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New Jersey Diner Spanish Omelet

Subject: NJ Diner Spanish Omelets
From: Gary 
Date: 11/28/2018, 8:45 PM

I contacted you earlier in the year to ask if you’d ever run into the NJ metro version 
of the Spanish omelet which is totally different from the recipes you find everywhere. 
Like everything else in a Greek diner, the Spanish omelet is  what it is, but it’s not 
anything you’d find in Spain, I guess. Anyway, I contacted Sam Sifton of the NY Times 
food department and he gave me some hints. The key was “use stewed tomatoes”. 
By sheer accident, bought a can of Shop Rite stewed tomatoes, Italian style with celery 
onions and peppers. Also had salt, sugar and citric in it plus spices and whatever. 
Perfect base. Simmered sliced celery, green pepper, sliced scallion  and mushrooms 
in a sauté pan with the tomatoes cut into chunks. Reserved the juice and added some 
cornstarch.  When the vegetables were tender, added the juice with starch and when it 
thickened, that was it. Put it inside an omelet and spread more sauce on the top. 
Flavor/texture – perfefcto!!


Hi Gary,

I found emails from you about McKinnon's Cowboy Marinade and about Chinese Shrimp, but I could not find one about NJ Diner Spanish Omelets. Perhaps it was another site?

Anyhow, I'm going to post your discovery, as it might be of interest to others.


Subject: NJ Diner Spanish Omelets
From: Gary 
Date: 11/29/2018, 1:24 PM

The memory is the second thing to go, but I thought that you and I had discussed the 
NJ Diner version of “Spanish Omelet”. In any event, if not, it is a flat 2-3 egg standard 
omelet crepe of scrambled egg filled with a thickened sauce, clear, tomato-based and 
filled with celery, tomato chunks, mushrooms, onions and sweet peppers. Naturally, the 
flavor is specific to the diner recipes and not remarkable, but memorable. There are no 
Spanish omelet recipes online that replicate that composition for taste or texture. I told 
Sam that the key was the cause was tomato-based but clear, so no pulp, paste, puree etc. 
He told me to use stewed and I just got lucky by choosing the Italian stewed flavor. 
Then it was easy to reserve the juice, add the vegetables and the rest. If you go to a diner 
or restaurant anywhere outside the NY/NJ metro area and order Spanish, you won’t get this. 
You’ll get  an omelet with vegetables and seasonings added to the scramble before it sets 
and the flavor isn’t there. If you add salsa out of a jar, that isn’t it either. So I’d call the recipe 
“Greek NY Metro Diner version of Spanish Omelet (saucy). That would be painfully accurate.