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Thread: omelet bar help

  1. #1
    Join Date
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    omelet bar help

    My mom, sisters and I are in charge of brunch for about 50 people in a couple of weeks. We thought it would be wicked fun to do an omelet bar. There would be four of us making the omelets, and it is for family, so I think that they would be OK with waiting for us to make everyone their very own personalized omelet. I did a search and couldn't come up with anything.


    So...here are my questions...

    Does anyone have any experience with this...advice...precautions?

    Any suggestions for omelet fillings/toppings?

    What else would go with this meal other than fruit? Would you serve another meat with this? What about hash browns?

    Any help would be much appreciated. TIA!

  2. #2
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    Wow, that is a brave undertaking! Are you going to have separate burners for each of the 4 of you? I would serve hash browns or home fried potatoes and fruit with it. You could also do some muffins ahead of time.

    For toppings I would do cheese, mushrooms, tomatoes, onions, bell peppers, ham, sausage, bacon, spinach. I'm sure there are a million other options but I don't much like omelets so I think I'll let other weight in.


    "Life isn't about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself" ~ George Bernard Shaw


  3. #3
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    Omelet fillings....

    mushrooms
    ham
    cheddar cheese
    monterrey jack cheese
    bell pepper
    tomatoes
    onions
    potatoes
    bacon
    chopped spinach
    sausage

    Side items for omelets....

    hash browns
    bacon
    sausage links or patties
    toast
    english muffins
    fruit

    ETA- sorry for the the duplication, apparently I was typing this up while Robyn was posting!
    Terri _A
    I'm anal retentive. I'm a workaholic. I have insomnia. And I'm a control freak. That's why I'm not married. Who could stand me?” -Madonna

    Read my ramblings about food and my nutty life on A Girl in the South!

  4. #4
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    Good suggestions so far ..... I would have some good salsa available for a topper.

  5. #5
    Croissants would be an easy side dish since, unlike bread or bagels, you wouldn't have to worry about people wanting it toasted. Or just serve bagels w/o the option of toasting.

    Would roasted potatoes be easier to make that hash browns?

    Other omelette toppings in addition to those already mentioned:

    Shrimp
    Smoked Salmon
    Salsa
    Avocado or Guacamole
    Feta
    Olives
    Sour Cream
    Creme Fraiche
    Chiles
    Artichoke Hearts
    Fresh Basil
    Mozzarella
    Garlic
    Vegetarian Baco Bits

    What about also having waffles? They are pretty easy to make individually, too. Have butter, syrup and strawberries for toppings.

  6. #6
    Perhaps some food to eat while they are waiting --- thinking to spread out the "crowd" all lining up. Also, not everyone might be into eggs.

    Maybe a table of some cereal (especially if some kids), bowl of yogurt with topppings like nuts, fruit etc. And, some bagels (maybe with a toaster) for people that want that. Some basic breakfast breads -- banana etc, or muffins (can be made and ahead and frozen in advance).

  7. #7
    If four people are making 50 omelets, you'll be cooking over an hour - IF you each can finish an omelet every 5 minutes. Barefoot Contessa has a story about her first time at cooking for a crowd - she made omelets. She said she never got out of the kitchen to enjoy her guests & she'd never do it again.

    Have you ever experienced a real party disaster?
    "That's easy -- it was 1969, and my husband and I were just married and living in North Carolina. I threw a big Sunday brunch for a crowd of 20 that I hardly knew, and determined to make a fresh omelet for each guest! I knew immediately what I had done wrong. A party isn't about food, it's about people. I spent all my time in the kitchen, and from the living room -- no talking, no laughter!" http://www.booksense.com/people/archive/gartenina.jsp

    How about doing a few pans of strata instead? If you want to give people choices, you could several different types with choice of meat & veggies. Then have some type of potato dish, muffins/bagels & fruit. Enjoy your party - less stress is best!
    Dorothy aka Martha

    Somewhere over the rainbow...

  8. #8
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    I think it is a fun idea, but you should assume that not every one is going to have an omelet. You might also have some requests for egg beater omelets so I would have some of that on hand. Also egg beaters stick more than usual omelets so they would need extra butter/oil.

