One of my chefs at Le Cordon Bleu once said, “If you can make an omelet, you’ll never be hungry.” So true. An omelet is inexpensive, versatile and amazingly quick to prepare. While it’s typically thought of as a breakfast dish, British food writer Elizabeth David wrote about an omelet with a glass of wine making a splendid lunch or dinner, too.
I love this video with Jamie because he’s as passionate about omelets as I am. Omelets cook quickly, so assemble any fillings that you want to add, such as cheese, vegetables and so on, before you start. I use a seven-inch non-stick skillet for a two- to three-egg omelet. Otherwise, all you need is a small bowl, a fork and a spatula. I use vegetable oil with a pat of butter to give the omelet a little bit of flavor, but a simple blast of cooking spray is fine, too. Leftovers make great fillings, especially leftover vegetables. If you want to use vegetables such as onions, peppers or mushrooms, you may want to briefly cook them first. – Kathleen Flinn
1 to 2 teaspoons oil and/or butter
2 to 3 eggs
A splash of milk or water (optional)
Salt, pepper, a bit of thyme or other seasoning
Combine two to three eggs in a small bowl. Add a pinch of salt, a couple grinds of pepper and a pinch of dried thyme or Italian seasoning . Add a bit of milk for a fluffier omelet. Using a fork or whisk, beat the eggs briefly, about 20 seconds. The longer you whisk it, the more air gets incorporated and the fluffier the omelet.
Heat a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add a bit of oil and a small pat of butter if desired. Add the eggs. Tilt the pan around so that the egg runs to the open areas of the pan to form a consistent layer. Let the egg cook through briefly and then carefully use a spatula to pull up one side and let the remaining uncooked egg go under the omelet to the pan’s surface. Once the egg layer seems to thicken, lower the heat and add the other ingredients, such as cheese, vegetables and cooked meats.
Cook the omelet just until the egg is cooked through, but not browned or crispy on the bottom. Using the spatula, carefully loosen around the edges to assure the omelet will slide freely from the pan.
There are two ways to fold the omelet. One is to carefully fold it in the pan using your spatula, and then slide the finished omelet onto the plate. A more foolproof method is to put a plate on the counter. Carefully tilt it toward the plate. Once an edge hits the plate, tile the pan or use the spatula to guide the over edge over in a fold.
It’s hard to discuss omelets without referring to the great Julia Child. In this video from her early series, “The French Chef,” she demonstrates how to crack an egg, buy the proper pan and a couple variations on making the omelet itself.