Thursday, September 9, 2010

Double Take: Ham-and-Cheese Omelets, sort of

Say cheese! CHEEEEEESE! This omelet is all about the cheese. Due to my chronic non compliance with recipes, I almost switched cheeses. (I love pepper jack and cheddar so much.) My grocery run coincided with just leaving spin class so I wound up hungry at the store. The result: new cheese to try! This recipe called for Swiss and Havarti. I've learned that I don't hate swiss, I just don't like the waxy sort of swiss. I like the more soft, large holed (longer aged) Swiss with its smooth texture and light flavor. I don't remember having Havarti. Jonathan Beard said with age it could take on a hazelnut flavor but was otherwise smooth, buttery, and easy to melt. When I found Havarti on a super sale at the grocery (wahoo, around $3 / lb was a steal), I decided it was time to try it.

The USL recipe called for ham, 2 cheeses, green onions, and eggs. That's incomplete (for me). I like onions, bell peppers, and garlic (of course) in omelets. The recipe also was meant to serve several people so I took their notes as suggestions and went freelance from there.

Tab's Ham and Cheese Omelet


1 frying pan
1 spatula


1/3 c. chopped bell pepper
1/3 c. chopped sweet onion
2 cloves of garlic, minced
2 eggs
2 - 3 thin slices of ham (shredded or just ripped up by hand)
.5 oz Havarti cheese (shredded or just crumbled or torn by hand)
1.2 oz Swiss cheese (shredded or just crumbled or torn by hand)
2 tsp. butter (or reserved bacon grease)
salt (to taste)
pepper (to taste)
2-3 chives, chopped (optional)

How To:

1. Chop up the bell pepper, onion and garlic. Place 1 tsp of bacon grease (or butter, the bacon grease adds more flavor) in the pan and turn to medium heat.

2. Toss bell pepper, onion and garlic into the hot oil and cook 3-5 minutes until the onions start to get a touch of brown on them. Remove to a bowl.

3. While peppers, onions and garlic are cooking, beat eggs and add salt and pepper to taste. Make sure your cheese and ham and prepped and ready to go into the pan.

4. After removing peppers and onion mixture, add 1 tsp bacon grease to pan. Allow to melt, then add eggs. Let the eggs cover the full base of the pan. (Wiggle the pan around if necessary to let the eggs flow to cover the surface.) Let the eggs cook a 1-2 minutes.

5. Add cheeses, ham, and pepper and onions mixture. Continue cooking until the eggs start to pull away from the edges of the pan or start getting a body to them rather than a fluidic texture. When the eggs have a firm body, fold the omelet in half. The color should the light golden brown on both sides. If not, cook a little longer.

6. Remove from pan. Cut in half if its a bit big for your plate. Toss some chopped chives on top, if desired. Enjoy!

Rating: I liked it. I was really surprised at how well I liked Havarti and Swiss paired together. I thought I'd want more flavor but was pleased with this combination. If you like a little heat, a jalapeƱo pepper would be a good addition to the peppers and onion mixture. (I had thought about this earlier but in my gym famished state, I wanted more eating and less chopping. Pull out the pepper seeds if you are cautious about having too much heat and wear gloves when working with the pepper. If you have no gloves, try the old sandwich bag over the hand trick. You'll be glad later.) I'd make this again...especially if I found Havarti on sale.

Be sure to pop over to Fabulously Fun Food.

1 comment:

  1. I love your new plate! Quite chic!

    I'll definitely take your advice and try havarti with swiss!