February 8, 2013

Cuban Omelet

I have always used ALTON BROWN as my go-to chef for basic instructions in the classics. In preparing the perfect OMELET, Alton was once again my guy.  Yesterday afternoon I made an amazing omelet based on all the  Latin flavors I have been craving. I lived about half of my life in Florida, some time in Key west, a bit in Tampa, and much of it on the south west coast.  Cuban influences are every where.  Besides the Cuban sandwich, I love black beans and rice.  What I love most about them is a chop of  tomato, red onion and fresh cilantro on top.  So my Omelet yesterday was just that.  I browned some chorizo leftover from making Chorizo Croquets. I added the beans to the sausage and heated it through.  Then the best part...I topped it with the lovely fresh vegetable and herb mixture. Craving satisfied. 
3 eggs
1/2 cup cooked ground chorizo sausage
1/2 cup black beans
1 Tbsp. chopped red onion
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh grape tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  1. Brown the sausage in a small saute pan.
  2. Add the beans and heat through.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare vegetables and cilantro and mix together, adding the salt to taste.
  4. Remove sausage and beans from pan to a small bowl.
  5. Wipe out the saute pan and prepare your omelet using the instructions below.
  6. Just before plating, put beans and sausage mixture on half of the omelet before holding over.
  7. Slide onto a plate and top with tomato mixture

Here is Alton Brows directions for the Perfect Omelet.

Beat the eggs: Soak 3 large eggs for 5 minutes in hot-not scalding-tap water. This will ensure that the omelet cooks faster, and the faster an omelet cooks, the more tender it's going to be. Crack the eggs into a small bowl or large bowl-shaped coffee mug. Season with a pinch of fine salt. Beat the eggs gently with a fork.

TIP: I prefer a fork to a whisk for omelets because I don't want to work air into the eggs: Air bubbles are insulators and can slow down cooking if you're not careful.

Heat the pan: Heat a 10-inch nonstick saute pan over medium to high heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Add 1 teaspoon room-temperature unsalted butter. Once melted, spread the butter around the pan with a basting brush to ensure coverage.

TIP: Heat your pan empty for a few minutes before adding the butter: Even a nonstick surface is pocked with microscopic pores that eggs can fill and grab hold of. Heat expands the metal, squeezing these openings shut.

Add the eggs: Pour the eggs into the center of the pan and stir vigorously with a silicone spatula for 5 seconds. (Actually, it's not so much a matter of stirring with the spatula as holding the spatula relatively still and moving the pan around to stir the eggs.)

Let them cook: As soon as curds begin to form (that's the stuff that looks like scrambled eggs), lift the pan and tilt it around until the excess liquid pours off the top of the curds and into the pan. Then use the spatula to shape the edge and make sure the omelet isn't sticking. Move the spatula around the edge of the egg mixture to help shape it into a round and loosen the edge. Then walk away. That's right-let that omelet sit unaccosted for 10 long seconds so it can develop a proper outer crust. Don't worry: Your patience will be rewarded.

Finish the omelet: Time for the "jiggle" step: Simply shake the pan gently to make sure the omelet is indeed free of the pan. Lift up the far edge of the pan and snap it back toward you. Then use the spatula to fold over the one-third facing you.

Change your grip on the pan handle from an overhand to an underhand and move to the plate, which you might want to lube with just a brief brushing of butter to make sure things don't bind up in transit. Slide the one-third farthest from you onto the plate and then ease the fold over. Imagine that you're making a tri-fold wallet out of eggs-because that's exactly what you're doing. And just ease the pan over. There, that wasn't so hard.

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