food: the good, the fast and the ugly

Very basic ingredients

It certainly starts out from good looking ingredients, no? In my constant trying and testing of kitchen gadgetry, I’ve recently become a fan of microwave steaming bags. They’re made from “food safe plastic”–kind of odd, they’d explicitly state that and make me worry about my regular zip top bags now. The two types I’ve tried have a little venting system, one with a perforation to make it easier to open. Turns out that steam is hot, and the dexterity needed to carefully open a steaming hot zip top bag without getting scalded is a pretty high level of difficulty.

Still not pretty, but trust me

Throw the above ingredients (1/2 cup each of eggs, cheese and ham) together in the bag, give it a little shake to mix, pop in the microwave for about 2 minutes and let it sit for 30 seconds. I was using Egg Beaters which usually come out as strange puffy/crusty messes in the microwave, but adding the filling made a huge difference. The edges were firm and the inside was creamy. It’s not going to be the prettiest thing to pop out onto your plate, but it’s very tasty.

Now, if your omelette-fu is tight, ignore this and continue to do your thing. I’ve found that if I really concentrate and re-watch the Good Eats episode about them, I can come up with a passable omelette that bears more of a resemblance to scrambled eggs because I got impatient or the heat levels were off or any number of reasons. But with the wonders of night-before-prep and tupperware, I can make this at the office and have a proper breakfast once in a while. I could also see cutting this in half and sticking it into an English Muffin or toast for a bite on the go.

So while many of my recipes are about the joy of cooking and the smell of the food and the romance of bubbling, sizzling, baking, steamy goodness? This one’s all about getting it done, and one’s kitchen skill level can be practically nil. Fast and Ugly might just become a new category for me… still talking about food here, not men. For now. 😈

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5 Responses

  1. Fredo says:

    I gave up on making omelets a few years ago because I ultimately get impatient and settle for scrambled eggs. Part of my problem is that I hate when eggs get those golden brown edges, because then when I finish cooking the eggs, it has this weird plasticky texture I can’t stand.

    I may have to try this method with the “food-safe” plastic bags. (And yes, now I’m worried about my regular zip top baggies too.) 😕

    latest entry: A Loaf of Bread

  2. brian says:

    @Fredo: After thinking about it for a while, I think (hope) they mean microwave-safe. I admit that I’ve never thought of putting a regular zip-top bag in the microwave. These bags are definitely made of stronger and firmer stuff than standard sandwich baggies.

  3. Lindsay says:

    I’ve been doing this with a bowl lightly coated with olive oil cooking spray for a while now. A egg beater “omelette” with low-fat part-skim mozarella was the staple of my diet when I did the Discovery Channel National Body Challenge a few years ago. I highly recommend this as a good breakfast that will keep you from bad snacking throughout the morning.

  4. ScottInTheOC says:

    Why didn’t I know you were such the foodie when we knew each other long ago??? I’m going to try this steamed omelet myself. I have some peameal bacon from Canada. Perhaps I’ll have a quick meal before I depart for the day!!

    Thanks Brian!

    latest entry: Kaisen Kaiten Sushi Bar – Santa Ana, CA

  5. brian says:

    @Lindsay: I should be better about reusability, but for some reason no matter how much I coat the bowls, I always get some sticking and I can’t come up with a good seal that keeps the steam in for fluffy/creaminess that doesn’t threaten to also explode while cooking. I pretty much only buy eggs for baking and then feel that I have to use them before they go bad. The faux-eggs are much easier to deal with and use in exact amounts. (I have made cookies with egg beaters before and you can just tell that it’s not the same as the real thing)

    @ScottInTheOC: You know, I have no idea. I think that most people I knew around then weren’t that interested in talking about food, and it took me living on my own for a while to realize that I actually knew how to cook and apply some creativity to it. With Winter coming on though, I’m much more about fast, lazy and comforting!

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