I love manchego cheese. Ever since we ordered a plate of hot manchego cheese drenched in olive oil on a patio in Seville, I have been in love with it. Manchego is made of sheep’s milk, but is relatively hard and sharp, so it’s good for people who are lactose intolerant. The down side of this is that sheep’s cheese has a higher fat content, so if you are watching your fat intake, you have to have some pretty amazing self-control – because once you taste it, there’s usually no going back. I used to have to go to St. Lawrence Market to buy a very expensive wedge of manchego, but it is finally starting to make its way into Canadian supermarkets at various stages of aging (and subsequent pricing). Obviously the more aged it is, the better (in my humble opinion) but I once paid $18 for a wedge of ten-year manchego from the market, and that’s just not a reasonable everyday expense.
Today I am going to share a simple omelette recipe that uses a small amount of manchego. For this omelette, I used a 3-year manchego (which, from what I understand, is a pretty “young” cheese), some good quality sweet paprika, and some brine-packed green olives. Highland Farms sells various imported manchego cheeses at reasonable prices, and that’s the only real “exotic” ingredient required. Just make sure you don’t use olives from a can. Buy them fresh from the olive/antipasto counter, or buy Unico brand, which packs their olives in brine. The recipe serves two, but the omelettes could easily be cut into smaller wedges to serve 6 as a breakfast side.
Instructions: (for two omelettes)
1/4 cup spanish (red) onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 red pepper, finely chopped
1 cup mushrooms, finely minced
pinch of oregano
pinch of rosemary
1/3 – 1/2 cup low-fat milk
6 brine-packed or fresh jumbo green olives, pitted and finely chopped
pepper to taste
30 grams grated manchego cheese
2 Tbsp parsley, minced
1/2 tsp paprika
Heat a pan with a small amount of olive oil and fry the onions, pepper and garlic for 1-2 minutes. Add the mushrooms, oregano and rosemary and continue to cook until mushroom is browned and tender. Remove all contents to a plate and set aside. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl and stir in the milk. Add the chopped olives and pepper – do not add salt because there is more than enough salt on the olives. Heat a medium sized non-stick pan and pour half of the egg mixture into the pan, swirling it rapidly to ensure it spreads evenly. Allow it to cook at low-medium heat about 3 minutes until most of the liquid in the mixture is cooked. Add half of the mushroom and pepper mixture to one half of the omelette, then top with half of the parsley, paprika and cheese. Fold the empty half of the omelette over the half with the vegetable mixture and allow to cook for 30 seconds; gently flip the omelette for another 30 seconds, then serve sprinkled with pepper, paprika and parsley (optional).