Monday, November 14, 2011

No-hassle Omelets

There's a lot of reasons that we all go camping, but generally we all look forward to the leisure worries, no's all about enjoying the outdoors and the time together.  And of course we go for the food!  Dutch oven, BBQ, cobbler...we could go on and on!  Well, anyone who knows me knows that I love food, but how about the time it takes to prepare it while we are out there?  Not so much!  Time I could be hiking, kicking back on the float tube, telling lies around the fire, whatever it may be.  So today I want to share an idea with you for omelets that are very easy to prepare, delicious, and very simple to clean up after.  I want to thank my Uncle Don Porter for sharing this idea with us a few years ago when we were on an outing to Lake Powell.  What struck me most is how easy this method was to quickly feed a large group of people, and allow people to make their omelets to their liking.

First, cook up your favorite meat ingredients...sausage, bacon, ham...whatever you like.  My family also likes to saute some green chillies (which you can also dice raw and cook with the omelet), and mushrooms, and of course we like cheese in them. 

Now on your Camp Chef (or trailer stove) bring a large pot of water to boil.  You may actually want to do this while cooking the usually starts to boil just in time for the meat to finish up.  The smallest pot I have used is an 8 quart.  It works for our family, but we use a 12 quart for a large gathering.  The more room the will take longer to cook if you over-fill the pot with omelets.
 For feeding a large group I suggest placing each ingredient in a small bowl and line all the bowls out on the table.  At the head of the line you will want a box of Zip-Lock double zip baggies.  I suggest using Zip Lock, we have tried cheaper brands and found that they tend to leak.  Yellow and blue makes are going to want to be sure they are sealed, remember we are trying to make a breakfast without the mess!  Also, place a small bowl for mixing the ingredients at the head of your line.

In the bowl, mix your eggs (the number will depend on how hungry you are!) and the ingredients you want in your omelet.  Add a dash of milk to help fluff up the eggs.  We normally just mix them with a fork.  Now, with a Sharpie marker, write your name on the baggie, then pour the ingredients in.  When you seal the bag try to get all the air out that you can.  Again, double seal baggies...and make sure they are sealed well!

Now carefully drop the baggie into the boiling water.  Don't worry about it touching the sides of the pot, we have never had any melting problems.  Now the cooking time will depend on the number of eggs used in your omelet.  I would figure about 5 minutes per egg...but it may take a little longer if you are cooking a lot of bags at one time.  In the 12 quart pot we can usually stick to the 5 minute per egg timeline with 6-8 baggies in the pot.  Use a pair of tongs to pull the baggie out, then carefully hold the top of the baggie between two fingers.  The top of the baggie cools quickly outside of the pot, so you should be able to hold it like this fairly quickly after coming out of the water.  Now, while you hold it gently squeeze the omelet with the tongs.  When it is fairly firm, it is done.  If you see a lot of fluid run out drop it back in.  Working the uncooked egg from inside to out by pinching with the tongs will also help it cook faster.  Don't be worried if all the fluid will not cook off.  If you put a lot of cheese in like we do, you will see a small amount of grease from the cheese, and maybe even from off of the meat.

Our kids CRAVE these omelets when we camp!  They have a blast preparing their own...other than the help we provide in breaking the eggs and making sure Braden doesn't put a huge handful of cheese in!  They like to watch for their names to appear and disappear as they cook.  They gobble them down and it seems like they always ask for more!  Other than a couple of bowls and a meat pan to wash it is a quick clean up.

I know it's not the perfect season for camping.  We actually pulled the Camp Chef out in the garage, but you can just as easily do this on your stove top.  Give it a try at home, I'm sure you will enjoy cooking them on your outings next summer!