and Fresh Salsa
No country’s cuisine is purely its own anymore. With foreign restaurants in every major city, you can find anything you want almost anywhere in the world. One breakfast dish that has traveled well is the omelet and it can be found on many menus in Mexico. I have played around with this version for a while, and finally perfected what I think is an easy recipe for a Mexican omelet with fresh salsa and refried beans.
The premiere omelet instructor is Julia Child. Her video on omelet making is very instructive and entertaining. If you don’t feel like you have yet mastered the omelet, view this video half a dozen times, make several omelets, and you will soon find yourself able to whip up an omelet in a few minutes. It may take a bit of practice to make an attractive omelet, but no matter how yours turns out, it is easy to form into a neat shape with a spatula once it is on the plate. Even Julia does this in her video.
An omelet comes together in a matter of minutes, so have your filling ingredients ready and next to the stove. Slice or grate cheese of your choice — I recommend manchega or Oaxaca string cheese, but any cheese you have on hand will do. Heat the re-fried beans, thinning with water if needed so that the beans can be spread easily with a spatula when spooned over the omelet. I’m partial to black beans, but you can also use re-fried pinto beans. Grated or thinly sliced cheese will melt more quickly. Pre-heated re-fry beans will also help melt the cheese.
If you wish, you can use bottled salsa, but it only takes about 10 minutes to make it from scratch. Like all things fresh, it is so superior to commercial salsa that the two can not be compared.
fresh salsa *see recipe below
2 eggs per person, lightly beaten with a pinch of salt
1/4 cup of refried beans per omelet, canned or home-made
2 tablespoons thinly sliced or grated cheese per omelet
Put 1 tablespoon of butter or olive oil in a skillet that measures 6″ to 8″ across the bottom. Heat pan over medium high heat. When the butter has stopped sizzling, or the oil is hot, add the eggs. Swirl the pan to distribute the eggs. With the back of a fork, stir lightly, not touching the bottom of the pan, to mix cooked egg with uncooked. If you have a pool of liquid egg, you can use a spatula to lift a side of the omelet as you tip the pan so that the liquid egg flows under the cooked egg.
When the egg is mostly firm, lower heat, and add beans, cheese and 2 tablepoons of salsa to one side of the omelet.
Fold the opposite side over the filling, and, turning off the heat, let the omelet sit in the pan for 30 seconds to melt the cheese. Tipping the pan, use a spatula to gently remove the omelet to a plate. Top with remaining two tablespoons of salsa and finely chopped cilantro if you wish. Serve with warm corn tortillas. Buen provecho!
2 cups chopped tomatoes
1/2 cup chopped red onion
2 minced garlic cloves
minced jalapeño (or serrano) to taste — one half to one whole jalapeño, depending on its heat level
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro, leaves and stems
1 tablespoon of freshly squeezed lime juice
sea salt to taste, about 1/2 teaspoon
Chop tomatoes, onion and cilantro. Use the cilantro stems, also, if they are tender. They are as tasty as the leaves and add an element of crunch. Mince garlic and jalapeño. The easiest way to handle a jalapeño is to cut off the tip, hold it by the stem and stand it on end on a cutting board. Slice “cheeks” off the chile, leaving the seeds intact in the center. You may want to use kitchen gloves if you have sensitive skin. And don’t rub your eyes after handling chiles!
Mix all together and salt to taste. Once you become comfortable making fresh salsa, you will find that the measurements are not important. Use your eye to measure quantity and to combine color. Use your sense of taste to adjust amounts of garlic, lime, chile and salt. This way, each batch of salsa is unique.