Since 1989, chef Jack McDavid has been serving his “haute country” cuisine at Jack’s Firehouse, which is located in a converted 19th-century firehouse in Philadelphia. On Saturdays and Sundays, Jack’s hauls out a serious brunch menu, which includes a version of eggs Benedict featuring filet mignon, as well as scrapple, a pork-and-cornmeal concoction that’s a specialty of the Pennsylvania Dutch. The regional highlight, however, is really the cheesesteak omelet, in which Philadelphia’s most popular gift to American cooking is retooled by stuffing thinly sliced beef, lots of caramelized onions and roasted peppers and sharp aged provolone into a fluffy omelet instead of a hoagie roll.
Philly Cheesesteak Omelet
1 small boneless rib-eye steak, about 6 oz. (185 g)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1 yellow onion, cut in half and sliced
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 roasted red bell pepper, peeled, seeded and cut into thin strips
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated aged provolone cheese
Fresh flat-leaf parsley sprigs for garnish (optional)
Freeze the steak until firm but not frozen, about 1 hour. Using a sharp knife, cut the steak against the grain into very thin slices. Set aside for 10 to 15 minutes to thaw.
In a fry pan, preferably nonstick, over medium-low heat, melt the butter. Add the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Wipe out the fry pan with paper towels. Add 1 Tbs. of the olive oil and heat over high heat. Add the steak slices, with as many of the flat sides touching the pan as possible. Cook until the undersides are browned, about 1 minute. Turn the steak slices, and move to one side of the pan to continue cooking. Add the onion and pepper and cook until they are reheated and the steak is medium-rare, about 30 seconds. (The mixture will continue to cook off the heat, so do not overcook.) Stir the steak, onions and peppers to combine and season with salt and pepper. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the steak mixture and remove the fry pan from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 200°F (95°C). In a bowl, whisk together the eggs, 1/2 tsp. salt, and 1/8 tsp. pepper just until thoroughly blended. Do not overbeat.
In a fry pan, preferably nonstick, over medium heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Tilt the pan to cover the bottom evenly with oil. Add half of the egg mixture to the pan and cook until the eggs have barely begun to set around the edges, about 30 seconds. Using a heatproof spatula, lift the cooked edges and gently push them toward the center, tilting the pan to allow the liquid egg on top to flow underneath, then cook for 30 seconds. Repeat this process two more times. When the eggs are almost completely set but still slightly moist on top, transfer half of the steak mixture over half of the omelet.
Using the spatula, fold the untopped half of the omelet over the filled half to create a half-moon shape. Let the omelet cook for about 30 seconds more, then slide it onto a heatproof serving plate. Keep the omelet warm in the oven. Repeat to make a second omelet in the same manner.
Garnish each omelet with parsley sprigs. Serve the omelets warm, either whole or cut in half. Serves 2 to 4.
Find more great recipes for sunrise specialties in our book
Williams-Sonoma Breakfast Comforts, by Rick Rodgers.