Who invented the omelette?

 

Ok, so it’s not a question that may keep you up at night but it’s always fun to explore the origins of our favourite foods. Where did they come from, and who’s bright idea was it? Well, we love omelettes here at Egg Recipes so we thought we would see if we can find out who invented the omelette, and why. Was it an accident or was it inspiration?

So let’s start with the name itself – maybe there’s a clue there. Omelette is a French word, and was first officially used in a French cooking publication, Cuisine Bourgeoisie in the late 17th century although the word ‘alumete’ was used as early as the 14th century. Of course, this is just a name, so odds are that the dish had already been around for a while before finding itself in French cookbooks.

 

 

Was it a global discovery?

It seems that omelettes have surfaced at some point in every culture in the world. The Romans were known to use eggs and dairy to create dishes, the Persians had their own omelette variation, and so did the ancient Japanese. It seems that different people at different points all discovered that pouring eggs into a heated pan, along with other ingredients was a great way to eat!

 

Napoleon’s legend

Perhaps the omelette’s most famous historic moment (or at least myth) was that Napoleon Bonaparte and his army were travelling through a small town, where a local innkeeper served him an omelette. Napoleon was so impressed that he ordered that all the eggs in the town to be gathered to create one huge omelette for his army the next day. Whether or not this actually happened, it did mark the beginning of an annual festival in the town of Bessieres, France where every year a giant omelette is made for all the townspeople to enjoy.

 

Unclaimed credit!

Tracing back the origins of food is never an easy task, especially with something as universal as omelettes. Evidence of its variations can be found in all kinds of ancient cooking books, and every country has their own variations. It seems that no one actually knows where the omelette was first invented, or by whom. It could have been a master chef, soldier or housewife; whoever it was certainly had no idea how popular it would turn out to be!

 

So, there’s a bit of background for you. Feeling hungry for an omelette? Well, lucky for you we have a whole bunch of amazing omelette recipes for you to try. Get out there and make history!

Low carb recipe ideas: Pizza Omelette and Pastry-less Quiche!

 

Ah, pizza and quiche – we all love them both but it’s also no secret that they aren’t the healthiest things out there. Amongst other things (especially if they are shop-bought), they contain a high number of refined carbohydrates in the pizza base and the pastry around the quiche. Well, what if we told you that it was still possible to eat these foods, but without as many carbs? It’s true! Atomic Kitten member and MasterChef winner, Liz McClarnon has put together a few tasty ideas to get you started…

 

Pizza Omelette

Swap out the bready base of your pizza plans with some British Lion Eggs. Replacing the carb-heavy base with eggs not only reduces the carb-count but actually increases its nutritional value with essential protein and all the other things that make eggs so brilliant. This one’s a real winner with the kids, giving them the pizza that they love but brilliant nutrition too. Follow the video guide below to get started and then experiment with your own creations.

 

Forget The Pastry Quiche

Who doesn’t love a good quiche? There’s just something so satisfying about them and using eggs in place of the pastry can transform it from guilty pleasure to a guilt-free meal. The following recipe is really easy to follow, is super-quick and puts quiche back on the menu! As above, once you’ve mastered Liz’s recipe, why not try your own favourites.

 

So there are just a couple of ideas for low-carb foods that everyone loves. Want some more ideas? Well, you’re in luck as it just so happens that we have a whole section dedicated to low-calorie egg recipes – Hooray! Have a look and discover a whole bunch of new possibilities.

Four fun things to do with eggs this Easter weekend

 

It’s that time of year once again, where eggs reign supreme and spring is in full swing. We love Easter here at Egg Recipes so we thought we would give you some tips on what you can do to make your bank holiday week even better. Other than making delicious and nutritious meals, there are some fun things you can do with eggs, so we thought we would lay down ideas for you to try out:

 

Bounce them

Yep, that’s right – you can bounce eggs. Don’t worry, April Fools is over so this isn’t a trick that’ll result in a messy floor.  Get your egg, put it in a cup and cover completely with vinegar before leaving for 3 or so days. After this, the shell will have dissolved, and after some drying/draining your egg will be ready to bounce. Drop from just a few inches to start with, and work your way up to see how high you can drop it from. Whoever’s egg survives the highest drop wins!

