Occasionally, we teach an omelet class in our store in Rigby, Idaho.  It’s free and the instructor, Debbie Frantzen who is my daughter, is engaging so we usually draw a crowd–as many as 40 people. Attendees learn how to make five minute omelets and get a free omelet.  They even get to choose what they want on their omelet.

Full-ThaiSweetChiliOmeletSo how do you make custom omelets for 40 people?  You do an omelet bar.  
An omelet bar works for 60 people or six. If you have a tribe at your house, it works.  If you’re hosting the family reunion, it still works. 

If you have a crowd, get two pans going.  If you have over 30 people, recruit an assistant who will cook along side you.  Whether your crowd is large or small, have the veggies sautéed, the meat cooked, and cheese grated before beginning.

If you missed last week’s article, How to Make 5-Minute Omelets,  catch it now.

First, decide on what kinds of omelets you would like to offer.  We’ll follow with recipes and ideas but use your imagination.  Choose what your family likes.  If the crowd extends beyond your four walls, you’ll want plenty of the basics like cheese and sausage and mushrooms.  You’ll find that many are middle-of-the-roaders who want what they ordered last week at the restaurant.  But it’s fun to supply some out-of-the-ordinary ingredients for the adventurers in the crowd.  Check through the list below for ideas.  

So, prep and cook the filling ingredients and place them in bowls within reach of the stovetop and start cooking omelets.  (If you prefer, the meats and veggies can be prepped and cooked the night before and warmed in the microwave before starting.)  We set out sauces and condiments: Sour cream, guacamole, salsa, and Thai sweet chili sauce.

When you start cooking, ask people in turn what they would like.  “Sausage, mushrooms, and lots of cheddar.”  While we call these five minute omelets, once you get in rhythm, they’ll complete quicker than that.  With two pans and maybe an assistant, even a larger crowd will disperse in a hurry.  But of course, the teenagers and hungry bears will return for seconds.

Here are omelet recipes and recipe ideas to consider.  The recipes are sized for a single 3-egg omelet so you’ll need to do the math to fit your crowd.  The directions are for our five-minute omelet method.

Omelet-SlideshowAnd if it’s just you and your sweetheart, these are still great recipes.

Tomato, Parsley, and Swiss Omelet

3 large eggs
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
1 slice Swiss cheese
4-6 cherry tomatoes, sliced
a pat of butter
salt and pepper

1. Whisk the eggs together in a cup.  Stir in the chopped parsley.  
2. Use an eight-inch, nonstick heavy frying pan.  Put a pat of butter in the pan.  Over medium-high heat, heat the butter to just short of brown and swirl it around the pan.
3. Pour the eggs into the hot pan.  Salt and pepper the eggs.
4. Scramble the eggs with a soft silicone spatula scraping the bottom and sides of the pan.  The eggs will cook quickly and curds will form.
5. When the eggs approach the consistency of cottage cheese with mostly solids but some liquid eggs, stop stirring.  Use the spatula as a paddle to pat the eggs down into an even layer.  Let the eggs continue cooking until the liquids are set and the top of the omelet is cooked.
6. Place the cheese and sliced tomatoes across half of the omelet.  If you are right-handed, put them on the left side of the omelet.  
7. The omelet should slip around in the pan without a hint of sticking.  Move the pan to a plate, tip the pan on an angle over the plate, and gently shake the omelet onto the plate filling side first.
8. When the omelet is about half onto the plate, twist the pan with your wrist folding the remaining omelet over that on the plate.  The omelet should be folded over with the bottom edge protruding about one-half inch.

Ham and Cream Cheese Omelet

3 large eggs
2 tablespoons chopped sweet onion
1/4 cup diced ham
3 tablespoons cream cheese, softened
a pat of butter
salt and pepper

1. Whisk the eggs together in a cup.  Sauté the onion and ham together until the onions are softened and the ham begins to brown.  Mix the softened cream cheese with the onions and ham.    
2. Use an eight-inch, nonstick heavy frying pan.  Put a pat of butter in the pan.  Over medium-high heat, heat the butter to just short of brown and swirl it around the pan.
3. Pour the eggs into the hot pan.  Salt and pepper the eggs.
4. Scramble the eggs with a soft silicone spatula scraping the bottom and sides of the pan.  The eggs will cook quickly and curds will form.
5. When the eggs approach the consistency of cottage cheese with mostly solids but some liquid eggs, stop stirring.  Use the spatula as a paddle to pat the eggs down into an even layer.  Let the eggs continue cooking until the liquids are set and the top of the omelet is cooked.
6. Place the cream cheese mixture across half of the omelet.  If you are right-handed, put them on the left side of the omelet.  
7. The omelet should slip around in the pan without a hint of sticking.  Move the pan to a plate, tip the pan on an angle over the plate, and gently shake the omelet onto the plate filling side first.
8. When the omelet is about half onto the plate, twist the pan with your wrist folding the remaining omelet over that on the plate.  The omelet should be folded over with the bottom edge protruding about one-half inch.

