OmeletteBy Larry Levine –

People who love to cook love to cook for people who love to eat. And if the person for whom we are cooking happens to be someone we love, well …

Jennifer and I have been together some 47 years, married more than 45 years. We’ve eaten tens of thousands of meals together, many of which I’ve cooked. And through all those meals and all those years I’ve gotten a pretty good instinct for what she will like to eat and when.

So, when I was in the market on a cold, rainy Saturday recently, I was seized of an inspiration. I would surprise Jennifer with something different for breakfast the next morning – something more suited to the gloppy weather than the oat meal with mashed bananas and peanut butter that starts most of her days. It would be comfort food to brighten a gloppy morning.

We each love eggs, sausages, and cheese. What else does one need for an omelet, other than some butter and two omelet pans.

But this wasn’t going to be just any omelet. None of the standard cheeses. Something unusual. Something I’ve never done before and Jennifer never before had tasted.

After selecting two cheeses for munching with crackers and wine that evening, I told Kathy at the cheese counter at our local Gelson’s Market, “I’m going to do an omelet with sweet Italian sausages. I want something different for the cheese.”

She thought for a few seconds and then suggested a truffle gruyere. “Not a spreading cheese and not overly hard. It should melt well,” she said.

I have great faith in Kathy. She’s delivered some excellent recommendations in the past. I think we bonded when I told her I made a quesadilla using Port Salut cheese with toasted pine nuts and sliced pears.

When I got home from the market, I hid the truffle gruyere in the back of the refrigerator along with two frozen sausages that would defrost overnight. I told Jennifer I was planning something special for breakfast the next morning. She knows that’s my way of saying she should refrain from probing around the refrigerator, which she’s not inclined to do anyway. And she it means she shouldn’t run out to bring home an appetite-killing latte before I wake up.

I’ve made a hobby of omelets since my days in charge of the kitchen at a house I shared with two roommates in my bachelor days. Here’s a link to an earlier feature I did on omelets for this online magazine.

Here’s the recipe for my gloppy morning omelet. It’s for one omelet. I doubled it for the two of us.

3 fresh jumbo eggs
1/8 cup milk
1 sweet (or hot) Italian sausages, depending on your taste
½ cup truffle gruyere cheese – shaved
Unsalted butter
Chives (optional)

Punctured the casing of the sausage with the point of a knife. Put the sausage in a sauce pan, covered it with water, bring it to a boil and cook the sausages on a slow boil for 15 minutes.

In the meantime crack the eggs into a mixing bowl, add the milk and a few grinds of fresh pepper and a couple of pinches of salt and beat the eggs well with a fork.

Put the boiled sausage in a small frying pan or on a griddle over medium-high heat and brown them on all sides. Then slice the sausage into quarter inch rings and put the rings back into the frying pan over high heat to finish the cooking. Two minutes on one side and one minute on the second side should do it but don’t let them over cook.

While the sausage was frying, heat an omelet pan and chop some chives.

Put about a tablespoon of butter in the heated pan and turn the heat up to high. Lift and rotate the pan to make sure the bottom and sides were coated with butter. When the butter is good and hot but not yet starting to turn brown, pour the eggs into the pan and turn the heat down to medium.

Let the eggs set in the pan for a few seconds. If a bubble appears in the middle of the eggs, puncture it with a fork. Distribute the cheese over one half of the eggs. Place sausage rings on top of the cheese. If you have any leftover sausage rings save them to top the finished omelet. Remember, you are going to want to fold the omelet, so make sure all the sausage rings are on one side of the equator.

Used a fork or spatula to lift one edge of the omelet and tip the pan to allow some of the unset egg to run under the edge. Let the omelet cook until you have a slightly runny consistency – more if you like your eggs well done. Tilt the pan and used a fork or spatula to flip one half of the egg onto the other side. Slide the omelet onto a plate, top it with a few of the remaining sausage rings, sprinkle with chives, and serve.

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