You don’t have to be a culinary wizard to understand that French Creole cooking is the heart and soul of New Orleans. When it comes to making New Orleans Style’ omelettes, we should also take a lesson from the great Julia Child who brought French cooking methods to American Television viewers in the early 1960s. As you will find out, what Creole cooking is all about is what French cooking is to flavor. It’s a style that you will find is irresistible.
Are omelettes popular in New Orleans, Louisiana?
You might think that the typical omelette is a breakfast thing, but in the south- it takes on a whole different meaning. It’s good to go at any time of day and is especially welcome for dinner! As you might understand already, French cooking is deeply rooted in the Louisiana culture and became intertwined with the Creole population that started to grow long before the US was officially a country. And when it comes to Louisiana, omelletes have become a versatile dish that find their way onto many local eatery menus.
This mixture of French, Spanish, African, and Native American inhabitants became the name that is synonymous with what we call the melting pot of American culture. Creole residents even have their own language that is native to the state of Louisiana. But when it comes to cooking, many of the favorites are specifically French which is followed by the name origin which also comes from a French spelling.
As most French cuisine often includes menu items that are regarded as repulsive to Americans, Creole cooking typically follows a similar path.
It wouldn’t be unfair to say that Louisiana is bursting with animals that walk, crawl, slither, and swim right into classic Creole cooking. Suffice to say that popular items including crawfish and shrimp are always popular in New Orleans dishes. The classic Po-Boy sandwich made popular by the New Orleans region, also utilizes the same idea of throwing in whatever seafood may be in season.
Classic NOLA omelettes
Here are three tempting omelette recipes that will make you salivate just by looking at the ingredient list.
One tip, when it comes to making these omelletes there are pros and cons to using a traditional omelet pan vs. a cast iron skillet. For these dishes, I typically break out the cast iron skillet for ideal browning. The down side is you’ll need to dial in the heat just right to avoid burning, and you’ll be hard pressed to flip the omelette by tossing it in the air like you can with a traditional nonstick pan.
This recipe makes a total of 4 servings. You will also need two separate pans for cooking since one of them is meant for the crawfish and sauce while the other is for making the omelette.
For the crawfish filling
- 4 tablespoons butter
- cup yellow onions (chopped)
- 1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
- 1lb. crawfish tails (cooked and peeled)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2-3 drops of hot sauce (choose your favorite)
For the omelette
- 8 eggs (large)
- 1/4 cup cool water
- Salt, pepper, cayenne, and chili powder (to taste)
- cup Fontina cheese or sharp cheddar (freshly grated)
- 2 tablespoons chives (chopped)
Starting with your crawfish filling, use a medium-sized saucepan and preheat this over medium heat. Add your butter and melt before adding the chopped celery and onions. The celery is used to help mellow out the gamey flavor of the crawfish. Let these ingredients cook until they are slightly golden -or 3-4 minutes. Now you can add your crawfish combined with cayenne pepper, salt, and hot sauce as you like.
This is stirred for 3 minutes and only needs to heat up the pre-cooked crawfish tails. Remove this from the heat and set this off to the side and cover it with a lid to keep in the heat.
In a small bowl add your eggs and water and give this a good whisk. You can add the black pepper, salt, and some more cayenne chili to taste. Creole cooking is often very spicy, so add what your level of comfort happens to be.
Take a clean skillet and heat over medium heat. Now you can spread one-quarter of your crawfish filling onto the bottom of the skillet and warm for 1 minute. Add just enough egg mixture to cover the bottom of your skillet. Shake the mixture so the egg gets under the crawfish and slightly mixes with the crawfish sauce. Allow this to cook all the way through and then flip this onto a ready serving plate. The toppings will now become face-side up.
Repeat this until you have four equal servings and cover them generously with cheese and chives. Serve this dish as soon as they are finished so you have omelettes that are ready to eat.
Omelette a la Creole
Talk about a meal that fills your soul, you might need to skip a meal if you don’t decide to share this 3-egg omelette. This recipe is enough to make a total of 4 omelettes so you will need at least 12 eggs using 3 eggs per omelette. This recipe also used two separate skillets.
For the filling
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 cup onions (finely chopped)
- 1 cup bell peppers (finely chopped)
- 1 tablespoon garlic (minced)
- 1 cup tomatoes (chopped and seeded)
- 1/4 cup ham (minced)
- Salt and cayenne chili powder (to taste)
For the omelette
- 3 eggs (per omelette) lightly beaten
- 1 tablespoon of water
- Salt and pepper (to taste)
- 1 tablespoon butter
Start with your filling and preheat your first skillet over medium heat after adding your oil. Now you can add the onions, garlic, and bell pepper and stir for two minutes or when the bell pepper is getting wilted. This is when you add the tomatoes and ham and season this as you like and cook for an additional minute. Now set this aside and cover with a lid.
In a separate mixing bowl, add three eggs, salt, pepper, and water, and whisk with a fork or mixing whisk. Add butter into an 8-9 inch skillet over medium heat so you have the surface coated. Now you can add the egg mixture and allow the egg to cook enough so there is a slightly runny egg mixture in the middle. At this point, you want to spoon your ingredients into the middle section.
The sides of the egg mixture are then folded inwards over the ingredients from each side. This is then flipped so the bottom flaps are finished off and completely sets up. Now you can let this slide off the skillet onto a waiting serving plate. Serve with cubed and fried potatoes as a side dish.
Shrimp and Avocado Omellete
This recipe is designated as a single-serve 3-egg omelette, so if you have more people that want one too, you’ll have to adjust the fillings. The shrimp can either be freshly deveined or uncooked frozen shrimp. Don’t use cooked shrimp since this will become too rubbery after they are put into a pan that’s using medium heat. This also needs two skillets to make this dish.
For the filling
- 2 tablespoons butter (clarified)
- 1 tablespoon green onions/chives (chopped)
- 3 ounces shrimp (freshly peeled, deveined, chopped into chunks)
For the omellete
- 3 eggs (large)
- 1/4 avocado (peeled and diced)
- 2 teaspoons cilantro (finely chopped)
In your first skillet, melt your butter over medium heat and spread this out to have a good non-stick surface. You can now add the green onions and shrimp and cooks this for two-three minutes until the onions are softened. Shrimp cook very quickly on medium heat and will change color when fully cooked. Set this off to the side.
Using a mixing bowl and add three eggs and season with salt and fresh ground pepper. Whisk this until you have a fluffy mixture. Add water as needed, but is not crucial to this recipe. Now you can preheat your second skillet, adding butter over medium heat. Once the butter is melted, you can add the egg mixture and spread this over the bottom of the skillet.
As the egg mix is cooking scrape sections to allow liquid egg to get under the edges and around the center. When you reach a nearly cooked surface, add the shrimp and onions and also the avocado and cilantro along the middle of your pan. The edges are folded over on each side and flipped so this sets as the egg finished cooking.
Slide this onto a serving plate and sprinkle any leftover cilantro as a garnish on top. Enjoy this with a bit of your favorite hot sauce dashed on top. Be sure to eat this while it’s still nice and warm.