A Classic Omelette
No eggs dish is easier to make, and no egg dish is often made so poorly than the classic omelette. Eggs, butter, a little salt and pepper with a bit of cheese and you are ready. So why are so many omelettes so mediocre? You don’t have to be Julia Child to make a good omelette but there are some basics that every cook needs to know about creating the perfect omelette.
An omelette can be adapted to any tastes or desires. While the classic is just eggs, butter and salt and pepper, other omelettes can include cheeses, meats, vegetables and spices. Because eggs have such a delicate flavor you can add herbs and actually taste the flavor from the herbs. You can be bold and try making a Frittata, but that’s a recipe for a different time.
A couple of tips: Warm your eggs under the hot water tap for a few minutes. This will help the eggs cook faster and you will have a more delicate final result. If you are going to add milk, be stingy. A tablespoon or two is more than enough. Milk has a different burn temperature than eggs and you can end up scorching the milk. If you are adding fillings you should warm them first (except for cheese) and spread evenly in the middle of the omelette. It’s easy to add too much filling and all you will have at the end is a disgusting looking egg casserole.
- 2 to 3 eggs
- Pinch salt
- Black pepper
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Gruyere or sharp Cheddar cheese (any other cheese works well)
Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Mix with a fork or whisk until the color and consistency is uniform.
Set a pan that’s about 8 inches (sloped sides and non-stick helps here) over medium heat and add the butter. Melt the butter, swirling it around the pan to coat the bottom and up the sides.
Pour the eggs into the pan and let them settle for 10 seconds or so until the bottom cooks a bit. Run a fork through the eggs, pulling the cooked parts into the middle of the pan, allowing raw egg to drift into the bottom of the pan. You can tilt the pan to help the eggs run to the edges. Do this a couple of times and then jiggle the pan so that the eggs settle into a nice round shape.
Let the eggs cook until the firm along the bottom with the top nearly set. Sprinkle the cheese over the surface of the eggs. When it looks like the top of the eggs is cooked, or nearly so (it may be slightly runny, but will continue to cook even when off the heat), use a spatula to wedge under one half of the omelette and fold it over, forming a half moon. Lift the pan from the stove, tilt it and with the aid of the spatula slide the omelette onto a plate.
This is a recipe that really shows that practice makes perfect. My first dozen omelettes were embarrassing and were served as scrambled eggs. Now I have found the perfect omelette pan and my family requests omelettes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Also, make sure you have a good rubber or silicone spatula with no nicks or tears. You will understand this after you make a few omelettes.