The omelette is commonly thought to have originated in the Ancient Near East. Beaten eggs were mixed with chopped herbs, fried until firm, then sliced into wedges. This dish is thought to have traveled to Western Europe via the Middle East and North Africa, with each country adapting the original recipe to produce the Italian frittata, the Spanish tortilla and the French omelette.
A Denver omelette, also known as a Southwest omelette or Western omelette, is an omelette filled with diced ham, onions, and green bell peppers, though there are many variations on fillings. Often served in the Southwestern U.S., this omelette sometimes has a topping of cheese and a side dish of fried potatoes.
Classic Denver Omelette
4 teaspoons butter or margarine
4 tablespoons chopped fully cooked ham
2 tablespoons finely chopped bell pepper
2 tablespoons finely chopped onion
4 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Salt and Pepper to taste
Heat butter in 8-inch omelet pan or skillet over medium-high heat just until butter begins to brown. As butter melts, tilt pan to coat bottom. Cook ham, bell pepper and onion in butter 2 minutes, stirring frequently.
Quickly pour eggs into pan. While sliding pan back and forth rapidly over heat, quickly stir with fork to spread eggs continuously over bottom of pan as they thicken. Let stand over heat a few seconds to lightly brown bottom of omelet. (Do not overcook; omelet will continue to cook after folding.)
Tilt pan and run fork under edge of omelet, then jerk pan sharply to loosen eggs from bottom of pan. Add cheese. Fold portion of omelet nearest you just to center. (Allow for portion of omelet to slide up side of pan.) Turn omelet onto warm plate, flipping folded portion of omelet over so it rolls over the bottom. Tuck sides of omelet under if necessary.
Picture courtesy of Moi; this was my breakfast in Chicago at Midway (Miller's Pub)