Play with your food

This is the one time when it’s ok to play with your food, so make the most of the chance! Toast soldiers are a classic, so soft boil your egg, cut up your toast into rectangles and get them ready for a serious dipping! Want to try something more ambitious? Try out this fun Bagel Snake, these delicious animal cookies or whip up some adorable bee cupcakes.

 

 

Paint them

No Easter is complete without some painted eggs! This is a chance to let your creativity out and gives the humble egg a chance to shine as well. Hard boil them for ten minutes to make sure they don’t crack or pop when you get started, and get to work. You can use just about anything that doesn’t need you to press too hard, so feel free to grab markers, felt tips or even paint brushes. Make them colourful, draw faces, put on some stickers and eggspress yourself.

Plant seeds

That’s right; you can actually plant seeds in eggs and grow them there before moving them onto their permanent home in the garden or pot. The seeds will grow because of the nutrition still inside the shell, and look pretty adorable too! Make a tiny crack at the top to drain out the yolk, and break away the edges until you have a cup shape, give it a rinse, and add a small amount of sand at the bottom before covering with some paper towel.

Add some moist soil, and make a little hole inside. Drop the seed in and cover with a little more soil before putting the egg back into its carton, but lined with aluminium. Find a sunny spot and leave it there!

Well, there you have it – just a few ideas on what you can do with eggs this Easter! We wish you a fantastic bank holiday weekend with lots of sunshine!

 

Recipe Highlight – Dean Edward’s Cheat’s Kedregree

 

Here’s a really simple but very tasty recipe you can prepare in less than half an hour – this is Dean Edward’s Cheat’s Kedgeree. Traditionally, Kedgerees are thought to have originated in India, but after crossing the ocean by way of returning British colonialists, it became a popular breakfast dish in Europe. Since then, it has become a handy meal for any time of day and is perfect for using up leftovers in a nutritious and tasty way.

 

 

This dish contains a great combinations of flavours that work beautifully together including garlic, ginger, mustard, turmeric, chillis and more. With both fish and eggs, this dish is a real nutritional powerhouse and after you’ve mastered Dean’s recipe, experiment with some other ingredients that take your fancy and create your own ideal dish.

For full methodology and ingredients, visit the recipe page.

7 Common Mistakes When Cooking Scrambled Eggs

 

Are your scrambled eggs not up to scratch? Not to worry, you’re probably making the same mistakes as everybody else. There are plenty of tips out there on how to cook perfect scrambled eggs, but we thought it would be helpful to look at some of the things to avoid if you want to get light and fluffy the first time round.

 

Don’t whisk too long before cooking – don’t leave too much time between whisking your eggs and adding them to the pan whilst you get other things ready. By whisking them immediately before cooking you can trap more air which makes the scramble fluffy and light.

Avoid overcooking – the key to this is turning off the heat just before you think the eggs are cooked, i.e. when they look wet but not runny. The leftover heat will continue to cook the eggs to perfection for that extra minute. If you wait they are fully cooked before preparing to serve, the eggs will continue to cook and may end up dry.

 

Out with the old, in with the new – the age of the egg can make a big difference. Eggs have porous shells, letting air in and out, losing moisture and absorbing odours every day they spend in your fridge. The fresher the egg, the better the scramble!

 

High heat – what’s your rush? Eggs only take a few minutes to cook anyway; low heat works best to reduce the risk of browning and overcooking. It also gives you more control over the overall consistency and reduces the risk of burning them.

Stir to scramble – you’ll want to stir often for fluffy creamy eggs, this allows the egg curds to break down further making them smaller and softer. We recommend you stir with a wooden spoon rather than a fork for maximum fluffiness.

