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QUICK FIX

Eggs, Apples and Cheese

January 07, 1998|MAYI BRADY | SPECIAL TO THE TIMES

My husband thought the combination of ingredients in this omelet--apples and Cheddar cheese--was a bit strange the first time I made it. Then he tried it. Now it's one of his favorite meals, and I almost always have the ingredients in the fridge so I don't have to plan ahead to make it.

If you serve the omelet with a green salad and warmed rolls, it makes a nice light supper. If you pair it with a fruit salad, as I have here, it becomes brunch or lunch. Either way, it's tasty and very easy.

Menu (30 MINUTES OR LESS)

APPLE-CHEDDAR OMELET

FRUIT SALAD WITH HONEY AND BALSAMIC

APPLE-CHEDDAR OMELET

4 eggs

1 tablespoon water

1 tablespoon butter

1 small onion, chopped

1 tart apple, cored and chopped

1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

Salt and pepper

1/2 cup grated sharp Cheddar cheese

Whisk eggs and water until frothy. Set aside.

Melt butter in 10-inch skillet over medium heat. Add onion and apple and cook until onion softens, about 5 minutes. Season with cinnamon and salt and pepper to taste. Pour into bowl and set aside.

Return pan to medium heat and pour in beaten eggs. As eggs begin to set, gently lift edges and tilt pan to let uncooked eggs run underneath.

While eggs are still quite moist, after 1 to 2 minutes, top with apple-onion mixture and grated cheese. Cook until eggs are set but not dry, 1 to 2 more minutes. Slide omelet onto plate, folding 1 half over other.

2 servings. Each serving:

366 calories; 508 mg sodium; 470 mg cholesterol; 25 grams fat; 15 grams carbohydrates; 20 grams protein; 0.58 gram fiber.

FRUIT SALAD WITH HONEY AND BALSAMIC

1 orange, peeled and sectioned

1/2 cantaloupe, peeled and cut into chunks

1/2 honeydew melon, peeled and cut into chunks

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon Sherry vinegar

Combine orange, cantaloupe and honeydew in bowl. Set aside.

Mix honey, balsamic and sherry vinegars in small bowl and pour over fruit.

2 servings. Each serving:

174 calories; 30 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 1 gram fat; 44 grams carbohydrates; 3 grams protein; 1.78 grams fiber.

INGREDIENTS

STAPLES:

Apple

Butter

Cheddar cheese

Cinnamon

Eggs

Honey

Onion

Orange

Pepper

Salt

Balsamic vinegar

Sherry vinegar

SHOPPING LIST:

1/2 cantaloupe

1/2 honeydew melon

COUNTDOWN:

20 minutes before: Peel and section orange. Peel and cut up cantaloupe and honeydew melon. Refrigerate.

15 minutes before: Make dressing for fruit. Chop onion. Grate cheese.

10 minutes before: Beat eggs. Chop apple. Melt butter in skillet and add apple and onion.

5 minutes before: Add eggs and finish omelet.

Just before serving: Pour dressing over fruit.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Cook's Tips

Even faster than the omelet technique in the recipe below is Julia Child's 20-second omelet. Here are her tips from "The Way to Cook" (Knopf, 1989).

*Be sure to use a heavy-duty aluminum pan with a nonstick interior.

*Use 2 or no more than 3 eggs for the 20-second omelet to ensure that the eggs are soft and tender inside and that the omelet is cooked.

The technique:

(1) Pour 2 eggs beaten with a teaspoon of water and salt and pepper to taste into the middle of a hot pan with 1 to 1 1/2 tablespoons melted butter that is just beginning to color.

(2) Shake and swirl the pan by its handle to distribute eggs over the surface of the pan.

(3) Begin jerking the pan toward you with straight rough pulls on the handle in order to throw the egg mass against the far edge of the pan. Do not toss the omelet. Keep jerking the pan, gradually tilting the far edge of the pan over the heat as the omelet begins to roll on itself.

(4) Push any stray egg into the mass of the omelet with a spatula if necessary.

(5) When the omelet is nicely formed at the far edge of the pan, bang on the handle close to the near edge with your fist so the omelet begins to curl at its far edge.

(6) Turn the omelet from the pan onto the plate, then shore up the edges with a spatula for a neat presentation.

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