May 19

Genetically I am hard wired to be an early riser. My Mom tells a funny story about dating my Father in college and how like clockwork he was sound asleep and snoring loudly by 9 o’clock every evening. This apparently put a damper on any plans to socialize late into the night. His 6 am wake up times were also a rude awakening early on in their courtship, as my Mom relished the opportunity to sleep in whenever possible.

From an early age I took after my Father, and very little could persuade me that being comfortably tucked into bed early in the evening wasn’t the best possible way to end a day. When I started my career as a Chef one of the hardest parts of the job was reversing my internal clock so that instead of winding down around dinner time, I was winding up my energy and ready for the height of restaurant service. When I worked as a line cook in Half Moon Bay, California, it took several months of going to bed at 2 am, and waking up by 11 for me to get into this new routine. But I never fully acclimated to it, especially since my favorite meal of the day has always been breakfast, and eating it when the sun was nearly at high peak seemed to go against some law of nature.

I compromised by finding a diner close to my house that served breakfast throughout the day, and it was there that I discovered the perfect antidote.  It was billed “The California Omelet” and showed up as an overstuffed egg pocket, filled every which way with toppings and crowned with thick slices of emerald avocado. Substantial enough to cover two meals, but more characteristic of breakfast than of lunch, it easily satisfied my emotional need for breakfast fare along with my energy needs for the late afternoon workday. It left me contentedly stuffed and primed for a long night ahead.

As you can see from the size and heft of the garnishes that this omelet easily fits the bill and can work just as well as a fully satisfying supper. This was my first experience having avocado in an omelet and its creamy texture is delicious along side the egg. Rather than sautéing the ingredients into the omelet, they are folded into the center and also layered on top of the cooked egg. This allows the fresh layers of flavor to come through in a way reminiscent of a good cobb salad. A single, cool spoonful of sour cream adds a luscious final component to the dish, which as you tuck into your first bite, will ooze down like a sauce pulling everything together.

Recipe

Ingredients:

4 eggs, cracked and lightly beaten

¼ C Black beans, cooked

2 Tbsp sliced scallions, white and light green part only

1 Tbsp Sour cream

½ Avocado, cut into a medium dice

1 Tbsp, browned bacon pieces

¼ C chopped tomato

2 Tbsp smoked cheddar, grated

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

Heat a 6” nonstick skillet over medium-low heat for a few minutes. Pour in olive oil and then beaten eggs and follow instructions for cooking a proper omelet here. Before folding over, fill the center with bacon, cheese, tomatoes, and black beans. Once on the plate top with avocado, scallions, and a dollop of sour cream.

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