A combination of onions, peppers, ham and eggs, the Denver omelet makes for quite the hearty breakfast. The dish shares a name with Colorado’s mile-high city, but it is unclear exactly why. Many conjecture that Western pioneers created the dish in an effort to hide the taste of spoiled eggs. Back before refrigeration technology was widely available, eggs would be shipped in bulk. As a result, some eggs would go bad before there was a chance to use them. By adding a lot of the ingredients they had lying around, cooks in the old West could mask the taste of these spoiled goods. In honor of the city’s namesake, here is a recipe for a traditional Denver omelet.
2 Tablespoons of diced ham
1 Tablespoon of diced bell pepper (any color)
1 Tablespoon diced red onion
1/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
(Feel free to add filling ingredients to the ones listed here.)
To begin, whisk together the eggs in a bowl until they are completely combined and then set the bowl aside. Heat up a pan and cook your ham, pepper and onion in a tablespoon of butter. In an oven-proof omelet pan, melt a tablespoon of butter and pour in the egg mixture. Use a rubber spatula to ensure the egg is dispersed evenly throughout the pan. Before the eggs fully set, add the cooked ham, pepper and onion mixture and then place the grated cheese on top. Finish off the cooking by placing the pan under your broiler until the cheese melts. When it’s done, fold your omelet onto a plate and enjoy. One of the easiest ways to fold the omelet is to begin to slide it onto your serving plate. Then, once the omelet is about halfway off, gently flick the rest of it onto itself. Alternatively, you can use your spatula while the omelet is still in the pan to fold one third over and then the other third over. If you make a mess the first time, don’t worry, practice makes perfect.
Omelets are great opportunities for student chefs to experiment with new and exciting flavor combinations. Consider adding herbs or spices to the egg mixture or substituting out different kinds of ham and cheddar. The Denver omelet allows for a lot of creativity in the kitchen.