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Quick Meal: West-by-Southwestern Omelet


To begin, I’m going to briefly talk about omelets. They are one of those categories of food that is widely liked because they are completely customizable. A wide variety of cheese, vegetables, meats, and even some fruits (apples, tomatoes, avocado) can go in. They also are generally fast to prepare. Even including all the chopping and whisking etc., it probably won’t take you any longer than 15 minutes to make. The cooking time is usually around 5 minutes for me, perhaps up to 7. I suppose there are even vegan substitutes for eggs and cheese, but I don’t know much about that, so I have no idea if they’re any good for making omelets.

One type of omelet that I used to like a lot, widely offered in restaurants, was the western omelet. This was usually made with cubed ham, green peppers, and American cheese. I loved orange American cheese when I was younger-now, not so much. But I decided I would really like a more grown-up version of a western omelet, mainly because I had green peppers.

I don’t have any special or particularly good omelet-making skills. Nothing you can’t find better described in a real recipe. I’ll just tell you a short story about this dish instead.

The burner should be turned on low-medium heat, no higher (in my experience that is; you’ll have to do what’s right for your own stove, pan, and eggs). The first thing I put in the pan is (probably a bit too much) butter. If you want to make an omelet my way, there must be lots of butter. Then of course the eggs are poured in. I usually mix them up with a little bit of cream. I’m not sure what it does exactly but that is how I like it.

Sometimes I let the eggs cook a little before adding any fillings, but I started right away this time to add the various ingredients. Into the middle of the eggs went green peppers, diced tomato, and sliced turkey. I topped that with some cracked black pepper and a nice heap of shredded mozzarella cheese.

Miraculously, the whole thing did not fall apart when I went to flip it. That does happen to me sometimes when I have a lot of ingredients in the middle. It came out very homemade-looking, but at least it was all in one piece. I then topped it off with some Trader Joe’s Salsa Autentica and made some green tea. It was a delicious, filling dinner, but could also be eaten for breakfast or lunch.

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Improvised “Mexican” Pizza–Mmmmm!


While distracting myself from work by wondering what I would eat for dinner, I determined that if I bought pizza dough (I know you CAN make it, but that’s way too much time spent on a pizza for me), I could make a sort of “Mexican” pizza. I put Mexican in quotes because it is in no way remotely authentic. It just had some flavors in that category…

This is now two weeks ago, or something along those lines. Might be longer. So to the best of my ability, I will try to describe what I did for you.

First, I bought dough from Whole Foods. You can buy fresh, uncooked pizza dough from most grocery stores, I’m pretty sure. You can also buy pre-made crusts, which is an option if you want it to be a bit quicker.

Having made pizza from a store-bought dough several times, I recall having lots of trouble getting it to stretch, so I turned to the internet to figure out how to stretch it. My inclination that it would have to sit out at room temperature for a while seemed correct. I covered it in flour and left it there, returning later and stretching out the dough fairly successfully. Look up how to do this: I am not the person to instruct you on the method.

Once it was fairly stretched I plunked the dough down onto a (possibly over-)greased cookie sheet. I do not own a pizza stone, sadly. I want one. And then toppings went on.

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Okay, so that picture is actually after it came out of the oven. I didn’t get any before pics.

As I got the dough ready I cooked up one patty of Trader Joe’s Chili Lime Chicken Burger. If that sounds kind of bad to you, I assure you, they are DELICIOUS. If you like those flavors in general you will like the burger. I actually would have made two for the topping, but I only had one left. It was very sad.

If I can remember right, the toppings went like this: first, sliced tomatoes and salsa as sauce. I tried to sauce it sparsely because I didn’t want to overpower it. I highly recommend using a SPOON to spread the salsa, as if you just pour it on you very well may end up with too much. Second, cheese. I THINK it was cheddar. I generally prefer mozzarella on pizza, but I didn’t have any. Third, diced red pepper and pieces of a chicken burger. I did my best to distribute things fairly evenly, but of course some sections of crust still ended up larger than others. if I added any other toppings or seasonings, I can’t remember.

The pizza went into a preheated oven at about 425°. I would say it cooked for around 20 minutes, but once again, I don’t really remember. Then I took it out and let it cool for a little while.

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Cutting it was interesting because it might not have been cool enough yet, and also I don’t have a pizza cutter and my sharper knife wasn’t clean. But I managed.

Topped with sliced avocado after cooking.

Topped with sliced avocado after cooking.

 

I think I ate two servings’ worth of this pizza. You can’t blame me, it was delicious–you probably would have too.

Overall it was quite delicious. The crust was slightly crunchier than I generally like but it was still very good. I do recall wanting it to be spicier, though. Should have used more salsa.

 

Shrimp and pepper saute over quinoa


So I made this a while ago… I can’t really remember exactly what I put in it any more, so here’s some variation or other of this dish:

Pretty!

Pretty!

Quinoa: prepared according to basic instructions. It was a tricolor package. I used 1/2 cup of quinoa and 1 cup water, which is much closer to the amount one person would want to eat than if you make a whole cup…

Saute:

Heat vegetable oil in pan, add sliced bell peppers. Mine were “rainbow,” but actually more of “flamebow”–red, orange, and yellow. Very nice to look at. Cook for several minutes, until peppers are getting soft.

I remember now. I actually added the peppers alone first, to get them seared a little, then added the oil after, before adding the shrimp.

Add peeled raw shrimp. Stir to make sure the shrimp is touching the pan, not just sitting on top of the peppers.

When shrimp has started to turn opaque and pink, add fresh basil. Mix in.

Add desired seasonings. Suggestions: cajun seasoning, thyme, black pepper, red pepper flakes. I am pretty sure I added red pepper flakes.

When it looks done, squeeze lime wedges over shrimp and peppers, stir to coat.

Put quinoa in a bowl, serve shrimp and peppers on top.

 

This was quite pleasing to the mouth and the eyes, and yet I wanted a cheeseburger SO BAD right after eating it (I had wanted one earlier too). I didn’t end up getting a cheeseburger… in fact, I still haven’t managed to have one yet. I should get on that. On a different day, I’m sure it would have been quite satisfying.

 

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