Season at the end – don’t season your egg too early. Salt can break down the egg making it watery, so wait until they are done before adding your seasoning.

So there you are! No longer will you puzzle over your soggy scrambles, and instead you’ll enjoy light and fluffy dishes every time you fancy it. Once you’ve managed to perfect your craft, how about cooking with the pros and trying out Dean Edward’s Masala Scrambled Eggs or Paul Merret’s Salmon Scrambled Eggs.

Recipe Highlight – Dean Edward’s Chilli Cheese and Jalapeno Omelette

The best thing about omelettes is how many different things you can do with them. With so many combinations of ingredients, you will never be short of meal ideas when there’s eggs and a pan involved. If you’re looking for an omelette recipe that has a bit of extra kick, why not give this Chilli Cheese and Jalapeno Omelette a go.

As demonstrated by TV Chef Dean Edwards, this recipe is deceptively simple and is a real taste sensation once ready. For starters, make yourself a fresh salsa using cherry tomatoes, red onion and a touch of chilli to give it the heat. Rustle up your omelette with some spicy Mexican chilli cheese (using a non-stick pan!) and once ready, fold it up and you’re ready to plate up. Serve the omelette up with your fresh salsa and a dollop of sour cream, and you’re ready to eat! We think this one’s a real winner, so give it a go and let us know how you get on.

Check out our Videos section for more great recipes from Dean Edwards and other TV chefs.

Different ways to poach an egg

Poached eggs are great, but can take a little bit of practice until you get them just right. How does one make the perfect poached egg rather than just an eggy mess? There are many techniques out there, so here are a few ideas for you to experiment with and find out which works best for you:

 

The Whisker

A common approach is to create a whirlpool in your pan by whisking the boiling water (be careful!) which will help the egg hold its shape when it’s put in as it’ll wrap around itself. Use a whisk instead of a spoon (important!) Once the egg is in the pan, turn the heat down and let it simmer for three minutes.

Poached Eggs

The Sitter

Fill a small frying pan with about 2.5cm of boiled water. Break the egg in and leave it there to simmer for a minute. Turn the heat off and leave it to sit in the hot water for 10 more minutes.

The Dunker

Now, time to try something a little different. Firstly, half-fill a pan with water and let it simmer.  Line a bowl with cling film and lightly grease it with a drop of vegetable oil. Break the egg into the bowl and then twist the cling film shut. Then lower the pouch into the pan and cook it for 3 minutes. Next, dunk the whole thing in iced water; when the bag is cool release the egg from the cling film and there you have it!

The Poacher

Or you can forget all of that and just buy yourself an egg poacher, which is nice and easy to use. Start by boiling water in a pan (deep enough to allow the poacher to float). Put the poacher in the water and then crack the egg into it and cook for around 10-15mintues. Then carefully take out the poacher and serve.

Age Matters

Another important thing to take into account when poaching is the age of your eggs (unless you’re cooking in a poacher). If the eggs you are using are a little older and not fresh, then the white won’t coagulate properly. Just a drop of vinegar is effective in helping the congealing process. A tip to checking how fresh your eggs are is to place them into a bowl of water, the more it floats the older it is.

So there you are; plenty of ways to poach an egg!  Are you a dunker, whisker, sitter or poacher? Try them all and see which one turns out the best. Once you know your preferred method, check out our poached egg recipes and cook up some really tasty and nutritious meals. Got any ideas of your own? Get in touch and let us know!

Egg Microwave Tips

Most people’s biggest fear with eggs and microwaves is an egg-explosion (eggplosion?), but cooking eggs in the microwave is really easy and can create some pretty tasty dishes too! Here are a few basic tips on microwave cooking and a few easy recipes to start with

 

Firstly, some important tips

Scrambled EggsMost importantly, never microwave an egg in its shell – it’ll definitely explode! The egg yolk tends to cook faster than the white, so dishes where the eggs are beaten tend to cook more evenly. Covering the container your egg is in also encourages more even cooking, along with stirring the dish (if you can).

