Monday, January 2, 2012

Technique of Necessity: How to Make the Perfect Omelette

I have met a lot of hardboiled eggs in my time, but you're twenty minutes. – Oscar Wilde

Light, fluffy and surprisingly easy.
By the way, hard boiled eggs take 12 minutes maximum… Therein the joke...

Breakfast, anyone? I’m really quite surprised I haven’t posted how to do a perfect omelette (or omelet) yet. It’s a technique that is so necessary for breakfast (or early brunch) everyone should master it.

There are a few secrets to making the perfect fluffy omelette. I learned from none other than Julia Child (via PBS Television Boston – bless you) of course. But, and I swear, since that day my omelettes have been far better than they ever were before.

As always Julia taught me a secret or two. The first was NOT to add milk. Believe it or not milk makes an omelette tough. The same goes for scrambled eggs too. The second was how to get the thing out of the pan looking presentable. As I have said before, we eat with our eyes first. Always present your food as best you can.

Another piece of advice from Julia was how to cook all of the egg in the pan without messing it all up. It’s obvious once you do it, and extremely easy.

The only picture I don’t have is the actual flop onto the plate. Forgive me, but it’s difficult to take a picture while using both hands to plate an omelette… but I’ll describe it fully. You’ll understand.

The recipe is for a two egg omelette. Don’t try to do more than two eggs at a time, at least initially. They cook quickly, so it’s not like you’ll be cooking forever. If making larger omelettes, use a larger pan. There's a lot of pictures, but I wanted to illustrate it as best as I could.

Perfect Two Egg Omelette
Prep: 2 min  |  Cook 3 min  |  Serves 1
2 eggs
2 tsp butter
salt and pepper
1 tbsp water
optional: grated cheese, crumbled bacon, herbs, etc.

Step 1: Melt the butter in a small frying pan. The size helps shape the omelette. 
It does not have to be non-stick. Mine is an 8.5” All-Clad.

Step  2: Crack the eggs into a small bowl and add the salt, pepper and water.
If using herbs add them now as well.

Step 3: Beat the eggs with a fork until broken up. They don’t have to be beaten to death, 
just well mixed.

Step 4: Pour the eggs into the melted butter. Your heat should be on medium high. 
LEAVE THEM ALONE. Don’t touch the eggs until they form bubbles in the centre and you can 
see the edges have started to cook (see above). That means you have a set bottom.

Step 5: Using a spatula, pull the eggs toward the centre slightly while tipping the pan. 
Let the uncooked egg on top flow out onto the edges of the pan. At this point you can 
add ingredients like finely chopped onion, grated cheese, crumbled bacon, etc.

Continue until nearly all the uncooked has been flowed out (as above). 
The final bits of egg will finish cooking as it’s rolled up on the plate.

Step 6: Flip one edge of the omelet up over the centre and push the omelette to the edge. 
You will notice that it is slightly browned on the bottom. I find pushing it to the edge opposite the 
handle works best for me doing the next step. It's your preference.

Step 7: This one has no photo showing me actually flipping it… 
Position a plate just underneath the rim of the pan. Tip the pan against the plate surface until the 
omelette rolls out. As it rolls out it will finish rolling up into the classic omelette shape.

Ta-Dah! You’re done. Impress friends and influence people with your newfound skill!


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