Sunday, April 21, 2013

Rainbow Chard and Saffron Omelets

My husband and I just returned home from a very tasty trip to Mexico.  We enjoyed many delicious meals, but the thing we looked forward to most was breakfast.  Our resort had a phenomenal breakfast service.  All of the food was authentic, homemade, fresh, colorful, brimming with flavor, and very exciting.  My husband was a fan of their omelets.  Each morning he would have an omelet stuffed with beautiful bright red chorizo, sliced jalapenos, pico de gallo, and a very melty and delicious chihuahua cheese.  My personal favorite was the Red Chilaquiles topped with sliced red onion, crema, and queso asadero.  On the side I always had a serving a refried beans, the perfect combination with chilaquiles.  To wash it all down I drank the most amazing cantaloupe agua fresca.  Total heaven!
On the plane ride home we had a lengthy discussion about how much we were going to miss breakfast in Mexico.  We decided it was time to spice up our breakfast routine and add a little color and excitement to our mornings. These rainbow chard and saffron omelets are a real labor of love but they definitely fit the bill when it comes to shaking things up.
Herb-infused omelets are stuffed with colorful ribbons of rainbow chard, tiny saffron-kissed potato cubes, and a layer of cream cheese. The delicate omelet is filled with flavor from all the herbs, the filling is earthy and hearty, the cream cheese brings it all together, and the hint of saffron definitely adds a complexity that otherwise wouldn't be there.  I thought the filling would be the dominant flavor in this recipe but the paper thin omelet packs a lot of flavor with all those herbs. All in all, this dish has a very good balance and is very unique and delicious.

Rainbow Chard and Saffron Omelets
 Adapted from Plenty
by Yotam Ottolenghi
Serves 4

1 medium waxy potato, peeled and cut into 3/8-inch dice*
1 cup water
pinch of saffron threads
3/4 lb Swiss or Rainbow Chard (stalks and leaves), shredded
salt and pepper
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 garlic clove,minced
5 eggs
1/4 cup milk
2/3 cup chopped herbs (tarragon, dill, parsley)*
about 4 teaspoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup cream cheese, room temperature OR creme fraiche, cold

*Note: I used a yukon gold potato
*Note: Use whatever combination of herbs you like.  I used parsley, baby dill, and chives

Put the potatoes, water and saffron in a large pan and bring to the boil.  Simmer for 4 minutes, then add the chard, minced garlic, and some salt and pepper.  Continue cooking, covered for 10 to 15 minutes, or until the potato is soft.  Drain out any excess liquid that is left in the pan.  Off the heat, add the lemon juice and garlic.  Leave to cool.  

Whisk together well the eggs, milk, herbs and some salt and pepper.  Pour 1 teaspoon of oil into a hot, 9-inch nonstick frying pan, then use one-quarter of the egg mix (about 1/4 cup each) to make a thin round omelete.  Transfer to paper towels.  Make three more omelets in the same way.   Leave to cool down.  Note:  I found it was easiest to use about 1 teaspoon of oil for each omelet.  I have an electric stove and set mine to about 3 or 4.  The omelets cooked very fast.

Divide the cold creme fraiche, or cream cheese, among the omelets, spreading it over one half of each.  Taste the chard mix and adjust the seasoning, then spread generously over the creme fraiche.  Fold each omelette over in half, then fold again to get a fan shape.  Allow the chard mix to show at the open side.  Arrange the omelets in a lightly oiled ovenproof dish or on a baking sheet.  (Keep in fridge if making ahead.)  When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 325F.  Place the omelets in the oven for 5 to 8 minutes, or until hot.  Serve at once. 

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