Black Bean Omelet
by Orris Onken

The Omelet The Guacamole
1 can black beans
1/2 onion
2 cloves garlic
3 eggs
ca. 1 cup jalapeño jack cheese
1 clove garlic
1 shallot, peeled
2 Tbs chopped fresh cilantro
1 avocado, peeled and chopped
2 tomitillos
juice of 1/2 lime
1/2 tsp dried pepper flakes
salt and pepper

First make the guacamole. Chop the garlic, shallot, cilantro, and tomitillo very finely and mix together. Don't try to use any machines on this one. They won't work, not even the hand blender. Use a knife. (One of those long metal things with one sharp edge and a wooden handle. They can often be found in one of the kitchen drawers.) Add the avocado, lime juice, and pepper flakes, season with salt and pepper, and mix it all up using the hand blender until the green glop is relatively smooth. Put the guacamole in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The flavors need to blend for a while.

For the omelet filling, chop the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions are limp and transparent. Drain the black beans and add them to the onion/garlic mixture. As the beans start to sizzle, mash them up with the back of a spoon. You want to end up with a thick, gloppy mixture. Grate a cup or so of the jalapeño jack cheese. When the beans are hot, turn it to low and start the omelet.

Making an omelet is a simple thing, but lots of people screw it up. First, get three eggs and mix them lightly in a glass or bowl. Add to this two teaspoons of water. Don't add milk. The water thins the mixture just right to make a good "egg pancake."

Next get a pan. It you have an omelet pan, that's great, use it. Another pan that works well is one of those great American inventions, the flat-bottom, Teflon-coated wok. This pan was developed some years ago by aspiring Onken cooks who properly observed that after a thousand years of developing a cuisine and cooking style, the Chinese had been doing it all wrong. These pioneers took the traditional wok, flattened the bottom, and added a nonstick surface, making the utensil completely useless for any purpose except making omelets and heating water while camping. Don't buy one of these. Wait until someone gives you one for a Christmas or birthday gift.

Heat your pan on medium and add a couple teaspoons of vegetable oil. Once the oil is heated, add a teaspoon of butter. Doing this gives you a butter flavor but assures that the butter will not burn. The pan is the correct temperature when the butter is boiling and bubbly. Pour in the egg mixture. Once the bottom of the egg mixture has set, lift it so that the liquid can run under that part that has already set. When most of the mixture has begun to set, let it cook for a moment and then swirl the pan to make sure the omelet is loose. It should slide around in the bottom of the pan. If it doesn't, gently pry it away from the pan with a plastic spatula. It should come loose easily if the pan is the correct temperature. Swirl it around some more to see it slide about in the bottom of the pan. (Watching the omelet slide around in the bottom of the pan is half the fun of omelet making!)

Once all the egg has set, sprinkle the egg pancake with the jalapeño jack cheese and allow it to melt somewhat. Keep an eye on the bottom of the pancake, to make sure it doesn't get too well done. When the egg is almost done, glob some of the bean mixture in a line just to one side of the center of the pancake.

Once the bottom of the omelet has browned, just pour the omelet, with the bean mixture, onto a plate, using the edge of the pan to flip the empty half onto the bean mixture to cover it. Spread the guacamole on top and enjoy.


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