Judging by the looks of the plentiful submissions this week, omelettes are our readers' (and, frankly, Cook's) go-to on busy weeknights. Being stuck in a spinach-and-goat's cheese rut myself, it was a thoroughly fantastic lesson in what you can do with a couple of eggs and an open mind.
If you need dinner in 10 minutes flat, begin with Lepetitoeuf's sundried tomato and Roquefort creation; cooking it with the oil from the jar of tomatoes really boosts the flavour and helped the base stand up to the strong cheese. Irfan Husain's take on a desi omelette is packed with vibrant spices " fresh coriander, a little heat from ginger " and ready super-fast " this makes a lovely Saturday breakfast with buttery parathas, whilst a Malaysian omelette from MarmadukeScarlet is the perfect, hearty vessel for any leftover rice.
Meanwhile, ID2040657's roasted veg and feta frittata is a great "get-ahead" option as the veg will keep well in the fridge for a few days. Suzanne Anderegg's toasted corn, avocado and tomato omelette, however, is just the thing if you're after something dairy-free and healthy but hugely satisfying; especially good with a splash of chilli sauce.
The winner this week though managed to tick every box; I've eaten Fadime Tiskaya's harissa, coriander and feta omelette for breakfast with fresh tomatoes; cut into wedges for lunch with a green salad, and with a cold of beer for dinner. I'm in a new rut, but it's a good one to be in.
The winning recipe: omelette with harissa, coriander and feta
This is a simple, quick and delicious omelette that you can have at any time of day.
2 tbsp butter
1 onion, finely sliced
Salt and black pepper
1 tsp harissa
5 large eggs
A large handful of fresh coriander, finely chopped
3 spring onions, finely chopped
1 red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
150g feta, crumbled
1 Melt the butter in a nonstick frying pan, then add the onion with some salt and pepper and fry for a few minutes on a low heat until they are soft. Add in the harissa and cook for one more minute.
2 Whisk the eggs in a mixing bowl with more salt and pepper. Add in the coriander and spring onions. Pour into the pan and cook over a low heat until the bottom layer thickens.
3 Sprinkle over the chilli and the feta, cover and cook for 2-3 minutes, or place under a hot grill until cooked, then serve.
Toasted sweetcorn, avocado and tomato omelette
This omelette was created accidentally when I was too tired and hungry to consider if the combination of ingredients would actually work together but I discovered that I really loved it. It is now my favourite omelette and it tastes amazing alongside big hunks of cornbread.
Suzanne Anderegg, Milton Keynes
1 tsp olive oil
50g frozen sweetcorn
6 large eggs
1 avocado, sliced into small chunks
2 small tomatoes, chopped into chunks
1 Heat the olive oil in small nonstick frying pan on medium heat. Add the frozen sweetcorn and stir until it is defrosted. Continue to fry the corn until it begins to brown. Remove from the pan and set aside.
2 Keep the frying pan on medium heat while you prepare the omelette. Whisk the eggs in a large bowl until light and fluffy. Add it to the frying pan all in one go, then begin to shake the pan and swirl the egg mixture around gently, lifting the edges slightly so the uncooked mixture can seep through to the pan.
3 When almost cooked, stop moving the eggs and sprinkle the avocado, tomato and corn on top of one half of the omelette. Spread any runny egg into any holes in the omelette.
4 Loosen the sides of the omelette with a spatula, then slide the spatula under the half of the omelette without the filling to give it as much support as you can. Carefully " and in one fluid motion " lift up the half of the omelette and fold it over on top of the filling. Lightly press the halves together and cook for another minute before flipping the omelette on to the other side. Cook for 1 minute more, then serve.
Malaysian fried rice omelette (nasi goreng pattaya)
This is a treasure trove of tastes and textures; a brilliant way of using up leftover rice jazzed up and stuffed into an omelette. I have heard that it is also a fabulous hangover cure, although I couldn't possibly comment ...
Vegetable oil, for frying
1 small red onion, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves, very finely chopped
¼ tsp ground coriander
¼ tsp ground cumin
¼ tsp ground turmeric
1 small chicken breast, chopped into bite-size pieces
100g cooked prawns
10-150g blanched vegetables (such as shredded cabbage, green beans and peas and carrots)
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tsp ketjap manis (sweet soy sauce)
2 tsp oyster sauce
175g long-grain rice, cooked
Salt and black pepper
Chilli sauce or tomato ketchup, to serve
Cucumber and red onion, finely sliced, to serve
1 Fry the onion in 2 tbsps of oil over a medium heat for 10 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add the garlic, spices and chicken, then stir fry for 2 minutes. Add the prawns and vegetables, then cook for another 2 minutes, stirring constantly.
