the appetizer:

Chocolate for Breakfast: Entertaining Menus to Start the Day with a Celebration From Napa Valley's Oak Knoll Inn by Barbara Passino, includes recipes like Chocolate Omelet with Blueberries in a Pinot Noir Sauce; Tajine of Kefta and Eggs; and Chocolate Banana Strudel.


Chocolate Omelet with Blueberries in a Pinot Noir Sauce


Chocolate Omelet
with Blueberries in
a Pinot Noir Sauce

Serves 8


Omelet batter ingredients

  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Zest of an orange, grated
         (just the orange skin, not the bitter white pith underneath)
  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted 3 eggs, beaten slightly
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup milk
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons Cointreau, or substitute
         Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur

Chocolate filling ingredients

  • 2 egg whites
  • 3 egg yolks, one at a time
  • 5 ounces of whole milk, heated 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1/3 cup flour—sieved
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted
  • 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • Grated zest of 1/2 orange

Blueberry sauce ingredients

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup Pinot Noir (or Cabernet or Zinfandel)
  • 1 cup fresh blueberries

For Assembly

  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted

This recipe makes enough extra batter that you don't need to worry about having a couple of unsuccessful attempts before you get the technique and temperature adjusted.

To Make the Omelet Batter

Blend flour, sugar, salt and orange zest in a mixing bowl. Add melted butter and mix. Then add eggs, then vanilla, milk and liqueur. Mix until smooth.

Heat a crêpe pan or a small (6-inch or so) frying pan over medium-high heat. When you hold your hand 2-3 inches over the pan and can feel the heat, it's ready. Pour 1/3 cup of the batter into the pan and swirl it to coat the bottom with a 5-6-inch circle. Cook until the edges get dry. Lift it with a knife and peek underneath to see if it's slightly browned. Then turn and cook the other side until it's browned, too. The result is sort of an eggy-crêpe. If you're not going to use them right away, separate with waxed paper, cover with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator.

To Make the Chocolate Filling

Separate the eggs and let them come to room temperature. Put 2 whites in an immaculately clean mixing bowl (saving the other white for another purpose) and put the yolks in a separate small bowl. Try to avoid breaking the yolks, but the world won't come to an end if you do.

Heat the milk to a simmer with the vanilla. (You can do this in a pyrex measuring cup in the microwave, or on top of the stove in a pan.) Set aside for a few minutes while you...

In a separate medium-sized saucepan, melt the butter. Add flour and stir vigorously with a wooden spoon. Add the warm vanilla-milk all at once and stir enthusiastically. It will be a bit lumpy and the consistency of paste. Don't lose heart, just keep stirring and the lumps will disappear.

Add one egg yolk, stirring until it's thoroughly incorporated and the mixture loses its shine. Then add the next one. And the next. Now stir in the melted chocolate, balsamic vinegar and the orange zest. Set aside while you...

Turn on the mixer to medium-high to start beating the whites. Once they begin to thicken and become opaque, add the 1/4 cup sugar. Continue beating until they're fairly stiff so that when you pull the beaters out, the whites follow and make peaks. Stir about 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture. This loosens up the batter so that it will be easier to add the rest of the egg whites. Fold the whites in gently so that no white is visible. The filling is now ready and can be refrigerated if you're not going to use it right away.

To Make the Blueberry Sauce

Melt the butter in a small saucepan. Add the brown sugar and stir until it melts. Add nutmeg and wine and simmer over medium-high heat for 5-10 minutes to reduce the mixture and concentrate the flavors.

Take the pan off the heat and add the blueberries. (If you're making the sauce ahead of time, don't add the berries until you reheat the sauce just before serving.)

To Assemble

Place 2-3 tablespoons of the chocolate mixture in the middle of each omelet. Fold in half to enclose the filling and create a half-moon-shaped omelet. Continue with the others and put them on a buttered baking sheet. Brush each omelet with the butter and place in the oven for 8 minutes at 400 degrees until puffed.

Put a little sauce on the plate. Put the omelet on the sauce and top with some more sauce and berries. A tiny scoop of a fruit sorbet on the side makes a wonderful hot-cold contrast.

Night owl instructions

Everything except the final assemblage and baking can be done the night before. In the morning, take the omelet/crepes, filling and sauce out of the refrigerator and let them come to room temperature. Heat the sauce, bake the omelets, add the blueberries to the sauce and serve.

  • from:
    Chocolate for Breakfast
    Entertaining Menus to Start the Day
    with a Celebration From Napa Valley's Oak Knoll Inn
  • by Barbara Passino
  • The Gerald & Marc Hoberman Collection 2009
  • Hardcover; $40.00; 288 pages
  • ISBN-10: 1919939555
  • ISBN-13: 978-1919939551
  • Recipe reprinted by permission.

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