a scoop of pancake batter in them. Since you asked for two extra eggs in yours I think it had two scoops!”

    Wow, that’s just awesome, isn’t it? It is my ultimate proof that you can’t trust the quality of food in 99% of the restaurants out there. I asked for eggs, bacon, and ham and they just threw in a couple of pancakes into my food! Nothing against IHOP, they’re catering to the common eater, but come on!

    • Shocking, Bill. Never had any idea they do that in some places. I just always assumed the fluffiness came from adding a bit of water to the eggs, which is the standard way, but I never do. Some people add a little milk.

  9. Chuck O says:

    Outstanding looking omelette Richard! Just wondering your take on the whole egg delema that has been going down. I came acrossed this site today http://www.cornucopia.org/organic-egg-scorecard/
    Kind of nice to see where i get my eggs when i can’t get them from my local farmer.
    I like my Omelette cooked in the bacon fat!

  10. A beautiful high res pic of your egg and bacon “snack.” 25 points for plating design! :-) It looks like a big happy sun-god to me.

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