I’ve been totally lame this summer. I haven’t been giving you nearly enough recipes for the fabulous fruits and vegetables that were bountiful at farmer’s markets and grocery stores, because I’ve been traveling and moving and working and not cooking very much. And also because the light in my new kitchen is not very good. I’m working on it, and I think painting the walls a lighter color will help, but the photos I’ve taken so far in there are dark and weird. I apologize.
But despite the sub-par photos, I wanted to share this puffy corn omelet with you while you can still snag some fresh corn.
You probably could make this with canned or frozen corn, too, but fresh is obviously better. And it’s a good way to use up a lot of corn, especially if you fall victim to a buy-four-ears-get-one-ear-free deal even though there are only two people who live in your house.
This is not a normal omelet. You need to beat the egg whites separately and then fold them into the yolks. After you incorporate everything, you spoon the mixture into an oven-proof skillet and bake it. It’s light, fluffy and delicious.
I’ve made it twice — for dinner. But obviously it would work for breakfast, brunch or even lunch.
I didn’t beat my egg whites long enough; there was still some watery stuff at the bottom of the bowl when I poured it into the yolks. So the finished product didn’t look quite as perfect as the photo on epicurious.com. But who cares, as long as it tastes great, right?
I put a few little chunks of fresh mozzarella cheese in the omelet this time, and topped the finished product with basil. You could try a different kind of cheese or no cheese at all, and the herbs on top are easily changeable. The original recipe called for chives, and I also tried cilantro. Just use what you have.
Corn + butter + eggs. Yum.
Puffy corn omelet (Serves 4, adapted from Gourmet)
3-4 ears of corn, husked
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
4 large eggs (separate them while they’re cold, then let the whites come to room temperature, if possible)
1/4 to 1/2 cup mozzarella (shredded or in small pieces — optional)
1 tablespoon basil
Heat oven to 350F.
Put enough water in a large pot to cover all the cobs of corn. Bring the water to a boil, add some salt, and (carefully) place the corn cobs in the water. Remove the pot from the heat and cover it. Let the covered pot stand for 10 minutes.
Drain the water and/or remove the corn. Once the corn is cool enough to handle, cut the kernels into a deep bowl, using a sharp knife. Scrape the cobs against the side of the bowl to get as much of the corn milk in there as you can.
Melt the butter in a 10-inch ovenproof nonstick skillet. Remove the skillet from heat and pour most of the butter into the bowl with the corn (you want to leave a little butter in the pan so the omelet doesn’t stick). Stir the corn and melted butter together with 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
Whisk the egg yolks with another 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a large bowl. In another (very clean) bowl, use an electric mixer to beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt, starting on low speed and moving up to medium speed. Once the whites hold stiff peaks, fold 1/3 of them into the yolks, then fold in the rest of the whites (don’t stir or flatten them, but you do want to make sure everything is well combined).
Carefully fold in the corn and cheese, if using. Spoon the mixture into the skillet and bake until the edges are golden and the omelet is set, about 10 minutes. While the omelet is cooking, rinse and chop or chiffonade the basil.
Use a rubber spatula to remove the omelet from the skillet. Sprinkle with some of the basil to serve.