Europeans consume a lot more omelets for dinners than Americans. In fact, they probably eat a lot more other “breakfast” foods throughout the day than Americans—like savory crepes, tortilla espanola, and frittata.
They possibly take omelets more seriously too. When Will and I were in Paris in October 2006, we went into a wine bar for dinner. One of their specials of the day was a mushroom (specifically, “cepes”) omelet which cost as much as a beef dish we were also ordering. We were surprised since, as Americans, we just expect meat to be more expensive than vegetables. Wondering whether it would come with some additional goodies, we went ahead and ordered it. Nothing additional. Just an excellent omelet with good eggs, and the best, freshest mushrooms. On another night, I got a veal chop with sautéed chanterelles in a cream sauce which was twice as expensive as the next most expensive dish. And it was soooo worth it. Those chanterelles!
When we returned to the U.S. from our year sojourn in Europe (May 2006-May 2007), we found ourselves cooking a bit more in the European style: smaller portions at dinner, quality preferred over quantity, and more egg dishes beyond breakfast.
A simple dinner we like: Brie and Cremini Omelet with a salad.
Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2 cups quartered cremini mushroom (sliced further if large)
1 shallot minced
½ teaspoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
2 eggs lightly beaten (for one hungry diner, or 3 eggs for an omelet to share) and lightly salted
2 oz. Brie/Camembert cheese sliced in thick wedges (with or without rind)
Salt and Freshly Ground black pepper
Truffled olive oil
Melt 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil together over medium-high heat in a heavy skillet or omelet pan. Add minced shallot and then the sliced/quartered mushroom and sauté until prepared (and cooked down) to your liking (3-4 minutes), adding chopped thyme in the last minute of cooking. Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove mushroom mixture from pan and place in a bowl. Wipe down skillet with paper towels.
Again, melt 1 T butter and 1 T olive oil over medium-high heat in the same (cleaned) skillet. Pour in the beaten eggs, swirling or spreading the egg to cover the bottom of pan. When the eggs is about half set, carefully flip with a large spatula.
Lay down wedges of Brie on one half of the egg, and then layer the mushroom mixture over the cheese. Let the cheese melt slightly and then carefully flip the other half over. Slide the omelet onto your dinner plate, and then drizzle with truffled olive oil.
Note: Serve with a green salad dressed lightly with olive oil and sherry vinegar. You should try to stock your kitchen with a good truffle oil and a sherry vinegar.