Sunday – the last day of the weekend. A day of rest. A day of relaxation. A day to scramble like mad to make the most of the weekend before you’ve got to face the work week again in just a few short hours.
Everyone has a Sunday ritual of some sort. We not may follow it every Sunday, but if we were to take a sampling out of the year, we’d see a solid pattern at least. Do you get up at the crack of dawn and enjoy a cup of coffee while leisurely leafing through all ten pounds of the Sunday paper before anyone else is stirring? Or perhaps get everyone dressed up and head to Sunday services and then breakfast at the corner cafe? How about purposely not setting the alarm, and sleeping in until the kids and the pets have all stormed into the bedroom at least once demanding breakfast? Maybe it’s rolling over with a skull-splitting headache, your tongue dry and swelled like a tennis ball, and wondering who the heck that is laying next to you? (If this last one is indeed a ritual for you, I’m not sure a Primal cooking blog is quite the help you need…)
Here in our household, the ritual involves breakfast. Specifically, it involves omelettes and scrambles.
Like curry, omelette is a generic description for a dish made of beaten eggs cooked in a frying pan, with some sort of filling folded in. What you choose to use for that filling can be as varied as your tastes (or your supply of leftovers). The standby is a mix of some meat, cheese, and veggies – like the classic “Denver” with diced ham, onions, green peppers and some cheddar cheese – with variations including things like baked salmon and pesto, or spinach and sun-dried tomatoes. A scramble is just a messy version of an omelette – where the filling is mixed up rather than folded into the fried eggs.
What’s so tough about that? Nothing. So let’s get started. Today, we’ve got a basic veggie omelette, which we’ll serve with some simple link sausage on the side.
- Eggs – free-range or N3 enriched
- Shallots or green onions (these are from our CSA)
- Bell pepper (these little ones were close to turning, so we used them up)
- Tomato (also from the CSA share)
- Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
Start with the prep work. Chop or slice up the green onions (figure one good-sized stalk per person), mushrooms (one big one per person), peppers (a couple of these little ones or approx 1/4 of a full pepper per person), and tomato (1~2 cherry tomatoes per person, or 1/2 of this plum-sized one). Because I like to “cook to order” on Sunday morning, I’ll make up a separate prep bowl with each person’s ingredients. These bowls are 1 cup each – which works out to be just about right for veggies for a 3-egg omelette in my pan.
Start heating up your pan on medium-low. I’ve got a nice 11-inch square griddle I like to use for omelettes because it will let the eggs spread out thin (provided you grease it well) and keep them crepe-like. Once it starts to heat, melt some reserved pastured bacon grease (I keep a container in the fridge) or some pastured butter in the pan.
Crack two to three eggs in a small prep bowl and sprinkle a pinch of chopped cilantro or parsley over them. For the size of my pan, 2 eggs works better for scrambles unless I reduce the veggies a bit (for a smaller appetite). Three eggs is better suited to a full-sized omelette. You’ll see why in a little bit.
Beat them with a fork until the yolks are broken and they are well mixed (no big globs of whites left) and the herbs are well distributed. Now is when you must choose a path – omelette or scramble. Karen prefers scrambles, and since the cook (Casey in this case) eats last, you’re going to witness the scramble first.
Pour the eggs over the veggies on the pan (two in this case), then tip and turn the pan to get things to spread out a bit. Let them sit for a minute or so to start firming up, then start folding and chopping with the spatula to mix everything up and let the eggs cook until firm. You’ll end up with something like this:
The lower “egg to filling” ratio of the scramble makes a lot of things fall out, but we’re not necessarily about cooking for presentation around here anyway. It’s about good taste and healthy ingredients after all – not how pretty it looks with a sprig of mint and a lotus flower.
Serve it up with a side of sausage, some cheese sprinkled over the top (you can’t cook the cheese into the scramble with it burning on the skillet, and I hate burnt cheese), and perhaps some melon or fresh berries.
If you chose omelette, then I’d suggest you either decrease the stuffing quantity to about 2/3 cup max, or increase the egg count to 3. I do the latter for mine, because I like a bigger meal. Keep the veggies toward the center of the pan for the omelette, then spread the eggs out so they form a thin layer across the entire pan. You can see, compared to the scramble above, that the three eggs will actually spread out across the whole pan.
If you’re having cheese, spread it out on top of the veggies in the middle. The outer edges of the egg will cook faster because they are thinner and there isn’t as much other stuff stealing their heat. As soon as they start to firm up, fold the outer thirds over the center veggies and let it cook a minute or so longer to firm up the eggs in the middle.
You can see here that my omelette is a little brown on the outside – which means I had the pan a touch too hot and the eggs cooked too fast on the bottom before cooking through. With the heat just right, you’ll end up with a nice golden color all the way through. Transfer to a plate, sprinkle a little more cheese on top if you like, and add the rest of your breakfast along side. Enjoy!
As I mentioned above, omelettes and scrambles are a great way to use up some leftovers or clean out the fridge of things too good to throw out but too close to turning to be able to use them in another meal before they do. Part of our Sunday ritual also seems to be a trip to the grocery store for the week, so it gives us a chance to survey what we need to get as well. Some of the most interesting and surprisingly tasty combinations we’ve had started with the leftovers of a previous dinner.
- baked salmon, basil pesto, asparagus, and fresh Parmesan cheese (this one stands as my current favorite)
- baby spinach, sun-dried tomatoes, cherry tomatoes, and bacon (just don’t cook the spinach as long as the other stuff before you add the eggs)
- thin-sliced leftover steak with yellow onions, green peppers, and avocado slices (this one is really good with salsa on top)
- julienned zucchini and ground sausage with fresh rosemary and thyme
- use your imagination…
So experiment. That’s part of the fun of being a Primal cook. Let’s hear what you come up with in yours – and if you prefer the scramble, or the omelette.