I have been making “puffy” omelets since I was a kid. I decided one morning in the early ‘80s to crack open Mama’s big Betty Crocker Cookbook and master this dish. A few tricks in this recipe transform eggs into a large and impressive meal. For special occasions, like Easter or Mother’s Day brunch, I add in different cheeses and vegetables. There’s always a WOW factor when I place it in front of friends and family before digging in. This version is my favorite. I love the subtle flavor of sautéed fresh asparagus along with nutty, slightly melty gruyere. A squeeze of lemon before salt and pepper wakes it all up.
- 4 large eggs, separated
- ¼ cup water
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- ⅛ teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
- 7-8 asparagus spears, thinly shaved + tips
- Couple squeezes of lemon juice
- 8-10 oz. thinly shaved gruyere or emmenthaler cheese
- More salt and freshly cracked black pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 325°F.
In a medium bowl, beat the egg whites, water and salt with an electric mixer on high speed until stiff, but not dry. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolks and pepper on high speed about 3 minutes or until they’re very thick and lemon colored. Gently fold the egg yolks into the egg whites using a rubber spatula.
In a 10-inch cast iron skillet, melt one tablespoon of butter over medium-high heat. Add the asparagus and sauté until just-tender, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.
Turn the heat down to medium. Add the other tablespoon of butter. As the butter melts, tilt the skillet to coat the bottom. Pour the egg mixture into the skillet. Reduce the heat to low. Cook about 5 minutes or until the eggs are “puffy” and slightly pulled away from the skillet edges, and the bottom is light brown – using a spatula, carefully lift the omelet to check the color.
Place on the center rack in the oven. Bake uncovered 7-10 minutes. Place half of the gruyere on one half of the omelet; using tongs place the sautéed asparagus on top of the cheese. Continue baking another 5 minutes until the knife inserted in center comes out clean.
Tilt the skillet and slip a large spatula under the omelet to loosen. Gently fold the omelet in half, being careful not to break it. Top with the remaining cheese. Put back in the oven and let melt 3-5 minutes. Remove from the oven. Serve from the skillet or slip onto a warm serving plate. Season with Maldon salt and fresh black pepper before serving.