A Mexican-style omelet, browned on both sides and served as a flat cake, can be served hot or at room temperature with all sorts of fillings. This combination of onion with sweet and hot peppers is classic.

Serves 2

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium red or green bell pepper, cored, seeded and sliced
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • ½ jalapeno or red chili pepper, seeded and finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato, peeled, seeded and chopped
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro or parsley
  • 4-5 eggs
  • 23cm/9in nonstick omelet pan

1. Heat half the oil in the omelet pan and fry the onion until soft, 3-5 minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook also until soft, 3-4 minutes longer. Stir in the garlic, chili pepper and tomato with salt and pepper and continue cooking 3-4 minutes, stirring often, until excess liquid has evaporated. Stir in cilantro or parsley, taste and adjust seasoning ? the mixture should be intensely flavored to balance the delicate eggs. Transfer it to a bowl and wipe out the pan with paper towels.

2. Whisk eggs in a bowl with a little salt and pepper until frothy; stir in the bell pepper mixture. Heat remaining oil in the pan over medium heat and add the egg mixture. Stir the eggs briskly with a fork until they start to thicken. With the fork, lift the edges of the omelet so the uncooked egg runs underneath. Continue cooking without stirring until the omelet is firm on top and browned underneath, about 2 minutes.

3. Turn the omelet onto a heatproof plate.  Slide it back into the pan and brown the other side. Cut it in wedges to serve hot or at room temperature.

Getting Ahead: Cook the omelet filling up to 2 hours ahead, it will be fine kept covered at room temperature.  Fry the omelet just before serving.

On the Side:  In echo of Mexican refried beans, heat a can of cooked black or red kidney beans in a couple of tablespoons lard or oil.  Crush them with a fork and stir in 2-3 tablespoons grated Cheddar/Monterey Jack cheese.

In the Glass: A generous measure of chilled Mexican beer.

From Good Food No Fuss by Anne Willan, 2003
Photo CREDIT: Simon Wheeler