One of the most popular lunchtimes dishes on menus are omelettes and occasionally one does find really good omelettes; but that’s occasionally and it’s strange because they’re pretty easy to make, both plain or filled. The trick here, again, lies in the eggs and the pan.
Eggs need to be fresh and the pan should be kept for omelettes only. My mother had a pan that was used only for omelettes and we didn’t even consider using it for anything else. In fact, we didn’t touch that pan, period. It was made of cast iron and it had a curved edge which made it easy to turn out the omelette; it was also never scrubbed by anyone and only she cleaned it or touched it.
For a tiny 1½ meter woman, she had a ferocious temper. If you’re all going to rush out & buy a new pan, treat it before you use it like like my mom did:
Wash it well, dry it well and cover the bottom of the pan with oil and leave it to stand for 12 hours at which point you heat it until it smokes, remove it from the heat, pour off all the oil & wipe it clean with absorbent paper.
Each time you use the pan, wipe it with a damp cloth dipped in salt. I know we have non-stick pans that are simply marvelous today but I don’t like them, I still prefer the old fashioned heavy based aluminum pan for this. I also don’t like fried eggs cooked in non stick pans because they taste rubbery.
There are two kinds of omelettes, the plain omelette (also called the French omelette for some reason) or the soufflé omelette; here’s a recipe for a plain omelette.
How to Make an Omelette (Omelet)
Making an omelette is easy but requires technique. Here’s our process for the perfect omelette.
- 4 eggs
- 1 ½ tbsp water (never use milk or cream for omelettes)
- Salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 30 gr butter
- Break the eggs into a bowl & beat with a fork, as soon as it’s well mixed, add the water and the seasoning (don’t make your omelette mixture & go and have a long telephone conversation, mix the eggs just before you’re going to cook them)
- Heat the pan to medium, add the butter and heat until just frothing and pour in the egg mixture in one go.
- Wait for 10 – 15 seconds before stirring it around slowly with the flat of your fork (or whatever you’re using that’s flat).
- Do this once or twice for the next 5 – 6 seconds and then lift up the edge of the omelette to let the rest of the raw egg run down onto the hot pan.
- Tilt the pan away from you & fold over the omelette to the far side.
- For the next bit, my mom said to change the way you hold the pan here so that the handle ran up the palm of my hand before taking a slightly warmed plate in the other hand & tipping the omelette on that.
- I don’t do that anymore, I just flip the plate on top of the pan, whip it around & hope for the best; somehow it always works out but I suggest each of you work out your own way or use my mom’s method.
- Fillings: you can really fill with anything you like: herbs, cheese, mushrooms, potatoes, bacon – whatever but it’s vital that the filling is warm & cooked because it’s not going to spend much time cooking in the egg mixture.
- The filling is spread across the omelette before folding it over and then sliding it off the pan.