We've partnered with Vitamix to share recipes, videos, and tips that bring a touch of excitement and innovation to tried-and-true dishes. First up, a beloved breakfast staple: the omelet.
We live in a world of egg extremes.
They're either soft as custard (scrambled so slowly that they're like pudding, so gently that direct heat must be avoided altogether) or crisp as potato chips (fried furiously in a hell-hot pan so that the undersides sizzle, scream, and scrunch). Sadly, there's little excitement in between. Frittatas, for example? Meh.
Much of the time—and I know I'm being greedy—I want craggy edges I can drag my knife through and just-firm-of-runny centers best suited for a spoon. Rather than make scrambled eggs with a side of sunny-side up (since that'd be wacko), I turn to the souffl'omelet*. It's a best-of-both-worlds hybrid that will satisfy those of you who are indecisive, moderate, or just totally nondiscriminatory in your love of eggs.
Whereas a classic French omelet is soft through and through, with as little browning as possible, the souffl'omelet has a butter-bubbled exterior that girds a creamy yet airy, super puffed middle.
How does it get its characteristic lift? The same way many of the loftiest pancakes do! The egg whites are separated from the yolks, whipped to peaks, either by hand or with a machine, and folded gently into the rest of the ingredients in order to ensure maximum height without chemical leaveners. Once that's done, you simply pour the mixture into a nonstick skillet, let it cook so that the bottom bronzes, and gently fold one side of the other, leaving the interior hugely fluffy.
In the recipe below, that inner layer is even more velvety due to the addition of whipped ricotta. It's lighter and airier than the untouched cheese, which means it'll melt into your omelet and swoop beautifully on any pieces of toast you're eating alongside.
Top your eggs—and that piece of toast—with some of the tomatoes you roasted while the eggs were cooking and you've got a complete meal that's crispy, creamy, and crunchy, too. No compromises necessary; all of your egg desires met.
For the roasted tomatoes and the whipped ricotta:
- 1 cup cherry or grape tomatoes, rinsed (halve any large ones)
- 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
- Zest of 1/2 lemon
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
For the puffy omelet:
- 3 eggs, separated
- 2 tablespoons cream or milk
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped scallions, plus more for garnish
- Edible flowers (like chive blossoms or radish or pea flowers), for getting fancy (optional)
- Toast, for serving
A few keys to success:
- Use a nonstick skillet that's at least 8-inches in diameter. (You can go bigger, but you'll compromise puff.)
- Wait the full five minutes for the omelet to cook. (I usually set a timer so that I'm not tempted to jump the gun.)
- If your egg whites deflate by the time you're ready to get going, gently fold in another whipped white immediately before pouring the mixture into the pan.
- Fold with gusto! You got this. I find that a fish spatula or large turner gives me the necessary confidence. (And, pssst, you can avoid the fold altogether as long as you're okay with fluffy as all get-out scrambled eggs: mrslarkin uses the same technique, but once she adds the mixture to the pan, she simply stirs gently until they set.)
Plus, some ideas for changing it up:
If you're short on time, skip the whipped ricotta and the roasted tomatoes, or, for a quicker option, use Parmesan (just grate it over top!) and raw tomatoes in their place. To go in another direction, try any of these variations instead.
- For an herby omelet, add a tablespoon of pesto (homemade or store-bought) to the egg yolk and cream mixture. Skip the tomatoes and finish your omelet with torn basil leaves, lemon zest, and chopped, toasted walnuts.
- For a mushroom omelet: Roast thinly sliced mushrooms with a splash of olive oil and a good pinch of S&P at 425° F until crispy, about 30 to 40 minutes. Place them in the omelet, along with shavings or gratings of Parmesan cheese, before you fold it over. Top the omelet with torn parsley and fried panko.
- For a diner classic, replace the mushrooms and Parm with roasted broccoli florets and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with chives and hot sauce.
* Sure, you could call it a souffléed omelet, but how much more fun is this portmanteau?!
When given the choice, do you scramble, fry, omelet, or souffl'omelet? Tell us in the comments below.
Omelets aren't the only dish that can benefit from an airy touch. With some help from our partner Vitamix, makers of the Aer™ Disc Container, you can mix up your culinary routine in more ways than one—think emulsions, long-lasting whipped cream, frothy drinks, and more.