The size of the egg determines how long  it needs to be in the microwave, but remember, eggs are easily overcooked in the microwave – always use minimum times and add only small time increments before checking (e.g. 15 seconds).

A few simple dishes you can make

Microwave scramble eggs

Beat a large egg and add 1 tablespoon of water or milk. Then place in a microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Give it a stir and then give it 10 more seconds (but keep a close eye).

For two eggs, beat two eggs, and add 2 tablespoons of water or milk and microwave for 45 seconds before stirring and giving it 20-30 more seconds (but keep a close eye).

Microwave fried eggs

Grease a plate with butter and then break an egg onto it. Use the tip of a knife to break the yolk membrane of the unbeaten egg to allow the steam to escape or you might be in for a popping! Cover it in cling film and then microwave for 2-3 minutes. Serve and enjoy!

Microwave omelettes

Beat 2 eggs and add 2 tablespoons of water. Microwave 1 teaspoon of butter on a plate for about 30 seconds, or until it has melted. Coat the bottom of the plate with the butter and add the egg onto the hot plate. Cover it tightly with cling film, leaving a small vent. Then Microwave on high for 1.5 to 2 minutes. When there is no visible liquid egg remaining at the top, add cheese or other fillings. Fold the omelette and serve.

Great! Now you’ve mastered microwavable eggs you can experiment with recipes. Maybe start off simple with a tuna omelette and then get more extravagant with a chorizo potato and pepper tortilla.

We have a whole bunch of tasty microwave egg recipes, so head on over and give them a try!

Dean Edwards’ English Breakfast Tortilla

They say breakfast is the best meal of the day, so why not have a go at something a little different such as a filling and delicious breakfast tortilla! Starting off your day with a tortilla is definitely a good way to kick things off because it tastes amazing and will go a long way to keeping you full and feeling good until lunchtime.

Breakfast Tortilla Featuring classic English breakfast ingredients such as eggs, sausages, tomatoes and mushroom, this simple recipe has been put together by none other than TV Chef Dean Edwards, Masterchef 2006 runner-up and a regular guest on shows such as Lorraine and This Morning.

Trust us, this tastes amazing! Put away the toast and enjoy a proper breakfast with the best breakfast tortilla in town.

Eggs aren’t just for breakfast

There’s no doubt about it – eggs are a brilliant breakfast food, but they’re just as handy as a main meal. For some people, the idea of having eggs for dinner might have not occurred, but there’s actually a whole lot you can do!

We’re here to set the record straight and show that eggs are a great dinner option because they are easy to prepare, nutritious and incredibly versatile. So, what can you do? Here are a few examples…

Oven ideas

Put away the pots and pans and see what you can do with an oven! Cooking eggs in the oven is just as easy as anything else and gives you some great new options you may not have tried before. For a light, healthy and simple dish, try your hand at making baked eggs with courgettes and tomatoes , or for something hearty, cook up a family-sized portion of Greek filo pie.

Omelettes

The best thing about omelettes is that you can put as few or as many ingredients as you want, scaling the whole shebang according to the size of the meal. If you’re having an omelette for dinner, you can really go to town and include all kinds of delicious additions such as ham, cheese, peppers, tomatoes and other vegetables. Read our previous blog entry on how to make a perfect omelette, and check out this tasty courgette risotto omelette for inspiration.

Pasta and noodles

Eggs and pasta make a great team, and there are so many different ways you can combine the two with to make satisfying and delicious meals. For a few ideas, why not create a scrumptious egg and tomato lasagne, or whip up rich and tasty Carbonara in no time at all.

We could go on all day about different main meal ideas, but instead of listing them all here, we already have dozens of recipes on our home site. Visit our main meals section to try one out for yourself and discover a whole new range of egg recipes for dinner.