Friday, May 21, 2010

The Squirrel Can Cook – Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Omelette

I did not consciously set out to alternate breakfast and dinner dishes, but it seems that I’ve fallen into that pattern. I’ll have to do something about that… later. In fact, I fixed today’s omelette for dinner, not breakfast, anyway! (And I haven’t done a classic omelette since June.)

Today, we’re going to make an Italian Sausage and Mozzarella Omelette.

Our ingredients are:
3 eggs
1 Fresh Italian sausage, cooked and diced (about ¼ pound)
1 cup Shredded mozzarella cheese
¼ cup Chopped onion
¼ cup Cold water
1 to 2 tablespoons Olive oil
1 pat Butter

The first thing we need to do is prepare the sausage. I used fresh Italian sausage, which means that, basically, it’s just a bunch of spiced ground pork stuffed into a casing. It isn’t smoked or cooked at all, so that is where we need to begin.

Take a medium (1 ½ - 2 quart) saucepan and fill it to half with cold water, put the sausage in the water, place over high heat, and bring to a boil. Once the pot reaches a boil, turn the flame down to med, just hot enough to maintain the boil, and cook the sausage for 6 to 8 minutes. When the time has expired, remove the sausage from the pan and place on a cooling rack and let cool for 20 minutes or so.

After the sausage is cool, remove the casing and cut into 3/16 inch thick coins. Heat a skillet over medium-high heat and brown the coins for about 2 minutes on each side. Then cut the coins into quarters and set aside.

(The sausages I buy come in packages of 6, and I’ll boil up the whole bunch, wrap them in plastic and store them in the refrigerator for up to two weeks. Then you have sausage that is already cooked and cooled available for all sorts of recipes.)

Now let’s move on to the omelette itself.

Crack the eggs into a large glass and add the ¼ cup of cold water. (I like to use a glass rather than a bowl, because it’s easier to beat 3 or fewer eggs in a glass, since they’ve got nowhere to run to.) Beat the eggs well with a fork.

Place an 8-10 inch non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. As soon as the pan is hot, add the butter to the oil. When the butter is melted and starting to brown a little, add the eggs and reduce heat to medium. Using a wooden or plastic spoon, pull the cooked edges to the middle of the pan, tilting the pan to let the uncooked eggs run to fill in to the edge of the pan. As the omelette firms and is almost set, place 2/3rds of the cheese on the half of the omelette opposite from the handle of the pan. Arrange the sausage evenly on top of the cheese, then spread the remaining cheese on top of the sausage. (Only put the filling on one half of the omelette. If you spread the filling over the entire omelette, you will have difficulty folding and plating.)

There is no need to fold the omelette in the pan, because then you'd have to flip the omelette over, so it would cook evenly. We'll fold it as we plate.

When the eggs are set and the edges of your omelette have become a light brown, it's ready to plate. Hold the pan over the plate, and tilt it so that the omelette begins to slide off, loaded half first. Slide it onto your plate, lifting the pan, and folding the omelette as it slides off. This sounds daunting, but, once you get the hang of this, it's the easiest thing in the world to do. (And it really impresses guests, too.)

Serve with hot garlic bread. Enjoy!

The Squirrel shall not live by bread NUTS alone!

(Confession: at this point, I need to confess to something. I started out to fix a pizza omelette. When it was just about ready to come out of the pan, I slapped my forehead and cried, “I forgot the sauce!” For this option, take a ½ cup of pizza sauce and stir in the sausage before adding it to the omelette. You might want to warm the sauce in the microwave first.)

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