At least once a week the Small Girl and I have an intimate dinner a deux. A ladies’ night in, if you will. It’s every bit as relaxing as you can imagine an occasion where one of the participants is tired and cross after a long day in the sandpit and the other has run home, jumped in the shower, waved their spouse out the door and set about cooking dinner, fast.
On these nights, we have a special treat for dinner: cobletts. No, don’t go to the Larousse to look it up – a coblett is what omelets are called at our place. The shocking revelation by my husband recently that he didn’t know how to make one (deprived childhood, I blame his parents) made me determined to get our daughter up to speed. I’m not making her hold her bare wrist over the gas flame to ensure the omelet is suitably runny, but she’s got the egg mixing (“just a little bit, Mummy”) down to a fine art.
But because no girl can live by ordinary cobletts alone, we have started getting fancy. Here’s the latest version, a crouton-stuffed coblett inspired by Ferran Adria’s crisp omelet.
The crunchy, crusty omelet
This is perfect if you live in a household that’s bread-rich and time-poor. Or you just happen to like bread. And eggs. I’m sure you all know how to make an omelet but I include some instructions here in case my husband wants to learn.
For one person:
Take a couple of slices of bread – the crust from the end of a loaf, or the heel of yesterday’s baguette – and cut or break into small pieces (about 1.5cm, if you’re being pedantic).
Drizzle these with olive oil and bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until crisp and golden. Set aside while you break two eggs into a small bowl and stir them with a fork. If you like cheesy omelets, now’s the time to grate some good cheese and set it aside too.
Heat a good knob of butter in a small frying pan. When it foams, pour in the egg mixture. Let it set for about 10 seconds, then take a small spatula and lift up the edge on one side and let the runny mixture underneath. Continue doing this until most of the liquid has set – except for on the top. Scatter the crunchy croutons and cheese on one half of the omelet, then fold the other half over the top so you have a semi-circle. Let sit in the pan over gentle heat for about 10 seconds, then slide onto a plate. When you cut into it, the omelet will be the perfect mixture of soft and crunchy textures.
What’s your favourite ‘instant’ dinner?