If you’ve ever had a really bad omelet, then you know the value of a perfectly cooked one. While you can order one in every diner from here to Siberia, what arrives at the table is rarely a perfect omelet — glossy like a yellow, lacquered table. Since this is an omelet lesson in the French style, go ahead and pull out the butter along with the eggs for this cooking lesson. Master this essential technique and impress your brunch guests with your superior omelet-making skills by following the simple steps outlined below that will have you cooking omelets like a pro.
Be sure to have a plate close by to display your masterpiece when it’s finished so it doesn’t sit in the pan and become overcooked.
Since there is little more to an omelet than eggs, using the freshest eggs possible will keep the texture of your omelet at its best. The membrane begins to break down in older eggs, making the white more fluid and providing less body.
Additionally, you will need plenty of butter — at least three pats per omelet — a splash of water or milk, and your filling. We love a peppery, creamy Boursin cheese, but feel free to add your favorite seasonal vegetables.
A fork is preferable to a whisk, because your goal here is simply to incorporate the whites with the yolks, not to add additional air. You will know your eggs are ready when you pull the fork up and a homogenous stream of egg runs off without any white streaks.
You will know your skillet is ready when you see the first small bubbles forming in the butter. If your butter is loudly sizzling and browning, you will need to turn the heat lower and start over.
Once you see the first small bubbles appear, add your egg mixture. Again, there shouldn’t be a sizzle. If you hear a sizzle, don’t panic, just turn down the heat.
You can season your eggs in the pan to your liking with salt and pepper. Be sure to season your eggs well at this point, before you start stirring the eggs, for an evenly seasoned omelet. If you don’t want your omelet visibly speckled with pepper you can use white pepper, but remember that white pepper is hotter than black pepper.
The next three steps are the most important, and are done simultaneously. Now that you have added your seasoning, begin to gently stir or scramble the omelet with a wooden spoon. This will keep the omelet from sticking to the bottom of the pan.
While you are stirring the omelet, shake the pan in a circular motion to aid with the stirring. This will also help to keep the omelet moving so it doesn’t stick to the pan and ensure that it cooks evenly.
Finally, all of that scrambling and shaking is sure to splash egg mixture up the sides of the pan, so as you notice it, scrape the sides of the pan to keep the edges from overcooking. The key here is an evenly cooked omelet. This whole process also slows the cooking down, so don’t be surprised if your omelet takes longer to cook than you expected.
Once you are satisfied with your omelet’s doneness, remove the pan from the heat and allow the omelet to rest in the pan for about a minute. This will finish cooking the bottom of the omelet.
While your omelet is resting, go ahead and add your filling of cheese, bacon, ham or seasonal vegetables. You don’t want to overfill the omelet or it will be difficult to roll.
Once the omelet is rolled, you will need to transfer it to your serving plate. To do this, simply tip the pan in one fluid motion over the plate. You can adjust the omelet once on the plate so that the seam is on the bottom.
To garnish the omelet, rub with the final pat of butter to give it a shiny look. Then sprinkle with freshly chopped herbs, like chives, parsley or chervil. Serve! Enjoy your classic French omelet and relish knowing one of the 50 ways to cook an egg!
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