From: Hickory Ridge House

At Hickory Ridge House, our Putney Vermont bed and breakfast inn, we take into account the food preferences and limitations of our guests.

Quite often, people come to us who have issues with cholesterol and fats, and they are pleased to hear that we will do a fat-free (or almost fat-free) egg white omelet instead of an egg-substitute product.

Because we have an herb garden with a choice of oregano, marjoram, thyme, basil, parsley, chervil and other herbs for our combination of flavorings we can deliver something flavorful, healthy and fresh to our guests.

We cut our herbs fresh each morning, rinse and dry them, and slice or chop them with a sharp blade. If they will need to stand for more than a half hour, we mix them with a couple of pinches of coarse salt and a few drops of oil. We use the same herb mixture in all of our omelets.

As orders come in, we prepare the omelets.

First: the eggs. With a fork, beat four egg whites and a half-teaspoon of water in a mixing bowl for at least one minute and no more than two minutes, allowing the whites to begin to get frothy.

Then, on medium, heat a non-stick omelet pan (we use our omelet pans for omelets only, not even other egg preparations). Depending on the requirements of our guest, we will throw a small half-pat of butter or butter substitute into the pan and let it melt down.

Pour the whites into the pan. As soon as the egg mixture begins to cloud, begin shaking the pan directly on the heat. Keep the pan moving to make sure the mixture does not stick to the sides of the pan. As the eggs begin to set and harden at the edges, add the herb mixture.

When the whites have hardened, fold the omelet in half. Let brown at high heat 30 seconds on each side.

Serve. We prefer a plate garnished with herbs and grilled or steamed vegetables.