If I had to pick one TV cook that I would most like to have the cooking abilities of it would definitely be Ina Garten. Her dishes range from fairly simple and straight forward to so complex that they have my head spinning before the oven is even pre-heated. Every dish is presented so beautifully and the whole experience of her show, from her gorgeously streamlined and fresh kitchen to her welcoming and elegant table scapes, is executed to perfection. I also am in love the with her home in the Hamptons (as every good New York girl should be) but that's a whole different story.
She preforms her recipes like she has made them dozens of times and could practically cook them in her sleep. As easy as she makes them look though, even as a novice cook, I get a sense that dishes like her "Baba au Rhum" (a crazy hard looking cake she made once that practically gave me nightmares) are to be approached with caution. Luckily, she has quite a collection of beginner friendly recipes that are easy to assemble, yet leave your dinner guests thinking that you are a whiz in the kitchen.
This omelet is one of those dishes. It is practically as easy to make as scrambled eggs but looks way more refined and makes a perfect breakfast or dinner. For the hubby-to-be's birthday I had surprised him with a few bottles of white wine from a winery in Nice,France that we had fallen in love with (it also helped that this is the wine we shared on the night of our engagement). This beautiful wine, paired with this omelet and a salad was the perfect little French dinner.
Looking back it was a little heavy as I think I put too much cheese on top. The recipe specified how much cheese to put inside the omelet, but the guidelines for how much to put on top were slightly vague. When it comes to cheese I usually take the "you can never have enough" approach, but for this dish I wish I would have scaled it back a bit as the omelet is plenty heavy and filling enough with out an extra mound of dairy goodness on top.
Ina's Omelet for Two
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa - Barefoot Contessa at Home, 2006
1/4 pound thick-cut bacon
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 cup medium-diced Yukon gold potatoes (about 1/2 a large potato)
1/2 cup chopped yellow onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno (I left this out because I'm not a big fan of spicy)
5 extra-large eggs
2 tablespoons milk or cream
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup chopped scallions, white and green parts
4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, diced, plus a little bit more for grating on top
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- Place an 8-inch non-stick, oven-proof skillet over medium-low heat.
- Slice bacon into 1-inch pieces and add to skillet.
- Cook for 5-7 minutes until the bacon begins to brown and crisp up.
- Remove bacon from pan and place on a paper towel-lined plate.
- Drain the excess bacon grease from the skillet.
- Add the butter to the pan, then the diced potato and chopped onion.
- Cook for 10 minutes or until the potatoes soften and the onion begins to brown.
- If desired, add the jalapeno to the skillet and cook for a few more seconds.
- While the potato and onion are cooking, mix together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper with a fork until combined and slightly frothy.
- Mix in the scallions and cheese to the egg mixture.
- Once the potatoes and onion are cooked, add the bacon and the egg mixture to the skillet.
- Put the skillet in the oven to cook for 15-20 minutes, or until omelet appears set and slightly puffed.
- Before pulling out of oven, garnish the skillet with a small handful of grated cheese and put back in oven for the cheese to melt (just a minute or so).
- Looks pretty enough to go straight to the table in the pan!