2 Add the ketchup, ketjap manis and oyster sauce. Ensure they are well mixed before adding the rice. Stir fry for 3-4 minutes until the rice is heated through. Keep warm.
3 Next, make 2 separate omelettes by breaking 2 eggs into a bowl, whisking and seasoning to taste. Heat about 2 tsp of oil in a small frying pan over a high heat. Swirl to ensure the base is coated. Tip in the beaten eggs. Swirl to ensure the egg evenly coats the pan's base. Use a wooden spoon to bring the sides of mixture into the centre of pan. Then tip the pan to redistribute the uncooked egg. The omelette is ready when the underside is cooked and the top is slightly runny in the centre.
4 Slide omelette on to a plate. Place half of the filling on to one side of the omelette, then flip the unfilled side over the top. Drizzle with chilli sauce or ketchup. Serve up with the cucumber and onion while you make the second omelette.
Roast vegetable and feta frittata
I usually use leftover roast vegetables to make this speedy but delicious mid-week supper, but you can make the vegetables as below and use what's left (there will be a lot) as a side with meat or fish, in salads or pasta, or whatever else takes your fancy"....
For the roast veg
1 aubergine, chopped into chunks
2 courgettes, chopped into chunks
3 peppers, preferably 3 different colours (red, orange, yellow), chopped into chunks
For the frittata
1 medium red onion, sliced
2 garlic cloves
A generous handful of chopped parsley
4 large eggs
A splash of milk
Salt and black pepper
150g feta, cubed
1 First, roast the veg. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6, then put the veg in a large baking tray and toss generously in olive oil. Roast in the oven for about 45 minutes, tossing a couple of times during cooking.
2 To make the frittata, put the oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, then add the sliced onion and crushed garlic and cook until soft. Add the roast veg " use enough to cover the base of your frying pan in one layer. Cook for a couple of minutes until warmed through, if you are using leftover veg. Stir in the chopped parsley.
3 Next, beat the eggs with a good splash of milk and season generously. Turn the heat to low, then pour over the egg mixture. Cook for a couple of minutes until the egg starts to set on the base, but the top is still runny, and meanwhile, turn the grill on to a medium high heat.
4 Sprinkle the feta evenly over the top of the frittata, then put it under the grill for a few minutes, until it is puffed up, cooked and golden brown on top. Serve with a green salad.
Desi is the term Indians and Pakistanis use to describe anything from their part of South Asia. Most variations of desi omelettes include chopped tomatoes, and use raw ingredients for the filling. My take excludes the tomatoes as they bulk up the dish and make it too soggy, apart from diminishing the mild punch of the other ingredients. And I soften the onion mix by sauteeing it before cooking the eggs.
Irfan Husain, East Lulworth, Dorset
2 tbsp olive oil
6 large eggs
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
2cm fresh ginger, grated
½ tsp red chilli flakes
½ tsp cumin seeds
A handful of coriander leaves,chopped
Salt and black pepper
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 Lightly whisk the eggs in a bowl with a fork and set aside. Put the olive oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the onion and cook until softened. Add the garlic, ginger, spices and coriander, cooking until fragrant. Remove from the pan with a slotted spoon and place in a bowl.
2 Clean the pan with kitchen paper, and raise the heat to near-maximum, and melt the butter until it isgood and hot, but not smoking. Pour in the eggs, and almost immediately, distribute the onion mix evenly over them. Lift the edges, letting the liquid eggs slip under them.
3 Next, flip it over gently before the eggs are completely cooked. Try and get a slightly soft centre. If you have an audience in the kitchen, a good party trick is to place a large dining plate over the pan, lift it with one hand and turn it over so the omelette can cook on the other side. But this technique needs steady hands and nerves, as the possibility of getting egg on the floor (and face) is high. Serve either with parathas or toasted sourdough bread.
Roquefort and sundried tomato omelette with rocket
A powerfully flavoured omelette with just a few simple ingredients.
Salt and black pepper
40g Roquefort, crumbled
4 sundried tomatoes from a jar with oil, chopped
A handful of rocket
1 Heat a frying pan over a medium-low heat for 1-2 minutes, so that it is up to temperature before you start cooking. Whisk the eggs in a bowl and season well.
2 Add 1 tsp of the oil from your sun-dried tomato jar to the pan and swirl it around. Pour the eggs into the pan and move them around, bringing the edges in with a fork and tilting the pan to move the liquid egg around. When the omelette has a firm base and is still slightly runny on top, add the Roquefort and scatter the tomatoes all over it. Cook the omelette for slightly longer, and just before the top has completely set, fold the edges over and turn it out on to a plate. Top with a handful of rocket and serve.