Omelets are good option for light yet filling supper

Entertaining

Entertaining: The perception of making this traditional French dish is often more complicated than the reality.

June 11, 2000|By Betty Rosbottom | Betty Rosbottom,Los Angeles Times Syndicate

Omelets are considered breakfast fare in the United States, but in France, where I am living this spring, they are most often served as a light main course for supper.

Many people are intimidated by the thought of making an omelet, especially for company, but nothing could be simpler or quicker if you remember three important points:

n A good pan is essential. A well-seasoned cast-iron skillet or, even better, a nonstick one are my favorites.

n Next, always add enough butter or oil to the pan so that the omelet will not stick.

n Finally, make certain that the heat is correct. The temperature should be hot enough so that the egg mixture sets when it is poured into the pan but does not burn.

I pan-fried diced potatoes and then stirred in chopped arugula, a slightly bitter, peppery green.

The omelets will take less than five minutes to prepare. If you want to serve your guests all at the same time, you can slide the omelets as they are completed onto a baking sheet and keep them warm in a 200-degree oven until all are finished. I prefer, however, to serve each omelet as it is done, and no one ever seems to mind waiting a few minutes extra for theirs.

You can serve these omelets in the morning or in the evening, but whatever time of day you offer them, I suspect that your guests, like mine, will enjoy this delectable dish of creamy eggs.

Omelets With Potatoes, Arugula and Parmesan Cheese

Serves 4

About 5 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 pound red skin potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 pound arugula, stems removed and discarded, and greens cleaned, dried and coarsely chopped (see note)

salt, freshly ground black pepper

8 large eggs

1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, preferably Parmigiano Reggiano

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley for garnish (optional)

Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons butter in medium-heavy skillet over medium heat. When hot, add potatoes and saute, stirring often, until light golden and tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle arugula over potatoes, and cook and stir until arugula is wilted, 2 to 3 minutes more. Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Filling can be prepared 2 hours ahead. Cover loosely with foil and leave at cool room temperature.)

When ready to prepare omelets, whisk eggs in mixing bowl and season generously with salt and pepper. Place 1 tablespoon butter in 9-inch nonstick skillet or heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet over medium heat. Swirl butter to cover bottom of skillet, and when hot but not smoking, add a quarter of the egg mixture. Gently but quickly, using table fork, stir eggs in circular motion until set on bottom but still moist on top.

Spoon 1/4 of filling in wide horizontal strip across center of omelet. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over filling. Using spatula, flip 1/3 of omelet, starting at end near handle of skillet, over filling. Lift skillet from heat and slide omelet down to far side of skillet opposite handle. Gently slide omelet onto dinner plate and fold over again to form oval. Sprinkle with 1 tablespoon cheese and some parsley. Repeat process to make 3 more omelets.

Note: If you have trouble finding arugula in your markets, you can substitute baby spinach. Remove any tough stems, then rinse.

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