For more than 50 years I’ve cooked omelets–and nothing else–from the original 8-inch French Chef Omelet Pan, designed by the Boston Pot Shop for Julia Child in 1962. My copy of her famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking, dated 1963, devotes more than five pages to how to make omelets and what to cook them in. I mastered omelets, and for many years they were our standard Sunday night supper.
As empty-nesters, Lev and I ate at home less and less often; but since his death–and especially since I began to take care of my own health–I have enjoyed experimenting in the kitchen.
Now I cook eggs–often omelets–for breakfast every day, and one day I accidentally set my emptied pan back over low heat before leaving the kitchen. The smell of burning wood alerted me several hours later. My well-seasoned pan, which had never seen soap and water, has never fully recovered.
Meanwhile, I simply had to have the perfect omelet pan in my Nantucket kitchen. I ordered the Calphalon Contemporary 8-inch non-stick pan from Amazon Prime and discovered a winner. I have forsaken Childs’ purism for a multi-purpose pan that never sticks and is easy to wash. I no longer need to melt a tablespoon of butter. A teaspoon–or a generous shot of Pam–will do.
However, I continue to obsess over equipment–for efficiency more than for taste. While I’ve tossed my old favorite, I still find use for my first little omelet pan, which is perfect for cooking my omelet fillings. I can cook them ahead of time in the same pan as my eggs, but I prefer the timing of cooking eggs and filling side by side. OCD that I am, I can’t imagine cooking without my two favorite spatulas. I bought the slotted aluminum one on the left for $1 and a tank of Conoco gas about the same time I acquired my first omelet pan, while the red plastic one is a recent $3.95 purchase from HEB, the best for non-stick pans I’ve found. Below is the result of my most recent effort:
Nopalitos con Huevos
Nopalitos are my new, tasty, vegetable discovery for omelets and scrambled eggs. HEB doesn’t sell prickly pear cactus paddles, I doubt that they are widely available in other parts of the country, and I don’t plan to learn how to peel and de-thorn them myself; but I am thrilled with the gift of fresh, chopped nopales cooked with onion, a little garlic, jalapeño, salt and pepper.
I’ve tried it twice now. First, I heated the nopalitos with crumbled sausage, then stirred in beaten eggs for a tasty scrambled egg dish. They would have been even more delicious (and less healthy) wrapped in a tortilla or with broken tostadas stirred in, as in migas. Next time I added more nopalitos and grated cheese and omitted the sausage. The first time was better, so I will continue to experiment.
If I have convinced you that omelets are an easy, high-protein start for the day, you can find additional recipes in my blog, 8 Days of Eggs.