Monday, May 10, 2010

The miraculous egg continues to impress.

Years ago, I read a novel in which the heroine visits one of those big, white elephant resorts in the Catskills (kinda like the one in Dirty Dancing) and is given the choice of a blintz, sweet omelet or eggs for breakfast. I didn't think much of it at the time, but the idea of a sweet omelet has stayed with me ever since.

The other night, faced with a sweet tooth and a practically empty fridge (I don't particularly like to go food shopping when I'm about to go on a trip.), the notion of a sweet omelet surfaced in my mind. I immediately set to Googling and discovered that the idea is essentially to make a cross between an omelet and a crêpe. There's flour and sugar involved, but no milk or water. The result is something richer and puffier than a crêpe, but lighter and sweeter than an omelet.

And man, is it tasty. And the added bit of flour makes it a lot easier to handle than a traditional omelet; while the latter can be tricky to fold and flip, a sweet omelet is bound by the gluten in the flour and holds up nicely to even the most awkward manipulations with a spatula. You really do need to sift the flour, as you would for a crepe; if you don't, you'll end up with little lumpy pearls of flour throughout the omelet. (Trust me; I tried it both ways.) And while I preferred the flavor of turbinado sugar, I found that plain old granulated made for a more evenly-flavored result. (The turbinado kind of sank to the bottom of the eggs.)

The best part might be that it's totally legit to eat a sweet omelet for breakfast. (I halve the recipe to make a dessert version.) I mean, if pancakes or waffles or French toast qualify as breakfast, surely this does as well. And if you add a little jam as a filling, you've even got fruit involved in the equation. Um, sort of.

Sweet Omelet

2 large eggs
2 tbs. granulated sugar
2 tbs. all-purpose flour, sifted after measuring
Tiny pinch of salt
1 tbs. unsalted butter

In a small bowl, beat the eggs together with a fork, as you would for any omelet. Beat in the sugar, flour and salt.

In a small skillet (I use my eight-incher.) set over moderate heat, melt the butter and heat until slightly foamy, swirling to coat the sides of the skillet as well as the bottom.

Add the egg mixture to the pan and cook until the mixture becomes slightly puffy and set all along the sides. (If you want to add jam or another filling, now's the time.)

Using a silicon spatula, fold the omelet over on itself, then flip it over. Cook for another minute or two, until the butter in the pan just starts to turn brown and the omelet is puffy and relatively set up all the way through.

Serves one.

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