It happens all the time . . . end pieces of cheese are carefully wrapped up and refrigerated for the next time someone feels like a snack.
Except, we tend to forget our leftovers and instead, grab a fresh unopened cheese.
Here’s a trick to reduce waste. Next time you grab butter, eggs, milk, and that block of cheddar to make a breakfast or brunch omelette, reach out for that baggie of forgotten cheese too.
Stinky, creamy, salty cheese omelettes taste and smell better than bacon, better than waffles, better than . . . oh, I was just about to say coffee, but I can’t.
Deconstructed cheese omelettes are fun to make because you can’t go wrong – each one is unique.
Let’s look at the two most basic ingredients found in an omelette; eggs and milk.
Chicken eggs have been an inexpensive source of protein, vitamins and minerals for us since 7000 BC and if you’re calorie counting, then an egg has more protein – which satisfies you for longer – than an apple.
Did you know eggs are not dairy? Chickens may live on a dairy farm, but dairy is a product from animal milk.
Which colour shells do you think are better for us: white or brown?
Interestingly enough, they’re both the same on the inside. It’s the breed of laying hens that give shells their colour. White feathered hens lay white eggs and red feathered hens lay brown eggs.
Milk has a fascinating history – did you know that in ancient Egypt only royalty, priests, and the wealthy ate dairy products?
No one knows who first discovered that drinking milk from cows, goats, and sheep never made you sick, but dairy farmers in central Europe started their industry about 7,500 years ago.
So then, how did we get from drinking milk to eating butter and cheese?
One theory is because humans suffered from lactose intolerance even back then, yoghurt, butter, and cheese were preferred over drinking milk.
No doubt, lack of refrigeration would have also helped decide this!
The other theory is, we never did drink milk for the same reasons above but also because milk was too hard to transport.
Scientists don’t know who first made cheese but the oldest pottery cheese strainers were found in Poland, and the milk residue was an incredible 7,500 years old.
Enough chatting, top up your coffee cup and let’s get busy making this deconstructed cheese omelette!
1 medium-size stainless or glass bowl
Balloon shaped whisk or fork
8” fry pan.
Tip: don’t use a plastic or wooden bowl as they absorb fat and copper bowls react to egg whites.
Notes before you start:
- Two eggs per person is a good average to count on. Remove them from the refrigerator an hour before cooking. Room temperature eggs whip up easier and the omelette cooks with a little more lightness, even with a creamy, fat-heavy cheese, like Limburger.
Tip: If you’ve forgotten, place eggs in a bowl of warm water before cracking them open.
- Set the table ahead of time so your cooked eggs don’t get cold
- Pre-warming serving plates in hot water keep eggs hotter for longer
- Wash, dry, and chop any fresh herbs you’d like to add to your omelette or to use as garnish
- Slice bagels, bread, crumpets or English muffins and leave waiting in the toaster. Check the setting so they don’t burn.
Deconstructed Cheese Omelette
- 2 large eggs
- 4 tbsp milk 2%
- 15 g cheddar cheese cubed, grated, or sliced
- 1 tsp butter unsalted
- pinch black pepper to taste
- 1 tsp parsley or chives washed and chopped
- sprinkle cheddar cheese grated
- 2 tbsp parsley or chives (fresh) washed and chopped
- Crack eggs into the bowl.
Add milk and whisk until yolks have blended.
Add cubed, grated, or sliced cheese. Add optional fresh herbs if desired and whisk again.
- Add 1 teaspoon of butter to the frypan and turn the heat on to medium.When butter has melted, pour egg mixture into the pan.
Check all edges for colour changes. If uneven, slide pan closer to the centre of your burner or element.
- Using a spatula, lift the egg away from the pan’s edge and let it fall into the centre mixture.
- Now you have a choice: either rotate the pan and repeat until your omelette is cooked for a dishevelled look.
- Or, keep rolling the omelette, adding fresh herbs and cheese as desired while you roll.
- Continue until you've reached the end and serve on a warm plate beside your choice of carbohydrate.Note: eggs cooked in this style will be a little more 'well-done' so if you prefer your eggs softer, don't roll. Instead, gently turn the eggs into the centre until just cooked.
- Serve with extra cheese and a bowl of salsa on the side.
Lessons I’ve learned along the way:
Sliced or cubed cheese gives your omelette pockets of melted cheese. Grated cheese adds overall flavour.
There are two basic types of cheeses, hard and soft.
Hard cheese is easier to digest and takes longer to melt unless it’s grated (eg: parmesan or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
Soft cheese easily melts and is best cubed or sliced so it doesn’t disappear (eg: Brie)
If you have cheddar, blue, and feta cheeses in your fridge and can’t decide which to use, mix two or three together!
Salt stops bacteria growth and is a natural preservative, so don’t add any extra to your omelette.
If you only have half-and-half cream in your fridge – use it! And if you are concerned about the percentage of fat you’re consuming, dilute the cream with a splash of water and use less.
Tip: always, always, always, make a habit of smelling your milk when you open the container. It may have turned sour before the due date.
If you have no milk or cream, add a teaspoon or two of water to thin the egg mixture.
Cooking tip: I always add butter or oil to a cold frypan THEN turn the heat on. This way I avoid hot spatters and I know my butter or oil will not burn the food.