Saturday, March 16, 2013

Corned Beef Scramble / Omelet / Quiche

I didn’t realize until I started working on this column that I don’t really use recipes when it comes to corned beef. I get ideas for things to do with the corned beef, but then I just go my merry way. Corned Beef and Cabbage Saute, above, is one example. CORNED BEEF OMELET is another one. For that matter, so is cooking the corned beef to begin with. Think of the following recipe as just a basic idea, and then use whatever you have on hand and like. I’ve never tried it, but sautéing some leftover Brussels sprouts with the corned beef and onions sounds pretty good to me. So does adding a good squirt or spoonful of spicy mustard. Or maybe some Thousand Island salad dressing, like in Reuben sandwich. Or whatever. Use your imagination.

When I make “omelets” I usually either make a scramble or I pour the eggs on top of the filling and cook it that way. Sort of like a frittata except I don’t broil it. I’m too lazy to bother with cooking the filling, then setting it aside while I cook the eggs, then putting the filling on the omelet and folding it. Suit yourself. It tastes the same either way. Making it into a scramble (cooking the filling, then adding the eggs and scrambling it all together) or making it into a frittata sort of thing (I need to come up with a name for this – how about a flat omelet) works better when you’re cooking for more than one or two people, because you’re not supposed to make an omelet for more than two people; you’re supposed to make separate omelets and that’s a hassle for everyone. So I’m going to skip the omelet bit and give directions for making a scramble or a flat omelet. Turning it all into a quiche would work, too, come to think of it. I’ll give directions for that, too. It’s all pretty much the same.

1 T fat, preferably from the corned beef
1 onion, chopped
8 oz cooked corned beef, diced
8 eggs
1/2 c cream or milk (1 to 2 c for a quiche)
1/2 c (2 oz) shredded Swiss cheese (2 c or 8 oz for a quiche)
            (or try mozzarella, instead)
1 T spicy brown mustard (optional)

For the filling, however you cook the eggs
Heat the fat in a large skillet, add the onion and corned beef and cook it until the onion is soft and the corned beef is getting crispy.

For a scramble
Meanwhile, combine the eggs, milk and mustard and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the corned beef and scramble it all together until the eggs are set to your liking. Sprinkle the cheese over the top and serve.

For a flat omelet
Meanwhile, combine the eggs, milk and mustard and mix well. Pour the egg mixture over the corned beef and let it set for a minute or so. Gently run a spatula under the omelet and let the uncooked eggs run underneath. Repeat until the top of the omelet is as done as you like it. Sprinkle the cheese over the top, then cut it in wedges to serve.

For a quiche

Meanwhile, combine the eggs, milk, and mustard in a blender and blend it for a minute or two. Really. Like 60 – 120 seconds, or even longer. Add the cheese and blend it another minute or two. While the eggs are whirling around, spread the corned beef in the bottom of a 9x9 baking dish. You can use a pie pan, but be sure it’s a deep dish pie pan, or use two pie pans, or else it’s likely to spill all over the floor of the oven. Gently pour the egg mixture over the corned beef, then bake it at 350 for about 45 minutes, or until the eggs are set. Some people like to reserve some of the cheese and sprinkle it on top before baking, so the forms a crust on top. 

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