I’m Baked

after oven

What would you call the above photo? Well, first, I’ll tell you what’s in it: eggs, potato, cheddar cheese, jalepeno, scallions, milk. Well, here – just click on Barefoot’s recipe and find out. I mostly followed it, except I didn’t use bacon (sorry!) and I chopped the cheese instead of grating it. Oh, and I used a cast iron skillet. But we’ll get into that later.

I was in a breakfast rut; I had been strictly outputting scrambles. But I then saw Barefoot make this on TV and appreciated how simple and delicious it looked and knew I wanted to try it. So Barefoot was almost done cooking it and then she said it – she called this an omelet.

What? An omelet? NO!

To me an omelet is simply butter in a pan, then a thin layer of egg that gets folded over once with possible enhancers (herbs, cheese, veggies.) What I would say is NOT an omelet are baked eggs. This is more like a frittata, no?

Also, how the fuck do you clean a cast iron skillet? I’ve looked it up a million times and have never found a consensus on how to care for this cookware. Plus, and I think I’ve mentioned this before, I’m so not mature enough to handle this piece of equipment. I never clean it right away. Sometimes it will sit for days with food in it, or it will sit in the sink with water in it. I’m terrible. I’d love a definitive answer. (Thank you in advance, Joe Hoya.) And someone to clean for me.

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  • JoeHoya June 11, 2008  

    Sorry – I’ve never cooked with cast iron so I’m not much help here.

    But I am thinking about picking up a skillet from the newly-opened Hill’s Kitchen (right near the Eastern Market metro stop). If I do, I’ll let you know how my efforts at keeping it clean pan out.

    With regard to the egg dish in question, I’d say it’s most like a torta (http://www.cooking.com/recipes/static/recipe3987.htm). Frittatas are traditionally broiled, tortas are more often baked. But I’ve seen frittatas referred to as ‘Italian omelets’ and tortas referenced as ‘Spanish omelets,’ so I guess it makes sense that Barefoot would be calling this dish an omelet, too.

  • Britannia June 11, 2008  

    I always thought you treated a skillet the same way a wok, don’t use cleaners, just warm water with a soft sponge, to remove any foods left on it, then dry with a paper towels or a soft towel.

  • belmontmedina June 11, 2008  

    Britannia’s right. You shouldn’t use soap (although sometimes I cheat and do), and it’s easiest to clean while still warm. You can use a rubber scraper or a scrub pad to get the buts of food off. Dry with a paper towel- DO NOT AIR DRY and make sure to rub the whole thing down with a little vegetable oil before you put it up. It’ll last forever- my mum has a cast iron skillet that used to belong to my great grandmother- she still uses it all the time.

  • Brooke June 11, 2008  

    I clean my cast-iron skillet with coarse kosher salt and a slightly damp paper towel. The salt is a mild abrasive to get any residue or cooked-on food off. I then wipe it all out with a dry paper towel to remove any salt. Try it!

  • Brooke June 11, 2008  

    By the way, how did the fritatta taste? It looks delicious!

  • Britannia June 11, 2008  

    Back in my university days I used to go to a great breakfast place, they would cook an English breakfast and serve it in a small individual sized skillet, but before they would give it to you they would crack an egg in it and cook that, the egg would cook around the sausage, bacon and mushrooms. It was amazing. Possibly the best use for a skillet I’ve seen. Other than the above creation, obvs.

  • gansie June 11, 2008  

    hey brooke – this was a pretty great breakfast. I would have liked to add more veggies, maybe spinach, but my dining partner was opposed.

  • miked. June 11, 2008  

    frittata=italian; omelete=french; tortilla de patatas/espanola=spanish; tortilla de papas=argentine.
    ??? = anglo-american (we got nothin’, we copy).

    that latter two always have potatoes. I don’t think the others have to (or even normally do). frittatas you start on the stove and finish in the oven. omeletes you fold (so they’re softer in the middle). For tortillas, you cook it all on the stove, flipping with the awesome plate technique that my dear Basque friend amaia taught me.

  • Maidelitala June 11, 2008  

    I’d call it a crustless quiche. fritatas aren’t baked they’re fritado

  • BS June 11, 2008  

    This dish definitely looks delicious, and definitely is not an omelet.

  • Mariah Carey June 11, 2008  

    My mom wipes out the food and doesnt get the skillet wet. Something about the grease adding to the pan – you don’t want to dry it out by getting it wet.

    I agree – definitely not an omlette.

  • MissGinsu June 11, 2008  

    Yeah, I’d go with frittata on that one. Southwestern frittata. Serve with a chilled glass of fresh fruit juice and a side of zippy salsa.

    When I worked as a line cook, we always heated our cast iron to smoking and then scrubbed out the pans with kosher salt before cooling them off and oiling them again. Worked great, but I wouldn’t recommend that treatment for the clumsy. It’s a bit perilous.

  • Jeb June 12, 2008  

    Is this what we had over memorial day weekend at your place?

  • Joe June 23, 2008  

    Nice, looks good. I would say it looks more like a frittata than an omelet. If you are interested come check out the Spanish Tortilla I made this morning. I think you might enjoy it. Keep up the good work.
    Joe http://cookingquest.wordpress.com

  • Coonass foodie July 8, 2008  

    I was always taught to never get a cast iron skillet wet much less let it soak (my god) just wipe it out (I like the salt method mentioned) but thats really all it needs.

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