Saturday, May 30, 2015

Tomato and Pancetta Omelette with Formaggi Pecorino Romano

     An Omelette With Classic Italian Flavors!
     I purchased some great looking imported Pancetta at an Italian delicatessen the other day.  Pancetta is Italian style dry cured pork belly.  The pork belly section is lightly seasoned and rubbed with curing salt, then it is rolled, trussed and hung up to dry cure in a mountain cave.  After the pork belly dry cures and ages, it develops a very rich tasting flavor with a light refined aged cheese aftertaste.  Pancetta is truly the gourmet bacon of all bacon!  Pancetta is used to start many Italian sauces and it tastes nice with eggs.
     American national brand lunch meat companies do make pancetta, but it is nowhere near the high level of quality of the real deal imported Italian Pancetta.  Honestly, it really does pay to spend a few extra pennies to get the real thing, as far as Pancetta is concerned.  Supporting the Italian artisans that make hand crafted Pancetta the old fashioned way is an act of preserving cultural tradition.  As a chef or a home cook, maintaining integrity should always be part of the decision making process when purchasing food of any kind.  Buying cheap mass produced factory food simply does not cut the mustard when cooking with pride!

     I have said this many times before.  The color of an omelette is a matter of personal choice and cooking eggs to a golden color is best for certain recipe applications.  Sometimes the flavor of an omelette benefits from eggs that have light golden brown highlights.  This is especially true for omelets that are made with sausage or rich tasting bacon.

     How To Learn To Flip Eggs:
     To learn how to flip eggs properly, simply place the heel slice from a a loaf of Pullman Bread in a small sauté pan, then start practicing flipping the bread slice.  The heel of a loaf of Pullman Bread is the same weight as 1 large egg.
     Flip the bread by letting the bread slide forward in the pan and then in one motion, pull back on the pan and the bread heel will ride up the curved rime of the pan, then it will arch through the air and land on the center of the pan.
     Flipping the bread heel is actually done by using a back and forth motion and not a vertical motion.  I can flip an egg in a pan that is set on a flat surface, just by using two fingers to pull the handle of the pan backward.  The curved rim of the pan causes the bread to fly with an arching motion!  The word sauté actually does translate to "flip."  A real sauté pan is designed to easily flip the ingredients in a pan with one quick fluid hand motion!
     To be a great sauté cook, one has to be a great breakfast cook first.  In the old days, all sauté cooks had to show plenty of breakfast cooking experience on their resume.  Breakfast cooking is the means for developing lightning fast hand speed, along with great hand-eye coordination.

     Tomato and Pancetta Omelette with Formaggi Pecorino Romano:
     This recipe yields 1 petite omelette.
     Many omelets do need to be flipped twice, so the ingredients can be seen on the surface.  Finishing the eggs, so they have a light golden color is best for this omelette.
     Step 1:  Place 2 large eggs in a mixing bowl.
     A  2 pinches of chopped Italian Parsley.
     Add 1 small pinch of basil.
     Add 1 small pinch of oregano.
     Add 1 small pinch of sea salt and black pepper.
     Add 1/2 tablespoon of milk.
     Whisk the ingredients, till they are blended.
     Step 2:  Heat a non-stick sauté pan over medium low heat.
     Add 1 teaspoon of pomace olive oil.
     Add 3 tablespoons of chopped pancetta.
     Saute till the pancetta is a light golden brown color.
     Step 3:  Raise the temperature to medium/medium low heat.
     Add 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter.
     Add 1/4 cup of diced seeded plum tomato.
     Sauté till the tomato just starts to become tender.
     Step 4:  Add the egg mixture.
     Even the edges of the omelette with a rubber spatula.
     When the bottom half of the omelette is cooked firm, flip the omelette.
     Step 5:  When the omelette becomes fully cooked and firm, flip the omelette a second time.
     Remove the pan from the heat.
     Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of finely grated imported Italian Pecorino Romano cheese on the omelette.
     Triple fold the omelette while sliding it from the pan onto a plate.
     Sprinkle a couple pinches of finely grated Pecorino Romano over the omelette.
     Garnish with Italian Parsley sprigs.

     Practice makes perfect, when flipping eggs!  

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