One way to preserve family goodwill during the holidays is to let everyone express his or her individualism in a community setting, preferably without staring at smartphones. Tonya Jones and Al Hacker celebrate holidays with a big blended family and have found that group happiness begins with a good breakfast, specifically, individual baggie omelets.
When Al introduced us to the simple genius of this old campfire scout method, we went right home and tried it. Prepare to be amazed.
All you do is bring a large pot of water to a gentle simmer on the stove (or a turkey fryer in the backyard), set out the eggs (2 to 3 eggs per person), an array of omelet accessories, a stack of freezer-grade sealable plastic bags, and a black marker to write your name on the bag. Then, step aside. The baggie omelet sous vide station is ready to go and the hosts are free to enjoy coffee or a Bloody Mary.
Holiday breakfast happens in waves at Al and Tonya’s as family members roll out of bed á la The Big Chill. With the mise en place complete, everyone curates their own breakfast which is ready in 13 minutes. The boiled bag method produces perfectly cooked, moist eggs with well-distributed melted cheese and the rest of your fillings. Cook several at time, but don’t crowd the pot. Allow the simmering water to circulate around the bags.
Some ingredients require a little pre-prep. Raw vegetables like onion, bell pepper, mushrooms and spinach should be sautéed first and set aside. Shred or chop cheeses for even distribution and thorough melting. Dice cooked meats like ham, bacon, ground beef and steak.
Once out of the water, allow to cool a minute or two for easier handling. Carefully open the bag and allow any steam to escape. Then gently roll the omelet out of the bag and onto a plate. The result is spectacular. Take this method with you on the camping trip, to the beach house, anywhere you can boil water and need to feed a crowd.
- 2 to 3 eggs (per bag)
- Quart-size freezer-grade sealable plastic bags
- Omelet add-ins galore--sautéed vegetables like onion, mushrooms, bell, hot, sweet peppers, spinach, and broccoli; any kind of cheese, salsa, tomatoes and olives.
Place a large pot on the stove about 2/3 filled with water and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer. Break 2 or 3 eggs into each bag, seal the bag (bleed the air as you close it), and mash up the eggs with your fingers. Open the bag and add your personal omelet ingredients.
Lower the bag into the boiling water and cook for 13 minutes. Using tongs gently remove the bag from the water and carefully open the bag.
Roll the perfect omelet onto a plate.