Just when I didn’t think I could look at another bacon (or steak, if I had leftovers) and cheddar omelet topped with salsa, salvation arrived in the form of a lovely layered veggie: a sweet yellow onion. I’m still having an omelet everyday, but using a caramelized onion and swiss cheese completely changes the flavor profile, and it feels like a whole new breakfast for me. I’ve also taken to making one-egg omelets so I can really taste the onion; this version ends up being more like onions and swiss bound by a bit of egg. It. Is. Divine.
Caramelized Onion Omelet
(net carbs – 5 to 6g, depending on how much cheese you use and the size of your onion quarter)
1/4 yellow onion, diced
2 Tbsp butter
1 thin slice of swiss
a small sprinkle of shredded cheddar
1 egg, beaten
Melt butter in a skillet over very low heat – I set my gas range at 2. Add onion. Allow to sautee 10 to 20 minutes, until just barely beginning to brown. Give it a stir and let it cook another 5 to 10 min until everything is a nice golden brown. Push your eggs together into the smallest flat circle (ie, not mounded) they will make. Slowly pour the egg over the onions trying to cover everything. I usually drizzle around the entire outer edge and then fill in the center. You might end up with a few spots not entirely filled in. It’s OK. This isn’t about making a picture perfect omelet – just a delicious one.
Turn the heat up to about 6. Let cook 20 to 30 seconds, until mostly set. Spoon a smidge of water around the inside edge of the pan and quickly cover for 20 to 30 seconds, until top is set. (The steam helps cook the top. This is a great trick for omelets and fried eggs.) Add cheese, repeat step with water and cover for 30 to 40 seconds. Remove cover, fold omelet in half in pan, and let cook another minute or so, until the cheese is thoroughly melted. Some will ooze out, and that’s fine – it gets a little crispy and adds to the final flavor.
Remove from pan with spatula rather than just dumping it out – this will leave the excess butter behind. I find a generous amount of butter is necessary to keep the onions from burning, but you don’t necessarily want all of it covering your omelet.
This might sound complicated, but it’s really not. I cut an onion into quarters at the beginning of the week, and wrap the extra quarters up in foil and put them in the fridge until I need them. (I’ve been told I should dice the whole thing at the start, though, and refrigerate the diced onion. I don’t know if that makes a big difference.) So all I have to do is quickly dice 1/4 onion, which takes next to no time at all. (It would take 0 time if you dice the whole thing on Day 1.) I’ll often start the onions going right before I head up to take my shower. Walking out of the bathroom to the smell of sauteeing onions is pretty much heaven! Whether I do or not, though, the onions really don’t need much tending. You might not even need to give them that extra stir – I happen to enjoy doing it because something about stirring sauteeing onions with a wooden spoon makes me feel happy on the inside. 🙂
Once the onions are ready, throwing the omelet together really only takes about 2-3 minutes at the stove since the pan is well heated and a single egg cooks very quickly. Which is more time than I’d be willing to spend if I had to get into the car for a long commute. But since I work from home, I usually start this process after the kids are at school, and if I’ve already showered, I begin my work day while the onions cook. It’s really a very easy way to start the day with a delicious breakfast.