I have one more holiday treat to share, but for now, it’s back to the plan, which means this week’s food comes from Central Spain.
There was a time, not that long ago, where I ate an omelet for dinner roughly three days a week. Looking at my recent efforts, it’s hard to believe I was really that lazy. Nowadays, omelets go back to what is, in my mind, their rightful place at breakfast. While there is nothing really “Spanish” about the preparation of this omelet, I’ve tried to use Spanish flavors. Central Spain, while not known for the seafood dishes more trademark of the coastal regions, it makes up for it with its delicious meats, sausages, and cheeses. Taking what we U.S. folk consider a Western omelet with cheddar, ham and green peppers, I’ve made a sort of “Spanish Western,” using manchego cheese, serrano ham and a red bell.
It’s different enough that, to my surprise it made my taste-buds go “hmmm.” Sometimes it’s not about necessarily learning something from scratch but rather just taking what you know and changing it up a bit to make it new.
90% of the time, my omelets flip perfectly. The one time I need to take a picture, it looks like a pile of scrambled eggs. Sigh.
- 3 egg whites, beaten with 2 TB water
- 2 slices Serrano ham, sliced
- About 2 ounces Manchego cheese, diced
- 1/2 red bell pepper
- salt, pepper and smoked Spanish paprika, to taste
- Coat a small, nonstick saute pan lightly with olive oil. Add the pepper, season with salt, and bring the pan to a medium heat. Cook until soft.
- Add the beaten egg mixture, making sure it's smooth. Using a wooden spoon or heatproof rubber spatula, mix the peppers into the eggs. Tilt the pan to allow the uncooked egg mixture to run to the sides of the pan to create a wide, flat "scrambled egg".
- When the eggs are about three-quarters of the way cooked through, sprinkle the top of the eggs with the ham and cheese.
- Using the spatula, fold the omelet in half. Press gently to secure. Cook a few more minutes until the egg is cooked through.
On a similar note, I’m sharing my way to spice up an ordinary cup of joe. Have you ever put cinnamon in with your coffee grounds? Try it. You know those Foldgers’ commercials? The smell is like that. Seriously. Put as much or as little as you want. Be a little adventurous and give it a whirl with different spice combinations. During the fall, I usually use pumpkin pie spice. You’ll never drink your coffee plain again!