05 August 2010

weekday breakfast

Much as I would like to be, I'm really not a weekday cook. Between my regular job, teaching early morning and the occasional evening class, going to the store and whipping something up just usually doesn't even cross my mind. But we've got a major cooking flurry going on here, and that led me to do something I haven't done in forever... cook an actual, respectable breakfast on a weekday.

My game plan:
  1. Prep the eggs for the omelet
  2. Cook the hash browns
  3. Heat the turkey bacon
  4. Cook the omelet
  5. Enjoy

Prepping the eggs

First, eggs need to be brought up to room temperature. I submerged two whole eggs in warm water for 10 minutes or so, to bring them up from fridge temp.

Next, it's time for the eggs to take a beating. Adding a teaspoon of water before beating is a good thing, at least according to Julia the omelet queen.

Then, beat the egg mixture 30 to 40 times with a fork until it lightens noticeably in color, and all of the various egg components seem less distinct.

Set the egg mixture aside until everything else is cooked.

Cooking the hash browns

I will confess right off the bat that I used those hash browns in a bag that you find in the grocery store's refrigerated section. It's a weekday morning, after all. Who has time to peel, shred and soak fresh potatoes?

So starting with the bagged stuff, I melted a little over a tablespoon of butter and let it foam off (see yesterday's post for instructions on letting butter foam off... you'll also want to do this when cooking the omelet). And then I added the potatoes in a nice, even layer, making a round disc shape.

I really like my hash browns to be soft in the middle, so I like to add a lid for a few minutes to help steam the raw potatoes on top, which softens them.

It's important to take the lid off and let the bottom crisp up before flipping it, or it will just be greasy. After the crisping happens, I like the try to flip it all at once.

I got a nice clean flip...

Not quite. But the dogs enjoyed the spoils of my attempt.

Cook the potatoes until the now-bottom side is crisp, evacuate to a plate, and cook the rest of the breakfast fixins.

Heating the turkey bacon

Mark totally scoffs at turkey bacon, but he grew up in a real bacon-eating household. I did not, and so turkey bacon (especially the fake-looking Oscar Meyer stuff) holds a certain childhood nostalgia for me. Plus, it's about a thousand times less unhealthy, it heats up way faster than bacon cooks and it doesn't throw off all that grease. An easy weekday choice.

Turkey bacon is pretty easy to "cook." (It comes fully precooked, so this is more about heating and browning than anything.) Heat a pan, put turkey bacon in, let it get warm and brown, take it out.

Cooking the omelet

Julia really does omelets better than anyone, so if you want a lesson in good omelet technique, watch this. Then, just imagine that I did exactly what Julia did (minus adding a handful of parsley) with my pre-prepped egg mixture. And voila!

Delicious any day of the week, but a special treat on a weekday.


  1. I'm so glad you posted this...now I know why my omlettes always get a skin on the bottom. I wasn't shaking them - I was just pulling back the edges and letting the raw egg from the top run out onto the pan. But then the bottom would get too done. I will try it Julia's way next time!

  2. Definitely give Julia's method a try. Takes just a little practice to master, but then you can start cranking out perfect omelets in 30 seconds a piece!

  3. do you put the fillings in right away then? or at the end? what about cheese?

  4. Julia would tell you to let the egg start to set as you're shaking the pan, and then put the fillings (including cheese) in as you're flipping and rolling it out. Honestly, ever since I learned her technique, I just do it with no fillings because the egg itself is so yummy.

  5. I've been cooking since I was tall enough to reach the stove and I never knew about prepping the eggs to room temp!

  6. Bringing them up to room temp makes a huge difference, but it also makes them cook more quickly, so you have to keep a constant eye on them! Starting with them cold is more forgiving for things like over easy or sunny side up.


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