Yield: 2 omelets
Omelets and I used to be arch-enemies. I just couldn’t figure out how to make them without throwing in the spatula and turning them into scrambled eggs to salvage the meal. It’s always been one of those “mom things” that only moms seemed to be able to do…mine included. But I just kept trying and finally I got one to actually look like an omelet! I still remember my joy when I texted my mom a picture of my perfect, cute folded omelet. This is a rendition of one I had in Nashville that made me finally realize I could like and eat fennel…it doesn’t hurt that it was in cahoots with some crab, mascarpone and hollandaise (a few of my favorite things).
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 bulb fennel, stem removed, cored and thinly sliced (save some of the fronds for garnish)
2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
1/2 cup mascarpone cheese
4 ounces lump crabmeat, picked over for shells
6 eggs, divided
1 tablespoon butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil, divided
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
OLD BAY HOLLANDAISE:
2 large egg yolks
Juice of 1/2 lemon
4 tablespoons butter
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1/4 teaspoon Old Bay seasoning
1/8 teaspoon white pepper
Kosher salt, to taste
Heat a medium-sized nonstick skillet over medium heat; when hot, add the butter and olive oil and allow to melt. Add the fennel slices, sprinkle with kosher salt and sauté for 15 minutes, until softened. While the fennel cooks, soak the leek slices into cold water to remove any dirt. Drain thoroughly before adding to the skillet. After 15 minutes, add the leeks to the skillet and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Sauté for 10 to 15 minutes more, until softened. Remove from the heat and place into a small bowl. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix thoroughly. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Set aside.
To make the hollandaise, whisk the egg yolks and lemon juice in a glass bowl and vigorously whisk until the mixture is pale yellow, thickened and doubled in volume. Place the bowl over a saucepan over barely simmering water, ensuring the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl. Whisk constantly until the mixture is warm to the touch and thickened slightly. Slowly drizzle in the melted butter, whisking constantly, until the mixture is thickened and doubled in volume again. Remove from the heat and add the cayenne, salt, Old Bay, and white pepper. Keep warm over the water (with the heat off), stirring occasionally. If the mixture thickens too much, add a few drops of warm water to loosen.
Working with three eggs at a time, whisk vigorously to thoroughly combine and make a homogenous mixture. Season with salt and pepper. In a medium nonstick skillet, heat 1/2 tablespoon each of butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add the eggs; they should form a thin layer on the bottom of the skillet. Leave the eggs untouched until they are mostly set and the bottom is dry. Flip the omelet to cook the other side for just a minute. Add enough of the leek-mascarpone mixture to fill and top with half of the crabmeat. Fold the omelet over in half onto the filling. Repeat the process with the remaining omelet ingredients. Top each omelet with the Old Bay hollandaise before serving.