Making an omelet was and sometimes is still part of an interview for young cooks in a professional kitchen. It shows technique, skill and work habits.
This is the basic method for making rolled omelets. Once you have perfected them, they can be filled and rolled with a variety of ingredients.
It is important to whisk just the right amount of air into the eggs for them to be characteristically fluffy. The perfect finished omelet should look like a fat cigar, the interior soft, moist, a little wet, but not runny. Generally, an omelet should not be browned, but that is a matter of personal taste.
The Basic Omelet
Makes 1 serving
3 large eggs, room temperature
Freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon unsalted butter
Crack the eggs into a bowl and season with a pinch of salt and pepper. Whisk the eggs with a fork to combine the yolk with the white and incorporate air into the eggs. Do not over beat.
Heat a 10-inch non-stick skillet over medium low heat. Add the butter to the pan and swirl, tilting the pan, and coating the entire bottom surface. The pan is hot enough when the butter sizzles but has not browned.
Pour the eggs into the pan. As they cook, stir the eggs with the back-side of a fork, at the same time, shake the pan over the heat, to cook them evenly over the entire surface of the pan. As you work, gently pull the cooked eggs from the sides of the pan and blend with the rest. The finished consistency should be like a thick puree. When most of the eggs are set but still slightly liquid inside, they are ready. This will take about 30 seconds.
With the fork, pat the eggs in an even layer to cover the bottom surface of the pan and heat over the burner for a few seconds without disturbing them. Remove the pan from the heat. Tilt the pan on a work surface and carefully fold the eggs over themselves from the handle about ¾ of the way to the opposite edge. Gently press the folded side with the back of the fork.
Loosen the eggs from the side of the pan with the tines of the fork. Tap the edge of the pan on the work surface a few times to loosen the eggs. As it moves in the pan, the far side should curl toward the center, and create an oval shape. If it doesn’t, carefully fold the second side with the fork.
Return the pan to the heat for a few seconds. Place a serving dish next to the pan, tap the pan one more time against the work surface to loosen the omelet, and in one motion, turn the omelet onto the plate making sure the folded edges are at the bottom. Serve immediately.
There are many variations of the classic rolled omelet:
- Omelette au fromage, with cheese, usually Gruyère.
- Omelette aux fines herbes, with a mixture of parsley, chervil, tarragon, and chives.
- Omelette aux champignons, with sautéed mushrooms.
- Omelette Richemonde, with morel mushrooms, Mornay sauce, then glazed under the broiler.
- Omelette à la confiture, with jam or jelly, sprinkled with sugar, then bruleed.