Brown Butter, Sage & Cheese Omelette

The star in this recipe is not the cheese, but the sage and brown butter. Looking at the picture of my omelette, you might think it will be far too oily, but trust me, it’s not. This is another post in “The Runny Egg” Series, so our omlette will obviously be of the runny sort. The addition of cheese however binds the runny egg a bit, so it might be a way to convert our dry egg friends to the joys of the runny ones!

What do you need for this omelette? Eggs, obviously, but also fresh sage. If you can’t find that, you could go with marjoram, but that’s about the only replacement I can think of. We have a sage shrub on our tiny balcony and it seems to be doing reasonably well. I dare not move it at all, for fear of upsetting it and seeing it wilt away in obstinate protest. Sage is wonderfully fragrant, but it can overpower a dish easily, so go easy. I use only about 5 smallish leaves for a two egg omelette. Three will do if they are very large. Just wash them and dry them a little without crushing the things.

I use salted butter to make the this beurre noisette (hazelnut brown butter), which is quite unorthodox, but adds a thrillingly savoury note to it. If you can find a good butter with proper salt flakes in it, like the one shown here, then please use that one. It really does make a huge difference. Eggs, of course get the best you can find and please forget the pasteurised ones, the low cholesterol (it means tiny yolks) or extra selenium, cadmium or lead type eggs. A simple, free range chicken egg will do just fine.

To make a nice breakfast omelette for one you will need:

  • 2 fresh eggs
  • ½ Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbsp grated cheese
  • 1 small pinch salt
  • white pepper
  • 1 Tbsp salted butter
  • 5 sage leaves

I use two different types of cheese for this, Emmenthaler for creamy stringiness and aged cheddar for depth. One generous, loose packed tablespoon of each will be enough. Grate your cheese first and then crack the eggs into a bowl, add a small pinch of salt and a fair amount of white pepper and whisk them until they bubble a little. You’re just breaking up the eggs, not making a sabayon, so don’t overdo it. Make sure to salt the eggs very lightly, because the cheese will add salt and you also have the salted beurre noisette we will pour over later.

Now heat the unsalted butter in the pan. You want to be at medium high heat, if you want a brown omelette and at medium low if you don’t. Once the butter is foaming, pour in the eggs and wait for the sides to just set, then scrape the side gently into the middle, all around the edges. The remaining liquid egg should flow to fill the gaps you have made. You should be able to do this for roughly one and a half rounds before you need to tilt the pan to fill the gap. Stop after the first tilting, grab your grated cheese and scatter it all over the runny egg. Tilt your pan and use a spatula to fold the egg roughly in half. Your upper half, should be a little smaller than your bottom half. This is not vital, but it makes the finished omelette look much better.

Slip the omelette on a plate and immediately add the salted butter to the pan. Keep the heat high and as soon as the butter is frothing, toss the sage leaves in. You should hear a satisfying crackle. Wait for the butter to just turn brown and pour it over the omelette.

Now all you need is a nice slice of toasted Flaxseed Loaf (see recipe), a cup of tea and the morning is starting very well indeed. This is a new recipe I came up with this morning, so please do try it and let me know what you think.

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