How to Make the Perfect Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelet: Fun with Food Science #2
Food science is not only an interesting conversation subject, it’s useful for creating flavorful, perfectly cooked recipes. It’s one thing to read a recipe and follow it step-by-step. However, understanding why things are made and prepared a certain way will help you become a better cook, not just a direction follower. This allows you to improvise, change, and expand recipes to your liking. This blog will help you do that. I will be focusing more on the why’s and food science in many of my recipes, so read each post carefully for tips and more in-depth processes.
Creating the perfect omelet is not an easy task. Cooking schools and classes often start out with this seemingly basic task. The goal is to cook eggs (in any form) to a smooth texture. Omelets are particularly tricky in that they need to be firm enough to hold together, while still having this characteristic. The half-and-half in this recipe helps prevent tough omelets and makes them fluffier. Another thing that helps is heating over medium heat to set the eggs, then removing from stove, and covering to hold in heat. This evenly cooks the eggs without burning the bottom. Carefully read the instructions in my recipe below and you’ll have a perfect omelet in no time.
To keep this recipe interesting, we’re doing Spinach and Goat Cheese Omelets. Creamy, rich goat cheese cuddles up in a silky omelet blanket. Spinach, tomatoes and green onions add nutrition, texture and more flavor. All this pairs together nicely to create a hearty, healthy breakfast you can feel good about.
Food Science & Cooking Tips
- Water in half and half boils and makes steam as it cooks, fluffing up the eggs.
- Fat in half and half coats the egg proteins that bond together while cooking; without this they bond together tighter and squeeze out extra moisture, creating tougher eggs.
I shot this in natural light at 1/400 sec, f/ 2.5, ISO 800 with a 50 mm macro lens.
Sometimes I marvel in sitting down to eat in front of an engaging show. Don’t take that the wrong way; I love formal meals and engaging with others while I eat as well. This meal fits in the previous category. The black coffee table I was eating on had a bold, contrasting background. This allowed for a wonderful opportunity to offset the plates of omelets. The white and yellow colors starkly stand out. I opened my front door to let in even natural light, took an overhead shot to show the breakfast scene. After that it’s time for the fun part, eating the dish and enjoying a show!
- 6 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon half-and-half (cream)
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 green onion stalk, sliced (about 2-tablespoons)
- 3-ounces soft goat cheese
- 1 cup fresh baby spinach leaves
- 1 medium tomato diced
- Heat non-stick pan to medium heat.
- In small bowl combine eggs, half-and-half, salt and pepper. Beat together with fork 1-2 minutes until solid yellow and no longer streaked. Do not over-beat and cause bubbles.
- Melt butter in pan and pour in half of egg mixture. Cook about 1 minute. Then gently lift up edges while tilting pan in that direction, do this all the way around the omelet. This allows uncooked egg on top to cook more evenly. Once bottom is mostly set and no longer breaks when lifting edge (the top will still be slightly runny), add half of the green onion, goat cheese, spinach and tomatoes to one side.
- Take off of heat and cover with lid to evenly cook omelet and vegetables, about 1-2 minutes more. Once egg is set and spinach slightly wilted, fold half over to form complete omelet.
- Remove omelet from pan (place plate on top of pan, then flip pan over plate to cleanly drop the omelet on the plate). Repeat process for second, or additional, omelets.
– Some steps and ideas adapted from The Science of Good Cooking. 2012. Print