People ask me often if I miss California, from where I moved about 5 years ago, bringing my avocado habit along with me. I’ve made a wonderful life where I now live, though there are many aspects of California I miss. I miss my sister (a lot), I miss living an hour-and-a-half from my son (a lot), my friends most definitely. And I miss cheap artichokes and avocados. Just recently my sister called while traveling north through the Central Valley (or th’valley as it’s called). She had stopped at a farm stand along the way, and wanted to let me know that the price of avocados had gone up. They were now 7 for $1 rather than 10 for $1.
Down the canyon from where I used to live was a lovely, warm restaurant called the Morning Thunder Café. Think rough, wood paneled walls hung with art by local people, a creaky wooden floor, outstanding coffee, and a signature omelette. I have no idea if the rest of their menu was worth ordering because the only thing I ever ordered was this omelette. Since I moved away, attempting to re-create it has been one of my happiest weekend pleasures. The most recent incarnation features an avocado salsa rather than a tomato-based one because you can never have too many avocados. Even at $1.49 (gulp!) each.
To prepare more than one omelette, preheat the oven to 170 degrees. As each finishes cooking, transfer to an ovenproof plate and hold while preparing additional omelettes.
MORNING THUNDER OMELETTE
FOR THE SALSA
2 roma tomatoes, 1/2” dice
1 large avocado or 2 small, 1/2” dice
1/2 red onion, 1/4” dice
Handful of cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
1 clove garlic, smashed, peeled, minced
Zest and juice of 1/2 lime
2 tablespoons corn oil
Sea or kosher salt and grinds of pepper, to taste
Your favorite hot sauce to taste (the son got me hooked on Cholula)
FOR THE OMELETTE
1 tablespoon butter or bacon fat
3 large eggs, all the better if farm-fresh
1/2 teaspoon sea or kosher salt and grinds of pepper
3 slices cream cheese 1’4” thick from an 8-ounce package
4 slices of avocado, 1/4” thick
Small handful of cilantro leaves and stems, chopped
Wedge of lime
- Make the salsa. The easiest way to both dice and slice an avocado is to cut it in half, remove the pit, cup a half in the palm of your hand, and carefully slice/dice it right in the skin. Use a spoon to gently remove the avocado pieces. Combine all ingredients except the salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Stir gently to blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper and your favorite hot sauce. Set aside to let the flavors blend while you prepare the omelette. You’ll have enough salsa for 2-4 omelettes.
- To prepare the omelette, crack the eggs into a small mixing bowl and whisk them together along with the salt and pepper.
- Melt the butter or bacon fat (oh yeah!) in a 6” to 8” skillet over medium heat. Add the eggs. As they begin to cook, tilt the skillet in a rotating motion, and use a fork or a spatula to gently pull the edges of the omelette away from the sides, allowing uncooked egg to run down into the pan. When omelette is still soft and wet in the center, place the slices of cream cheese on one half of it. Arrange the avocado slices over the cream cheese. Use a spatula to gently turn the un-garnished half over on top of the cream cheese and avocado. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for a couple of minutes more.
- Lift omelette out onto a plate. Top with salsa and chopped cilantro. Serve with a wedge of lime. And a good cup of coffee.