I really enjoy cooking lately. But nothing, in my opinion, beats a good breakfast.
We were grocery shopping the other day. Walking through the refrigerated section, I saw a small package of pancetta. I don’t know why, but I was struck by a sudden and irresistible desire to make omelets with it. When I told Jessica we should get it, she looked at me funny.
I almost never ask for specific foods. Generally speaking, Jessica is in charge of the menu. I’ll eat pretty much anything she decides to make. (We like almost all the same foods, and she’s won me over with many things I used to say I didn’t like.) That’s not to say I don’t help — I’m always happy to help prepare the food — it’s just that I usually don’t involve myself in the meal decision making.
Jessica seems happy that I’ve taken to striking out on my own with cooking, and she was delighted to add the pancetta to the cart. For my part, breakfast time couldn’t come soon enough. I was pretty excited to try it.
This morning, I let Jessica sleep in. Namine was up a little early for my taste, especially for a Saturday, but it was the perfect opportunity to try out my new omelet ingredient.
I’ve been making breakfast for Jessica and Namine on my own for a while now. I can cook eggs pretty much any way they’re requested of me now — that certainly has not always been the case — and I’ve even proven that I can hold my own making french toast and pancakes (although the shaped ones are still not quite there).
But my one true breakfast love is the omelet. I just love making them. I’m afraid of trying to make a different flavor pancake, and I’d never mess with the taste of good french toast. But omelets can have so much variety. The flavor can vary so much, from different meats, cheeses, and vegetables, and they all are delicious. As a beginner cook, there’s a lot I can do with omelets without having to worry about totally screwing it up. And if I do, I can say, “Here, I made you scrambled eggs.”
But I digress.
The first two omelets I made — the ones for Namine and myself — I didn’t think to pan-fry the pancetta first. I made the omelet like I’ve done enough times before, tossing the pancetta and some shredded cheese (this morning, I decided on Colby Jack) in the middle before folding it over.
Since Jessica was still sleeping, I gave Namine her omelet first and told her she could start eating right away if she wanted. We prayed together before I went back to finish up in the kitchen, but she was done eating by the time Jessica’s breakfast was ready.
After I finished whipping Jessica’s egg and milk, but before I poured it into the pan, it occurred to me that the pancetta would probably taste better if it was a little crispy. So I dumped it into the pan and fried it. (As it turned out, it was still not crispy enough. Oh well, next time I’ll fry it a little longer.)
When it was done, I dumped it out into a bowl. Then an idea came to me (not an original one, I know, but unique to my cooking-noob brain). So I dumped the pancetta back into the pan, spread it out, and dumped the egg over it.
This was different, not just in appearance, but it was new to me. Something I’d never tried before. I was afraid the omelet would fall apart on me with all the meat in the egg, but it held together nicely. I was able to flip it without incident, and once both sides were well enough cooked, I poured the shredded cheese into the middle.
When Jessica’s omelet was done, I had to admit, looking at hers and mine side by side, that hers looked better. I tend to look at my cooking as iteration — each time I try to improve my methods, resulting in a slightly better result. I think that was certainly the case here.