Salsa-Cheddar Omelet with Pickled Onion

Beating eggs with salsa instead of water or milk is one of Alyce’s tricks that you absolutely need in your kitchen. This omelet also features an extra-easy cooking method you’ll want to try if omelet-making has been baffling you.

When people talk seriously to me about why they don’t cook or why they dislike cooking, there are a few oft-repeated reasons. One is the time it takes. (So does getting to a drive-through.) Another is “too many ingredients.” (Buy Jamie Oliver’s 5-Ingredients Cookbook.) Third is not knowing what to cook. (Food and Wine: Meal Planning 101.) A fourth favorite is, “I hate the mess.” (That’s why God made dishwashers.) The other day on Twitter, there was a thread that began with a comment that went something like this, “If I had known that as an adult I’d have to come up with something for dinner every night the rest of my life, I’d never have grown up.” A multitude of responses intoned the same lament. While those feelings indicate any number of problems (“That’ll be 5 cents, please.), cooking truly needn’t be one. Devoting a little time to planning, shopping, and learning how to cook your favorite meals solves a lot of it. One can’t just show up in the kitchen at 6:30 a.m. or p.m. and hope for divine inspiration. Unless, that is, you’re counting on breakfast for dinner (or breakfast!) and know you have eggs in the fridge — or, if you’re elsewhere in the world — on your counter. In that case, you have a million options. And my Salsa-Cheddar Omelet with Pickled Onion is just one. You can come up with the other 999,999.

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An omelet (or omelette) is a type of egg dish, often served at breakfast or brunch. Neither spelling is wrong, but there are some guidelines for when to use which. Omelet is the standard spelling in American English. ... The British spelling, omelette, is actually the modern French spelling. ~Grammerly

Today’s omelet answers all 4 reasons for not wanting to cook:

The time it takes: I never counted. Maybe 3 minutes from start to finish? (Turn on the news and get your coffee before you start.)

Too many ingredients: 5. And that includes the butter in the pan. Is that still too many? (Picture one raised eyebrow here.)

Knowing what to cook: Add “Breakfast for Dinner” to one night of your weekly meal planning. Satisfied?

Hate the mess: Jesus wept. Eat out of the pan with a plastic fork.


Look through the photos and see if this recipe makes sense. If so, skip the printable recipe and just make it. Your mind’s picture memory is typically lovely.

Now I know you’re ready to try this:

SALSA-CHEDDAR OMELET WITH PICKLED ONION

For days when you need something sassy to get you going. Or for dinner when you want to eat, but don't really feel like cooking.
Serves 1 (Repeat as needed)

Equipment

  • 8-inch non-stick skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon salted butter or olive oil
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon salsa
  • 2 tablespoons grated extra-sharp Cheddar cheese
  • pickled onions for garnish (See notes for how I make mine.)

Instructions

  • Melt butter in 8-inch non-stick skillet over low heat, making sure butter is evenly spread across the bottom of the pan.
  • Meanwhile, in a cup, beat together the eggs and salsa. Pour the egg mixture into the pan.
  • Sprinkle cheese over the egg mixture and cover. Cook until done to your liking — perhaps checking after 1 and then 2 minutes. Don't overcook; the omelet should still look quite moist and will continue to cook after you plate it.
  • Plate. Tip the pan and using a rubber spatula, carefully roll the omelet to the side of the pan onto the plate. (Or fold in half) Top with pickled onions. Serve hot, warm, at room temperature, or cold with extra salsa, more cheese, and fresh tomatoes (or avocado) if desired.

Notes

PICKLED ONIONS:  Peel and slice a red onion and place it in a jar that has a lid.  Heat half cup water and half a cup white vinegar with a tablespoon each kosher salt and granulated sugar in a small saucepan. Stir, cooking for several minutes until sugar and salt are dissolved.  Pour hot mixture over the onions, add a pinch of crushed red pepper, and let cool.  Close lid and refrigerate for up to a week or so.
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2021.  All rights reserved.

Fave egg breakfast or lunch. Cottage cheese (above) or mashed avocado (below) on whole grain toast topped by tomatoes, fried egg, and salsa.

TIPS:

READING/WATCHING:

CHANGE IT UP: Swap in any cheese you like for the extra-sharp Cheddar. In this recipe, the cheese is cooked into the egg along with the salsa. If you’d like gooey-melted cheese in the middle, wait a minute before adding it to one half of the omelet. Slip in chopped red peppers or a diced, cooked vegetable along with the cheese. Use marinara in place of the salsa and switch the cheese to mozzarella for an Italian-leaning version. Divide it in half and serve on English muffin halves to feed two. Too lazy to make pickled onions? Use store bought sliced pickled jalapeños instead. Need a larger meal? Hello, toast. Hello, berries and yogurt.

REDUCING WASTE: Eggs last 3-5 weeks, so don’t worry about keeping them if there’s one of you in your house–as long as they’re refrigerated. Read up here. Pickled onions stay good at least a week and are lovely on sandwiches or in salads. Try them on ___________. Buy a good-sized piece of excellent cheese and you’ll have something good to eat for weeks. Store it like this. Inexpensive, yummy Cheddars I like are: Tillamook, Private Selection (Kroger), Cabot, and Kerigold.

EQUIPMENT: Non-stick pans typically need to be replaced every couple of years. I like this OXO 8-inch pan, which is also recommended by ATK and sells for about $30. You can cook an egg in it without any fat at all and that sucker slides right out clean as a whistle just like the photo below. (Why is a whistle clean?) Instructions say to put it in the dishwasher but most non-stick pans last longer if you don’t.

WINE: While I like nothing better than an omelet and a glass of wine (Thank you, Elizabeth David.), the pickled onions are going to throw off the taste of most wine. You could try Prosecco or Riesling and see what you think.

If you liked this, you might also like my:

Tomato and Basil Omelet — A Good Reason to Garden from July, 2018 (below:)

LIFE GOES ON:

(above:) This week’s changing sky to the east.

(below:) The wild garden path on the north side of our house. Colorado is known for golden trees, rarely anything in the red family. Worth the trip.

(below:) I cleaned out a bunch of herbs from the herb garden in anticipation of an overnight freeze. I’m a lazy herb saver and simply bag a lot of these for the freezer and later use in soup and stock or broth. The exception is the basil in the box at center. We’ll eat as much as we can and share the rest with neighbors. I might make some more pesto if there’s time. There’s thyme, chives, dill, cilantro (I have some coriander seed, too), and tarragon.

We spent the weekend in Illinois honoring the life of my oldest sister, Jean Marie Gottardo, who crossed the river a week ago after a long illness. A sad and difficult moment in time, it was still wonderful to see my family and spend time with them. We’re not all together often. Thanks to all of you who reached out via social media or in other ways. I’m incredibly grateful of your support.

below: A favorite photo of three sisters…left to right: Alyce, Helen, Jean.

We made it to Hawaii together on a cruise! Our mom had always wanted to go, but never got there. We went for her.

Here I am with sister Helen at the wonderful lunch the church made for our family after the service for Jean last Saturday:

Hold your loved ones close and spend more time at the table,

Alyce

P.S. I didn’t do a thing to the photo below–sunrise this morning at our house. You’ll recognize this a bit from the pic I have at the top of the home page of the blog.

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