    Also, I have gotten pretty good at making/flipping omelets, but even with a special non-stick omelet pan, I use a healthy amount of butter. If you are not used to making omelets, it can be a bit of a messy experience.

    I would not go overboard on the toppings and would exclude things like seafood as many people don't want it and it would be an extra expense. I would go for what I think are the standard fillings so that you don't cause too much extra work or added expense for yourself.

    Visit my blog about cooking and a new season of life at http://reconnecting-with-my-kitchen.blogspot.com/

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  9. #9
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    Thanks so much for all your help and suggestions. This gives us a great jumping off point.

    We are going to have separate burners for all four of us, so we should be able to keep moving.

    I'm not too worried about the wait time and not getting to chat with the recipients of our ever-so-wonderful omelets because we are actually spending a whole weekend together in the mountains. It is my grandparents' 50th anniversary and so we're celebrating by spending a weekend together. If the omelets take an hour to make, that'll just be more time for the stragglers to come busting in for brunch. There are also a lot of kids, so they might not be wanting a whole omelet.

    How far in advance would you saute and cook the ingredients for the filling?

    Also, how long does it take for the filling to get hot and the cheese to get melted? From all that I have read, it seems that you are not supposed to really cook omelets for a long time, but at the same time, don't the filling ingredients need to be nice and hot when they are served?

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by laurachoc View Post
    How far in advance would you saute and cook the ingredients for the filling?
    What do you mean how far in advance do you cook the filling?
    Whenever I've had an omelette from an omelette bar, you choose what you want in it right there. These ingredients get sauted for a few minutes on very high heat. Then, the eggs get poured into the pan (the eggs are already beaten). You keep pushing the cooked edges in so the eggs get cooked and the filling actually ends up cooked into the egg, rather than just laying on top of the egg. Then, when the omelette is pretty firm you put the grated cheese in it and fold it over. Since the omelette is cooked at a high heat, it is very hot and the cheese pretty much melts right away when the omelette is folded in half.
    At least this is how I've always seen it done. It's a bit different that cooking an omelette at home.

  11. #11
    What do you mean how far in advance do you cook the filling?
    Whenever I've had an omelette from an omelette bar, you choose what you want in it right there. These ingredients get sauted for a few minutes on very high heat. Then, the eggs get poured into the pan (the eggs are already beaten). You keep pushing the cooked edges in so the eggs get cooked and the filling actually ends up cooked into the egg, rather than just laying on top of the egg. Then, when the omelette is pretty firm you put the grated cheese in it and fold it over. Since the omelette is cooked at a high heat, it is very hot and the cheese pretty much melts right away when the omelette is folded in half.
    At least this is how I've always seen it done. It's a bit different that cooking an omelette at home.
    INteresting! Every omelet I have ever had has the egg sread out in the pan, with the ingredients sprinkled over half and then the egg folded over the fillings. Not sure if that explains it well!

    Sheila in MD

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila in MD View Post
    INteresting! Every omelet I have ever had has the egg sread out in the pan, with the ingredients sprinkled over half and then the egg folded over the fillings. Not sure if that explains it well!

    Sheila in MD
    Your description is how I've always had it homemade or in a non-buffet restaurant. What I described is how I've always seen it made at an omelette bar at a large brunch where they literally cook it in front of you.

  13. #13
    Here's another take on omelettes for a group. Have you ever tried Ziploc omelettes? You can google it up and see exactly what to do, but basically you boil a big pot of water (or several in your case) break 2 - 3 eggs directly into a quart size ziploc bag, mush them around to break them up, add whatever ingredients you want (cheese, mushrooms, peppers, etc etc) close tightly and make sure to get as much air out as possible. Then boil for exactly 13 minutes. Make sure your guests label their bags so they know whose is who and also make sure the baggies are closed tightly! You cook a bunch of them at one time, then just cut the bag and put onto the plate. It's pretty amazing - everyone gets to eat at the same time, and everyone will be talking about it. They taste just like regular omelettes and even look pretty good.

    Just a thought!