Apple, Red Potato, and Cheddar Omelet

3 large eggs
1 small red potato, 1/4-inch diced
1/3 apple, diced
1/3 cup grated cheddar cheese
a pat of butter
salt and pepper

1. Whisk the eggs together in a cup.   Sauté the potato bits until they are about half done.  Add the apple pieces and continue cooking until the potato bits are crisp-tender.
2. Use an eight-inch, nonstick heavy frying pan.  Put a pat of butter in the pan.  Over medium-high heat, heat the butter to just short of brown and swirl it around the pan.
3. Pour the eggs into the hot pan.  Salt and pepper the eggs.
4. Scramble the eggs with a soft silicone spatula scraping the bottom and sides of the pan.  The eggs will cook quickly and curds will form.
5. When the eggs approach the consistency of cottage cheese with mostly solids but some liquid eggs, stop stirring.  Use the spatula as a paddle to pat the eggs down into an even layer.  Let the eggs continue cooking until the liquids are set and the top of the omelet is cooked.
6. Place the potato and apple mixture across half of the omelet followed by the cheese.  If you are right-handed, put them on the left side of the omelet.


7. The omelet should slip around in the pan without a hint of sticking.  Move the pan to a plate, tip the pan on an angle over the plate, and gently shake the omelet onto the plate filling side first.
8. When the omelet is about half onto the plate, twist the pan with your wrist folding the remaining omelet over that on the plate.  The omelet should be folded over with the bottom edge protruding about one-half inch.

Spinach and Ricotta Omelet

3 large eggs
a large handful of fresh spinach, chopped
1/8 red pepper, diced
3 tablespoons ricotta cheese
a pat of butter
salt and pepper

1. Whisk the eggs together in a cup.  Sauté the red pepper pieces and spinach together until the pepper is tender and the spinach is wilted.  Mix the ricotta cheese with the spinach and pepper.  
2. Use an eight-inch, nonstick heavy frying pan.  Put a pat of butter in the pan.  Over medium-high heat, heat the butter to just short of brown and swirl it around the pan.
3. Pour the eggs into the hot pan.  Salt and pepper the eggs.
4. Scramble the eggs with a soft silicone spatula scraping the bottom and sides of the pan.  The eggs will cook quickly and curds will form.
5. When the eggs approach the consistency of cottage cheese with mostly solids but some liquid eggs, stop stirring.  Use the spatula as a paddle to pat the eggs down into an even layer.  Let the eggs continue cooking until the liquids are set and the top of the omelet is cooked.
6. Spread the ricotta cheese mixture across half of the omelet.  If you are right-handed, put them on the left side of the omelet.  
7. The omelet should slip around in the pan without a hint of sticking.  Move the pan to a plate, tip the pan on an angle over the plate, and gently shake the omelet onto the plate filling side first.
8. When the omelet is about half onto the plate, twist the pan with your wrist folding the remaining omelet over that on the plate.  The omelet should be folded over with the bottom edge protruding about one-half inch.

Use the five minute omelet method to make these omelets:

Thai Peanut Omelet: Bean sprouts, chicken, and peanuts drizzled with Thai Peanut Sauce.  Go easy on the fillings or you’ll overload the omelet.  Drizzle just a bit of the peanut sauce over the filling before folding.
Chimi and Cheese Omelet: Chicken, diced onions, and mozzarella drilled with chimi sauce.  If you like, you can sauté the chicken and onions and drizzle the combination with chimi sauce just before taking the combo out of the pan.  You don’t have to.  You can assemble the ingredients on the omelet and drizzle it there.  This is a very popular omelet in our classes.
Sausage and Onion Omelet: Slice an onion and caramelize it in butter.  Cook link sausages and chop them into bits.  Put both on the omelet and cover it with cheddar before folding.  
Oriental Veggies and Sweet Chili Omelet: This is a simple omelet: A mixture of veggies—we used red and green bell peppers, onions, and celery—drizzled with Thai Sweet Chili sauce.  This is another favorite omelet.

Consider an omelet bar for guests for the holidays, maybe a family reunion, or when extended family comes by.  You’ll find it a lot of fun.

If you don’t have an eight-inch nonstick pan, you can buy one at The Prepared Pantry. Most of the sauces mentioned in this article are available at The Prepared Pantry.

Dennis is the founder and general manager of The Prepared Pantry in Rigby, Idaho, a full-line kitchen store and online retailer of food, baking mixes and ingredients, and kitchen tools.  The Prepared Pantry sells over 250 different baking mixes.