From Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard
Bare shelves and a bachelor’s will to improvise gave birth to an Omelet Supreme.
I wake from a peaceful night at anchor, the sun just beginning to peek over the hills as tranquil bay waters come to life. In the distance, harbor seals frolic in the surf; seagulls and pelicans soar overhead. It appears we’re not the only creatures stirring this morning as we swing gently in our favorite cove. We’re in our own backyard: Santa Cruz Island, about 20 miles from Ventura, California, where my husband, Jeff, and I have lived aboard Outrider, our Westsail 42, for the last 13 years, along with our ship’s cat, Perkins.
The tantalizing aroma of steamed asparagus wafts from the galley. Breakfast is about to be served. It’s my favorite: Jeff’s Bachelor Omelet Supreme. Could life get any better than this? My mind drifts to the story of how the omelet came to be.
Its creation dates to when Jeff was a young student on a tight budget, always cooking for himself and never indulging in the luxury of dining out. He lived near the Oregon coast, which gave him access to good, inexpensive seafood, including smoked salmon, crab, clams, and fish. He decided, one morning, to cook an omelet for breakfast, but he hadn’t shopped for groceries in ages. To his dismay, all he had on hand were a couple of eggs, a bit of butter, some smoked salmon, a few asparagus spears, and a can of mushroom soup. He was determined not to let that stop him. It was a success!
The first time he offered to cook his Omelet Supreme for me, I was skeptical. To my surprise, it was the most delicious omelet I’d ever eaten! The pairing of smoked salmon, freshly steamed asparagus, and hot mushroom sauce was truly a delight.
Jeff’s creation has since become a favorite of mine, one I always enjoy preparing for family and friends when they visit Outrider.
Bachelor Omelet Supreme
10 thin asparagus spears,
tough stems removed
1 can mushroom soup
1/4 cup water
Salt and pepper, to taste
4 large eggs, at room temperature
3 ounces milk
2 tablespoons butter
3 ounces smoked salmon, flaked
Green onion, chopped, for garnish
Steam or boil asparagus until tender. Drain; keep warm. Heat soup, stirring in 1/4 cup water to make a smooth, thick sauce. Do not boil! Season with pepper. Whisk together eggs and milk; season to taste. Heat a nonstick 10-inch skillet on medium-low for 1 minute. Add butter and swirl to coat pan evenly. When butter foams, pour egg mixture gently into skillet; swirl around edges of pan. When edges are set, lift them carefully. Shake pan gently to prevent sticking. When bottom of omelet is firm, place flaked salmon in a band along the centerline. Use spatula to gently fold one-third of the omelet over the salmon. Fold a third from the other side. Cover and cook until done. Halve omelet and transfer each half to a plate. Top each with hot mushroom sauce and five asparagus spears. Garnish with green onion. Serves two.