Erik Akis: Serve everyone at the same time with baked omelette

Eric Akis

Omelettes are popular, and proof of that can be found on menus of breakfast/brunch joints around Victoria. Many of those eateries offer several types and at busy times cooks will be making several at once to meet demand.

In home kitchens, though, most folks don’t have several skillets suitable for making omelettes, and/or the ability to make a number of them simultaneously.

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So, if you want to feed family or friends an omelette for breakfast or brunch, you likely will be making and serving them one at a time. Not an ideal situation if you want everyone to eat at the same time.

Today, I’ve solved that problem by providing a simpler way to make a large omelette that serves four, cooked in one pan. It’s more like an Italian-style frittata, except for the fact that none of the cooking is done on the stovetop, it’s all done in the oven.

To make it, all you do is pour beaten eggs, mixed with such things as ham, cheese and vegetables, into a buttered, eight-inch-square pan. You then bake it until the eggs are set, puffed and light golden.

You can beat the eggs and prepare the other ingredients needed for the omelette the night before you make it. The next morning, simply combine them, pour into the pan, put it in an oven and in less than 35 minutes you’ll have a hot breakfast for four.

Round out the meal by serving the omelette with sliced, ripe tomatoes and toast, bread or bagels.

You could also make a breakfast sandwich by stuffing slices of the omelette into buttered, toasted English muffins.

Baked Omelette with Ham, Cheddar and Vegetables 

This oven-cooked version of an omelette yields four tasty servings. To ensure that nice, clean portions of omelette can be easily lifted out, be sure to use a good- quality, scratch-free, non-stick baking pan.

Preparation time: 30 minutes

Cooking time: About 40 minutes

Makes: Four servings

1 medium yellow-fleshed potato, peeled and cut into 1/4- to 1/2-inch cubes

8 large eggs

1/3 cup milk

1 cup cubed ham (about 110 grams; see Eric’s options)

1/3 cup finely chopped red or green bell pepper (see Eric’s options)

2 green onions, thinly sliced (divided)

1 cup grated cheddar cheese (divided; see Eric’s options)

• salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

• soft butter or vegetable oil spray, for greasing

Place the potato cubes in a small pot and cover with cold water. Set over medium to medium-high heat and bring to simmer. Simmer the potatoes until tender, but still holding their shape, about six to eight minutes. Pour the potatoes into a sieve and thoroughly drain. Cool potatoes to room temperature.

Preheat oven to 375 F. Crack the eggs into a medium bowl and beat until well blended. Mix in the milk, cooked potatoes, ham, bell pepper, three quarters of the green onion and three quarters of the cheese. Season the egg mixture with salt and pepper.

Thoroughly grease an eight-inch-square, non-stick baking pan with butter or vegetable oil spray. Pour in the egg mixture. Bake for 30 to 34 minutes, or until eggs are puffed, just cooked and light golden.

Sprinkle the omelette with remaining cheese. Bake 30 seconds to one minute more, or until that cheese is just melted.

Remove omelette from the oven and let stand a few minutes to set. Cut omelette into four squares. Carefully lift out each square with a thin spatula and set on plates. Sprinkle with remaining green onion, and serve.

Eric’s options: Instead of ham, use cubed bits of cooked sausage or bacon in the omelette. Instead of cheddar, try another tangy cheese, such as Gouda or Swiss. Instead of bell peppers, try another vegetable, such as tiny broccoli florets that have been cooked, cooled and drained well. To make breakfast sandwiches, sandwich slices of the omelette in toasted English muffins, with butter or mayonnaise, tomatoes and lettuce.

‘Pajama Party’ Raises Funds For School Breakfasts

If you would prefer a professional to make your omelette or other brunch dish, while raising funds for an import cause, partake in this Sunday’s first annual #YYJPajamaParty.

This event is being organized by Rebecca Wellman, author of First, We Brunch, and by Breakfast2Music.

The latter is a local, non-profit group focused on raising funds for school music programs and healthy breakfasts for kids from low-income families who might come to school hungry.

During the #YYJPajamaParty, a number of Victoria restaurants who serve brunch will commit 25 per cent of their profits from the food they serve that day to help fund Breakfast2Music initiatives. Participating businesses include Caffe Fantastico (Kings Rd.), Canoe Brewpub, 5th St. Wood Fired Rotisserie, Fishhook, Fuego Old Town Eatery, Little June, Haro’s Restaurant & Bar, Heron Rock Bistro, Hot and Cold Café, Mo:Lé, Nourish Kitchen and Cafe, Ruth & Dean, Zambri’s and Northern Quarter.

At Northern Quarter, Wellman will also be selling signed copies of her book and donating money from its sale.

The event is called a “pajama party” because patrons and staff of those restaurants are invited to wear their best pyjamas and onesies while they dine or serve.

During the #YYJPajamaParty, an open-to-the public launch party will also occur at the Government House Bandshell, 1401 Rockland Ave., from noon to 2 p.m.

Pancakes for kids will be served and live music will be performed Bucan Bucan and Louise Rose.

For more information about the #YYJPajamaParty go breakfast2music.com.

Eric Akis is the author of eight cookbooks, including seven in his Everyone Can Cook series. His columns appear in the Life section Wednesday and Sunday.

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