Open-Faced Omelets Rival Sandwiches
Folding closed an omelet means you might be missing out on sky-high fillings chockful of flavor and nutrients. Instead, think about your egg base like a tortilla below a tall tostada or like the foundation of famed French tartine open-faced sandwiches that resemble works of art.
You could use two eggs rather than the three or four that often go into preparing fluffy omelets with little to show inside.
Vegetables, lean meats and cheeses are all good choices. After the omelet is cooked, create the tallest stack possible, warming the ingredients before serving. Following are some ideas for topping your cooked open-faced omelet. All ingredients are to taste.
While the open-faced omelet is cooking, in a wok in a small amount of peanut oil, carefully stir-fry bok choy, water chestnuts, lemongrass, mushrooms and green beans with lite soy sauce, Worcestershire sauce and Chinese five-spice powder.
EASY AND CHEESY
Layer low-fat cheddar and pepperjack cheese, brie and bite-sized chunks of cooked turkey and ham and drizzle with Dijon mustard and strawberry all-fruit spread (sold in the jam aisles of most supermarkets).
ONE FUN DATE
While the open-faced omelet is cooking, warm and slightly caramelize mandarin orange pieces and slices of kiwi. Sprinkle with coconut flakes and finely chopped dates.
Melt whipped cream cheese and, as it's melting, stir in nuts and seeds you've toasted, such as hazelnuts, sliced almonds, pine nuts, pumpkin seeds and sunflower seeds.
BELIEVE IN BEANS
Top with cooked pinto, black and white beans, salsa, crushed tortilla chips, nonfat sour cream and guacamole.
While the open-faced omelet is cooking, carefully fry chickpeas until crispy and season with curry powder. Top omelet with the chickpeas, sesame seeds and cooked ground lamb.
MINI MEATBALLS FOR MAXIMUM FLAVOR
Top with grilled zucchini and cauliflower, Swiss cheese and cooked mini meatballs.
Roast bite-sized pieces of red, blue and Russet potatoes, coat with olive oil and freshly ground black pepper. Saute scallions, red and white onions.
THE SPIN IS ON SPINACH
Saute spinach, peas and corn and mix with cooked Italian sausage, ricotta cheese and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
AFTER-WORK GOURMET COOKBOOK SHELF
If open-faced omelets lead to cravings for more such adventures, a tasty option is "On Toast: Tartines, Crostini, and Open-Faced Sandwiches" by Kristan Raines. The toasts are little works of art and flavor fests and reflective of their international roots. Choices are as diverse as roasted broccoli and spicy hummus; blistered tomatoes and burrata; and blood oranges and honeyed ricotta. Homemade spreads are bountiful. Recipes are thoughtfully presented seasonally.
Lisa Messinger is a first-place winner in food writing from the Association of Food Journalists and the author of seven food books, including "Mrs. Cubbison's Best Stuffing Cookbook" and "The Sourdough Bread Bowl Cookbook." To find out more about Lisa Messinger and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at www.creators.com.