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Omelet of the year? It won the "omelet open." (includes recipes)

Omelet of the year? It won the "Omelet Open'

Omelets are fast, fun, and free-wheeling.That's why Betsy Allen and Don Mohr of Leucadia, California, settled on them as the competitive focus of their annual "Omelet Open' brunch.

They've found that about three dozenpeople can perform various functions for a smooth-running party. All hands are invited to cook, serve, or judge; there are no idle observers. Those who elect to whip up an omelet--either an old favorite or a new fantasy--bring ingredients and equipment. The first to respond to the invitation get dibs on the kitchen range. Others bring electric frying pans, works, campstoves, or portable burners to set up in the garden.

Subcategories include beverages--blenderfruit concoctions prevail--and coffee cakes that come ready to eat.

Guests arrive, with duties preassingned. Tohelp keep order, a big poster noting all such details is on display.

The hosts have coffee, orange juice, andfresh strawberries ready. Judges evaluate the coffee cakes while cooking gets underway. Omelets and beverages are duplicated to make the needed number of servings. One sample goes to the judges, who stay segregated, slightly, until they come to their decisions. Winners are announced and rewarded, and the party moves on to a satisfied conclusion.

One omelet that caught our eye, and appetite,is this tiered creation. You can make meat and vegetable fillings ahead.

Five-tier Omelet

10 large eggs

1/4 cup water

About 1/4 cup (1/8 lb.) butter ormargarine

Sausage filling (recipe follows)

Zucchini filling (recipe follows)

Fresh salsa (recipe follows)

1/2 small ripe avocado (optional)

In a 4-cup glass measuring cup, beat eggsand water until blended.

Place a 7- to 8-inch nonstick omelet orfrying pan on medium-high heat. When hot, add about 2 teaspoons butter and swirl over surface. Pour about 1/2 cup of the egg mixture into pan; as it begins to firm on bottom and bubble, pop bubbles so uncooked egg runs into holes. Also, with a rubber spatula, quickly and gently lift edges of cooked eggs to let uncooked mixture flow beneath; don't shake pan.

When eggs are almost set, push liquid ontop to edges and under the omelet. Slide the set omelet, flat, into the center of a plate. Return pan to heat and add another 2 teaspoons butter. As butter melts, spoon half the sausage filling on top of the first omelet and put it in a 150| oven.

Make second omelet, following the samesteps. While it is cooking, spread sausage filling into an even layer on the first omelet. When second omelet is cooked, slide it directly on top of the filling on the first omelet. (If you have a partner and 2 pans, cook 2 omelets at a time.)

Return pan to heat and add 2 more teaspoonsbutter; as it melts, spoon half the zucchini filling on top of second omelet and return stack to oven. Make third omelet; as it cooks, distribute zucchini and onions in an even layer on second omelet.

Slide the third omelet on top of the zucchini;cover the omelet stack with the rest of the sausage filling. Concurrently, make the fourth omelet; when it's cooked, add it to the stack and cover with the rest of the zucchini mixture. Keep warm.

Use remaining eggs to make fifth omelet;slide it on top of the stack and keep warm. Peel, pit, and slice avocado half. Arrange on top of stack. Cut five-tier omelet into wedges; add salsa to taste. Serves 4 to 6.--Bob McAndrews, Olivenhain, Calif.

Sausage filling. Pull casing off 1/2 poundhot or mild Italian sausage. Crumble meat in a 10- to 12-inch frying pan over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 pound mushrooms, rinsed and minced, and 1/4 cup minced parsley. Stir often until meat is well browned. Stir in 2 medium-size ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped; and 1 small can (6 oz.) tomato paste.

Boil sauce, uncovered, stirring often, untilso thick it no longer flows when you pull a spoon across pan bottom, about 15 minutes. If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2 days; reheat to continue. Use hot.

Zucchini filling. In a 10- to 12-inchfrying pan over medium heat, combine 1 tablespoon olive oil or salad oil and 1 large onion, thinly sliced. Cook, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 20 minutes. Pour onions into a small bowl; set aside.

Trim ends from 3 medium-size zucchini(about 1 lb.); cut zucchini into 1/4-inch-thick slices. Add 1 more tablespoon olive oil or salad oil to pan. Spread a single layer of zucchini slices (about 1/3) in pan; place over medium heat. Cook until slices are speckled with brown; turn as needed with a spatula. With a slotted spoon, transfer slices to onions. Repeat to cook remaining zucchini; you'll need 2 more tablespoons olive oil or salad oil.

If made ahead, cover and chill up to 2days; reheat to continue. Use hot.

Fresh salsa. In a bowl, combine 1 largeripe tomato, cored and chopped; 1 small onion, finely chopped; 1/4 cup minced fresh coriander (cilantro); 1 tablespoon lemon juice; and 1 small fresh or canned jalapeno chili, minced. Serve, or cover and chill up to 4 hours. Makes 1 1/2 cups.

Photo: Wedges of five-tier omelet, layered with sausage and zucchini-onion fillings, make a showy presentation. Salsa accompanies

Photo: Blenders for beverage competitors plug into a multiple outlet strip. Fruit-based brews proved to be most popular with judges.

Photo: Electric work helps Debbie Hicksoncook her creation. T-shirts were supplied by hosts; shape of name tag identifies category of competition.

Photo: Guests dig in to compare the resultsand weigh judges' opinions against their own. Fresh omelets keep coming until everyone is sated
COPYRIGHT 1987 Sunset Publishing Corp.
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 1987 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Sunset
Date:Aug 1, 1987
Words:947
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