Baked Potato Omelet

There’s a diner in the “used car lot” part of Boise.

It’s connected to a pretty sketchy-looking motel/U-Haul distributor/Parking Lot where Fleet Vehicles are Stored. The seats are orange and ripped and the waitresses have all worked there since the early 2000s. I’ve been going there since I was 4 or 5 years old, and I still instinctually try to sit in the non-smoking section.

It’s one of those places that feels like a parallel dimension, where time is stopped and breakfast is hot and there are no troubles.

When I was four I read my first words (pancake) from the menu.

When I was a freshman in college, new to the “big city,” I bellied up to the breakfast bar for French toast when I missed my mom and my teeny hometown and my brood of little siblings.

As a recent grad, I did the crossword over cinnamon rolls with mascara all over my face from a late night out with my smokin’ hot boyfriend and our gang of too many roommates.

Now that I’m a grownup, I go there with my smokin’ hot husband and we sip decaf and try to guess which of the hungover patrons are in a slightly locally famous band.

This omelet is inspired by that diner and some of the dishes they make there. If you need a hug, this dish is love in breakfast form.

Baked Potato Omelette

Makes one massive omelet. You could share this omelet with someone you love, or say fuck the world and enjoy a comically large omelet. We all have two wolves inside of us.

If you’re making multiple of these omelets, prep the potato pancakes first. The egg part goes quickly, so people won’t have to wait too long.

NOTE: This process moves very quickly. Read this recipe all the way through and make sure your ingredients are prepped so you don’t burn everything. There’s nothing more demoralizing than scraping an omelet into the trash.

Ingredients

The filling:

  • 1 baked potato, cooled (pick a smaller one- a giant Idaho Baker will be too big)
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Handful of chives, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • A bit of olive oil
  • *If you can tolerate soy, add some bacon bits! (the shelf-stable kind in the bottle are vegetarian!)

Ze Omelette:

  • 3 eggs
  • A pat of butter
  • A few tablespoons of shredded cheese (I like Monterey Jack, but this works with any firm cheese you have on hand)

Process

As all good things in life do, this recipe starts with the taters.

If you don’t have a leftover baked potato, a potato made in the microwave works just fine. Poke holes in the tater and either use the microwave’s potato setting or microwave for 4–5 minutes.

Put your ingredients in a bowl and mash them until they’re mostly smooth. A bit of texture is fine, just make sure the ingredients are incorporated. Heat up a pan to medium. Put your mixture in the pan and use a spatula to form it into a pancake-like shape. Squish it together as much as you can and press down on the hot pan to let it sear. Cook on each side, adding salt and pepper for 3–5 minutes, or until you have a brown, crispy crust.

While you’re waiting for your potato pancake to cook, whip up your eggs with some salt and pepper. Normally when making scrambled eggs (or a french omelette) there’s some concern about overworking the eggs. Not here, whip the absolute hell out of them until they’re super uniform. I whip with a fork as vigorously as I can for about 5 minutes. You could even pop them in a blender and blitz.

Your pancake should be done by now, so remove the pancake from the pan and reduce the pan’s temperature to medium-low. You can use the same pan you fried your pancake in to make your omelet and save on dishes.

Add your pat of butter and swirl around the pan to evenly coat.

Add your eggs to the pan and swirl to evenly coat. Immediately add your bit of extra cheese and then your potato pancake. This process will move quickly.

Lift up the edges of your omelet with a spatula to ensure even cooking and let the uncooked eggs coat the pan evenly.

Once you start to see some browning on the bottom of your eggs, you now get to precariously fold the omelet over on itself, hiding your potato pancake in a luscious egg bed. Use a wide spatula (or even two spatulas) and don’t be too hard on yourself if it rips. I get this part right less than half the time, but it’s still always delicious.

Put a lid on the pan (or a baking sheet, if you’ve lost the lid) and let sit on low for 2 minutes. The eggs will finish cooking, and you can either slide the omelet onto your plate or do what I do and put the plate on the pan upside down and flip everything over. Strategy 2 works well if you accidentally ripped your eggs in the previous step.

Swaps

Make it gluten-free?

It already is! Just don’t add anything too out of pocket and you’re fine.

Make it Low FODMAP?

Some cheeses are low FODMAP, but to be safe for sensitive stomachs, I’d omit the sour cream and most of the cheese. Use a cheese like havarti or cheddar sparingly. Surprisingly, chives are good to go. If you have a hard time digesting fiber, remove the peel of the potato before mashing.

Make it vegan?

If you like Just Egg (or can find it on store shelves) use Just Egg and sub vegan butter and a vegan cheese. I’d omit the butter and use a tiny bit of olive oil. I personally don’t love Just Egg, so you could also just incorporate the potato pancake into a tofu scramble that’s divine.

This seems less than healthy…

“Healthy” is so relative- if you’re watching how you eat, think about how this omelet could help you reach your goals.

If your goal is fat loss, omit the sour cream, use a lower-fat cheese, and use egg whites instead of whole eggs. Omit the butter. If your goal is higher protein intake, use mashed white beans instead of potatoes and/or cottage cheese to add a creamy element.

If your goal is to enjoy something sumptuous and hearty, while nourishing your body, make it just how it’s written and enjoy!

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