I first had the pleasure of experiencing Cheddar and kimchi at Milk Bar, where I worked for a spell. One of my coworkers, Helen Jo, would sometimes make little Cheddar and kimchi quesadillas for family meal, especially if we were extra busy that day; they need only three ingredients, each of which we always had on hand anyway. I’ll admit that at first I was skeptical. My brain just could not imagine a world in which spicy, fermented kimchi would go well with sharp, creamy Cheddar cheese, but let me say that since then, I have seen that world, and that world is wonderful.
Sometimes quesadillas are a little too much first thing in the morning, so I adapted them into little omelettes. But this is not a fancy, delicate, barely cooked French omelette; this is an improper omelette, an omelette gone rogue. Here the eggs are cooked over a higher flame than usual, so the outside browns while the interior stays delightfully runny. Shredded Cheddar cheese gets sprinkled on as soon as the eggs hit the skillet, and it melts and crisps up along with the eggs, giving you those cheesy, lacy bits and pieces.
Using a fork, beat the eggs in a small bowl until there are no visible bits of white or yolk (you’re just trying to get an even mixture, not incorporate a ton of air) and season them with salt and pepper.
Heat the butter in a medium skillet, preferably carbon steel, nonstick, or well-seasoned cast iron, over medium-high heat. Once the butter is melted and foamy, add the eggs, swirling the pan to make sure they are forming an even layer. Immediately sprinkle the eggs with the cheese, followed by the kimchi. Let the eggs cook until the underside is browned and slightly puffed but the top is still rather runny, 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a spatula (preferably silicone if using a nonstick pan), lift the edge of the eggs all around the skillet to release them and, starting at one end, fold the omelette onto itself. You can either roll it like a classic omelette or, if that’s just not an option this morning, simply fold it into a half-moon.
NOTE: I prefer my omelettes with two eggs rather than three, which means they’ll have an almost crepe-like thinness, but if you like a bit more heft, or are especially hungry, you can certainly use three. I use a carbon-steel skillet to make my omelettes, but nonstick or even a well-seasoned cast-iron skillet will work as well.
Alison Roman is a cook, writer and author of the bestselling cookbook "Dining In," published by Clarkson Potter in Fall 2017. Her second cookbook "Nothing Fancy," is now available. She is a bi-weekly columnist for the New York Times Cooking section, as well as a monthly contributor to Bon Appétit Magazine. Originally from Los Angeles, she lives in Brooklyn until she decides to move upstate like everyone else.