Sunday, May 22, 2011

Omelettes: Adequate, But Not Mastered

I said I would post about my omelette experience, and I hate to let down my dear readers, so here goes.

I don't remember my mom making them much when I was a child, and when she did, it seemed an arduous process.  She would lift one edge of the mass of coagulated eggs and tilt the pan, letting the uncooked mess spill underneath.  Then, she'd manage to tuck it nicely into a half-moon shape on the plate.  But, like I said, I don't remember her making them often...I mostly associate omelettes with restaurant breakfasts.

For all my many kitchen successes, the omelette has been the one epic failure in my culinary repertoire.  In the recent half-decade, I can remember four separate attempts at omelette-making, and all resulted in my throwing in the towel and just scrambling them in frustration.

Enter Julia Child.  I decided it was time to conquer my fear of omelettes.

I read the passage in her cookbook about omelette-making, reread it again, and still didn't quite have the grasp I needed to pull it off.  I am a visual learner, you see, and the pictures just weren't doing it for me.

Enter and Julia Child Makes Omelettes.  A quick search pulled up a six-minute video of Julia making omelettes, and that provided the visual I needed.  I watched it three times before I felt the confidence to proceed.

First, I assembled my army, as seen here.  Eggs and butter are the essentials, obviously.  Ham and cheese are the extras.  Oh, and the empty bottle of Tassel Ridge wine in the background?  Not part of the list of ingredients!
After heating the small 7-inch pan, I melted a pat of butter, letting it foam.  The heat is important...the butter pretty much needs to sizzle and melt on contact.  When the foam subsided, I poured in my two eggs (beaten).  Eggs cook rather quickly, and after five or so seconds, mine looked like the above.  Right around here is when I swirled my pan in a circular motion several times over the heat to distribute the uncooked eggs.

Then came the tricky part.  Per Julia's instructions, I tilted the pan up and jerked it back towards me...several times, trying to get the mostly cooked egg mass to roll down towards the far lip of the pan.  THIS REQUIRES PRACTICE.  My husband was watching me attempt to roll the omelette, but he did not respond as I shrieked at him, "It's not rolling!  What do I do?"

Eventually, the thing kind of flopped over, so I transferred the product to the plate.  A sprinkle with parsley and omelette #1 was done.  And it didn't taste too bad, either!

By this time, my children were clamoring for one, so I made three "filled" omelettes.  The first one turned out okay, but #2 and #3 experienced some falling-apartage...but nothing a little rearranging on the plate and a sprinkle of parsley didn't fix. 

Long story short, I am *not* the master of omelettes...but it is not as daunting as I once thought it was.  I let go of the notion that omelettes must be a perfect half-moon shape and instead embraced the messy, eclectic rolls I turned out four times.  My husband was amazed at the terribly short cooking time (thirty seconds, tops), and there was nary a clean plate after breakfast this morning.  As you can see in the above photo, all children appear to be satisfied.

You can have your oeuf and eat it too!


  1. Something I learned working in a German/French restaurant in Germany, omelettes and crepes work best if you start with room temperature eggs. Eggs do not to be frig'd, but I do, we all do, but the sooner you can take them out before using the better, a couple hours is good, but not always possible, for breakfast use, dash in and get them out on the counter first thing, they will warm a few degrees and the whole process will go faster and better.

  2. I remember making omelettes years ago and I haven't attempted to make them since. You have inspired me to give them a try once again. This morning I did make homemade cinnamon rolls for breakfast and an omelette would have been wonderful to have with the rolls.