My favorite New York City breakfast is quite simple: a fresh, chewy bagel with a shmear (to use proper deli lingo) of cream cheese and a layer of lox. A few capers and some minced red onion sprinkled on top cranks this deli classic up an extra notch.
So when I received a copy of Yogurt Culture, a new, beautifully photographed cookbook penned by Cheryl Sternman Rule, my eyes immediately landed on her simple omelet rendition of the much-loved deli offering. Eggs are easy to have on hand and quick to prepare, and in this case, they replace the simple carbs of the bagel with the staying power of protein.
Organized in chapters with clever names like Flavor, Slurp, Dine, and Lick, Cheryl’s recipes highlight the versatility of another high-protein refrigerator staple–yogurt. In the case of this easy omelet, yogurt stands in for cream cheese, offering the trademark creaminess and tang in a healthy way. The salty lox anchors the flavors and, conveniently, can be stored in the freezer until ready to use.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt, at room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- 2 to 3 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil (depending on how non-stick your skillet is)
- 1 to 2 shallots, thinly sliced (about ½ cup)
- ¼ cup minced smoked salmon (lox)
- A few snipped fresh chives, for garnish
SEASON THE YOGURT AND EGGS. In a small bowl, whisk a generous pinch each of salt and pepper into the yogurt. In a separate small bowl, do the same with the eggs, whisking well.
COOK THE SHALLOT. In a small nonstick skillet, heat the oil over medium heat and, using a silicone pastry brush, brush it up the sides of the skillet. Add the shallot and a generous pinch each of salt and pepper. Cook, stirring, for 2 to 3 minutes, until it starts to sizzle, then reduce the heat to low and cook more slowly until it softens and turns translucent but not brown, 8 to 10 minutes longer.
MAKE THE OMELET. Pour in the eggs and crank up the heat to medium-high. With your non-dominant hand, shake the skillet vigorously back and forth. With your dominant hand, circle the perimeter of the eggs with a silicone spatula. As the eggs set, tilt the skillet and lift the set eggs so the liquid eggs flow underneath. After about a minute, the bottom will be set. Flip the omelet (just go for it with a confident flick of the wrist, or use a larger spatula, or put a plate over the skillet and invert, then slide the omelet back in), and cook for 15 to 30 seconds longer. Remove from the heat.
ADD THE LOX AND YOGURT. Scatter the minced lox evenly over the omelet. Spoon the yogurt on the lox.
SERVE. Fold the omelet in half, slide onto a plate, sprinkle with the chives, and eat immediately.
In Yogurt Culture, Cheryl Sternman Rule explores every angle of this hugely popular, truly global food. She shares basic insight on how to read a label and visits large and small producers as well as the kitchens of cooks from around the world. Rule’s book is well researched and filled with stories, interviews, and beautiful photographs. The book is available for sale through Amazon. All recipes by Cheryl Sternman Rule, photography by Ellen Silverman.
Oxo kindly kindly provided a Flip and Fold Omelet Turner to use with this recipe. It proved to be a handy tool because its flexible edges conform to rounded pans, making it easy to slip under the omelet. It would be perfect for quesadillas and crepes as well.
The cookbook was generously provided to me by Stonyfield. For yogurt that really mimics cream cheese, you may wish to try one-ingredient yogurt cream cheese. (It’s sooo good made with Stonyfield’s Smooth & Creamy whole milk yogurt and can be used in place of sour cream, too.)