June 27, 2003 at 11:25 a.m.
I’m a little leery about eating at buffets as I like my food piping hot and often the food is just warm. Not so at this restaurant. The buffet was wonderful with the hot food hot, and the fruits and veggies cold. We could have ordered from the menu but after taking a peek at the buffet and seeing a young cook making two egg omelets “to your liking” we decided to go that route. Helping ourselves to the many choices of food we then waited just a couple of minutes while the cook put an omelet together for us. You could choose the “fillers” you wished from fresh veggies, ham and cheese, or the works. I was amazed at how, when she was ready to turn the omelet, gave the small skillet a jerk of the wrist and it flipped over like a flapjack. I’ve made omelets but they never quite look like what you get in a restaurant.
I spoke with the young lady, Athena Jordan, for a few minutes after we’d eaten our brunch and boldly asked her age––21, and how long she’d been employed at “The Blackwoods”–– three years, sort of off and on, she’d said. I asked if she’d share her omelet making talent with our readers and she complied.
This is how it’s done . . .
ATHENA’S ‘YOUR CHOICE’ OMELET FOR ONE
Prepare diced green pepper, onion, tomato, ham, sliced fresh mushrooms and shredded cheddar cheese; set aside. (She had little bowls of each ingredient ready to go.)
For one omelet: Beat two large eggs with 1 T. water until foamy; set aside.
Using a pastry brush, swab an 8-inch non-stick skillet (6-inches at the base) with about a tablespoon of melted butter, covering bottom and sides of skillet.
Over medium heat add about a tablespoon of your choice, or all ingredients, except cheese, stir-frying 1-2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Slowly pour eggs over veggies and ham. As edges of egg sets up, lift edges with spatula so eggs can run to edges to cook. When all of egg is set, but not dry, flip omelet over (ya, right!). Lightly press on omelet with back of spatula for a minute. Sprinkle with 2 T. shredded cheese; fold omelet in half and sprinkle with a little additional cheese. Slide onto serving plate. Voila! You have a perfect two-egg omelet for one!
Long story short––when we got home from our trip, I made an omelet in this fashion and all went well until I tried to flip the egg stuff as told. Yup, the jerk of my wrist was too much and the whole thing landed on the stove. (Not to worry, I have a “flat-top” range, go ahead and laugh, Bud did and so did I!) I’ve improved and Athena would be proud to see me do it almost as good as she did, after a few tries.
The extraordinary beef hash that was on the buffet was made from leftover prime-rib from the night before, cooked potatoes, onion, and beef gravy thickened with cornstarch rather than flour.
Simply brown 1 c. small cubes of cooked beef broth with 1-1/2 c. diced, cooked, peeled potatoes (leftover baked potatoes works well), and 1-2 T. diced onion in 1 T. melted butter over medium high heat, stirring constantly. Stir in 1/2 c. beef gravy (leftover from beef roast or use a gravy mix and made according to package directions). Cook 1-2 minutes. Serves 2.
I’ve not made American fries in this fashion but they were delicious.
Using cooked potatoes with the jackets on (skins), cut into 1-1/2-inch chunks.
Fry about 2 minutes in hot oil, deep enough to cover potatoes.
Drain on paper toweling and sprinkle with herb and garlic salt (like Mrs. Dash), tossing gently to coat.
One medium potato serves one.
I should mention that Athena isn’t the only cook at The Blackwoods. My guess is that the others do as well as she does. I thank her for sharing her “know-how” with me. We’ll eat there again.
ALICE’S SHRIMP-FILLED OMELET
2 T. each diced green pepper and sliced green onion, using some of green tops
one 5-6 oz. can tiny shrimp, drained rinsed (drained again-save out a few for garnish if you wish)
pinch of fresh dill weed or dried
1/2 c. diced fresh tomato
3/4 c. shredded Monterey Jack, cheddar or co-jack cheese
4 large eggs
3 T. water (don’t use milk, it toughens the egg)
1/4 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper (red pepper)
1 T. butter or margarine
Prepare filling: pre-cook green pepper and onion in microwave (or use a skillet) with 1-2 T. water for two minutes. Drain any liquid.
In a small bowl, combine all filling ingredients. Prepare omelet as in previous recipe, adding salt and cayenne pepper. Turn omelet (flip it if you’re brave) and fold over. Sprinkle with additional shredded cheese if you wish or a few shrimp as a garnish. Serves 2.
Thought for the day: Eggs are so versatile. What other food can be fried, scrambled, cooked in the shell, poached, baked, made into omelets, quiches, souffles, meringues and custards? There you go.