  14. #14
    The Ziploc bags sound really fun, but I've been reading so much about chemicals from plastics leaking into our food. It seems to me that the heating of plastic bags in boiling water might cause this to happen. Heating is, from what I've read, what releases more chemicals. i.e. BPA released in polycarbonate baby bottles when heated.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Libra20 View Post
    What do you mean how far in advance do you cook the filling?
    Whenever I've had an omelette from an omelette bar, you choose what you want in it right there. These ingredients get sauted for a few minutes on very high heat. Then, the eggs get poured into the pan (the eggs are already beaten). You keep pushing the cooked edges in so the eggs get cooked and the filling actually ends up cooked into the egg, rather than just laying on top of the egg. Then, when the omelette is pretty firm you put the grated cheese in it and fold it over. Since the omelette is cooked at a high heat, it is very hot and the cheese pretty much melts right away when the omelette is folded in half.
    At least this is how I've always seen it done. It's a bit different that cooking an omelette at home.
    That's the way I've seen it done at individual omelette bars at restaurants. I don't know how else you'd have hot fillings -- and I think a cold filling would be unpleasant.

    My biggest concern about all of this is Laura's questions about how long it takes the cheese to melt, and her comment about "from what I've read." That seems to indicate that Laura doesn't have lots of practice making omelettes. I've made lots of them and I can tell you that they are tricky to make just right. And omelettes are only good if they are really good. Are mom & sisters experienced at making omelettes?

    I actually have done made-to-order omelettes for a party and it took a lot longer than expected. I've never done it since then.

    I once did made-to-order waffles and pancakes. That was LOTS easier than omelettes, especially if you have electric griddles and waffle irons. I put out some nice flavored butters (made in advance), nuts or chocolate chips to put in the batter, fruits, whipped cream, etc. People really enjoyed that. That's especially a big hit with the kids.

    My recommendation is to do some of the other gorgeous things you can do ahead for a brunch -- stuffed French toast, quiches, etc. Then be bartenders and mix up fabulous Mimosas and Bloody Mary's.
    Tracy
    My food blog: www.rahchachow.blogspot.com

  16. #16
    Your description is how I've always had it homemade or in a non-buffet restaurant. What I described is how I've always seen it made at an omelet bar at a large brunch where they literally cook it in front of you.
    Heh..heh...and yet another difference! This is how I have seen it done at omelet bars as well! Two omelet caterers at least in this area do it that way as well-I have used one and been to an event from another! Food is always so fun-endless variations on the same thing!

    Sheila in MD
    Last edited by Sheila in MD; 11-14-2007 at 12:12 PM. Reason: spelling error!

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sheila in MD View Post
    Heh..heh...and yet another difference! This is how I have seen it done at omelet bars as well! Two omelet caterers at least in this area do it that way as well-I have used one and been to an event from another! Food is always so fun-endless variations on the same thing!

    Sheila in MD
    In those situations, how do they keep the fillings warm? Do they have lots of hot plates or something?
    Tracy
    My food blog: www.rahchachow.blogspot.com

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by schuh View Post
    My biggest concern about all of this is Laura's questions about how long it takes the cheese to melt, and her comment about "from what I've read." That seems to indicate that Laura doesn't have lots of practice making omelettes. I've made lots of them and I can tell you that they are tricky to make just right. And omelettes are only good if they are really good. Are mom & sisters experienced at making omelettes?
    It's true. I've made very few omelettes in my lifetime. We were going to practice making the omelettes before we made them. Seems as if we'll have to do even more practicing. This is going to be a very relaxed atmosphere with a lot of people whom we know very well...family. They may not be perfect or fast, but we all love food and I think people would be excited about having us make an omelette for them. We'll have other food for those who don't want omelets or are getting hungry.

    However, we will have to think about those issues that schuh stated, omelette novices that we are.

    As for the omelettes, those that I have had and was planning on making was like those that Sheila in MD described...the egg folds over the ingredients.

  19. #19
    I have a suggestion. Is there a nice hotel near you that serves brunch with an omelette bar? You could go for brunch this weekend and see how the omelettes are done. I'm sure the people manning the bar would be happy to answer any questions, too.

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