Test Cook’s Report – Rip Torn’s Omelet Mexicali

I’ve been receiving brilliant feedback from the lovely folks who have volunteered to test cook recipes for the Cooking with Columbo book.  There is still lots of time to join in – just check out the Columbo Cookbook page and choose something that takes your fancy.

The first person to report back after my initial call for help, was the wonderful Greg Swenson from the fab Recipes for Rebels website.  Greg is a creative genius and my heart nearly burst with joy when I saw this:


isn’t that the best thing ever?!!  I just love this, and might get it blown up, printed up and framed!

Greg not only sent me detailed feedback on my episode guide for the Columbo that Rip Torn appears in, Death Hits the Jackpot, he also wrote a whole blog post about the Omelet.  Here’s a link to it on his website it’s a rip roaring good read!  I really laughed about Greg bumping into Rip Torn on the street – how I would love that to happen to me!

Greg’s summing up of the recipe is brilliant:

“Cheese, avocado, and a fast, fresh, flavorful homemade cooked-salsa become the centerpiece of this light, fluffy, delicious omelet.  Great for brunch or one of those “breakfast for suppertime” nights!  The salsa flavors are bright and zing-y, contrasting with the rich, creamy avocado and melty cheese, all snuggled into the warm safety of a thickly quilted, eggy comforter.  It’s a dish you’ll want to serve for company or just a private, indulgent, evening in…”

the omelet really is a “thickly quilted, eggy comforter” – ha ha!  But Greg’s big question was this…  Why does the recipe call for a measly one teaspoon of taco sauce? He wondered if this could have been a typo in the recipe, which is always possible, and led me to wonder if it was ME that had made the typo, but here it is in black and white from the Cinncinati Enquirer of 28th December, 1966:

Screen Shot 2017-06-08 at 08.21.12

Greg’s blog posts are always super informative and I loved all the SLEUTHING he did around the subject of taco sauce, and I agree – you should add LOADS more to this recipe, or as Greg suggests, use chilli sauce in place of taco sauce for more oomph.  I also really like Greg’s substitution of soy sauce for the MSG (although as discussed here many times, I DO use MSG when a retro recipe specifies it.  Greg can’t get hold of it in Greece…).  The omelet was a big hit at Greg’s place and here’s a lovely photo of how it turned out:


Seeing this photo again really makes me crave a Rip Torn Omelet Mexicali.  I’m going to have to make this again soon! 

Before I go, I wanted to let y’all know that Greg is organizing a Cowboy Day Cook-along – I joined in with this last year and it was brilliant fun.  Open to all, the more the merrier – yeehaw!  All the details about it are here, do join in!  You don’t have to have a blog…


Here’s Rip’s recipe again.  If you try this, do let me know what you decide to do about the taco sauce…


Rip Torn Omelet Mexicali

2 teaspoons butter
1/2 cup / 75 grams minced onion
1/2 cup / 90 grams chopped green pepper
1 or 2 finely chopped hot green peppers (or chopped canned mild green chillis to taste)
2 medium ripe tomatoes, peeled, chopped
1 teaspoon canned red taco sauce
1/2 teaspoon monosodium glutamate
Salt, freshly ground pepper to taste
1/2 cup / 50 grams grated American / cheddar cheese
1 small ripe avocado, peeled, diced
Chilli powder

Melt butter, add onion and green pepper.  Cook until vegetables are tender over low heat.  Add hot pepper, tomatoes, taco sauce, monosodium glutamate, salt and pepper.  Simmer 20 minutes over low heat until sauce is the consistency of a thick puree.

[see below for omelet recipe]

When top of omelet is still runny, top with grated cheese and avocado.  Spoon sauce over all.  Sprinkle with chilli powder to taste.  Serve omelet open face style, cutting into pie shaped wedges.

6 eggs
1/2 teaspoon of salt
1/16 teaspoon white pepper
3 tablespoons sweet butter [unsalted butter]

Separate yolks and whites.  Beat yolks until thick, whites until stiff.  Fold whites into yolks, add seasonings.  Heat 2 tablespoons butter in heavy skillet.  When butter is sizzling, but not brown, add eggs.  As the eggs begin to set, reduce heat.  As omelet cooks, push back from the edges, keep adding butter.  Cook until golden brown on bottom but slightly runny on top.  Remove from heat, loosen the edge of half the omelet from skillet with a spatula.  Add filling, fold one half over the other.  Turn upside down on a heated dish.  Lightly brush top with absorbent paper to remove excess butter.  Serve at once.

Serves 3-4 [but I made half the recipe last time and scoffed the lot!]

5 Responses to Test Cook’s Report – Rip Torn’s Omelet Mexicali

  1. Greg 9 Jun, 2017 at 11:42 pm #

    Wow. (blush) Thanks for all the superlatives! We really, really enjoyed Rip Torn’s Omelet Mexicali! Yes, seeing it here again, I think we need to rustle another one up.

    These collaborative efforts, YOUR new Cooking with Columbo cookbook project and the Cowboy Day Cook-Along, are always so much fun! I need to pick another recipe for test cooking…Zelda Manners is putting the rest of us to shame! Can’t wait to see what you come up with for Cowboy Day this year! Yee-haw!!

  2. Jenny 10 Jun, 2017 at 8:13 am #

    YES! i agree, the collaborative stuff is just brilliant, so much fun to be had.

    I’m looking forward to another Pieathalon, and of course the Cowboy Day Cook-along. I think that Battenberg Belle and I might do a whole supper club based around the cowboy theme – I will keep you posted on that. Mr R and I will probably have a sneaky cowboy day to ourselves too. This year I might actually be able to find the Giant DVD!!

    Zelda is going great guns! She put together a veggie version of Johnny Cash’s chilli which is brilliant…

    Yee-haw indeed!

  3. Jenny 10 Jun, 2017 at 8:14 am #

    PS – gotta cut down on the exclamation marks!

  4. Helen Coniam 12 Jun, 2017 at 6:01 pm #

    Hi Jenny and Greg. Zelda is just loving it! Both your projects have inspired her and much fun is being had. Looking forward to the Cowboy Cookalong.

  5. Jenny 12 Jun, 2017 at 9:44 pm #

    Yay! and Yeehaw!!

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