I don’t know why people don’t cook omelettes more often. They’re so quick, so tasty and so utterly satisfying, that it’s almost criminal to think of dashing off to buy fast food when there’s an egg or two in the pantry. Omelettes are a fairly broad category because they take in not only the classic French rolled or folded omelette in savoury or sweet form, and the puffy soufflé omelette, but also the Italian frittata, Spanish tortilla, Greek sfongato and various Middle Eastern egg concoctions.
To make a standard French-style omelette, heat an omelette pan (see end of text) until it is quite hot. Don’t bring it to meltdown, but have it hot enough to sizzle a knob of butter immediately without it turning dark brown. You’ll have to play around with this until you come to understand your pan. If the butter slowly melts and looks watery – wipe out the pan and get it hotter. Conversely, if it hisses angrily at you and the butter goes murky brown, wipe out the pan and let it cool down before trying again. Drop in the butter and once it melts and sizzles, pour in the beaten eggs. Then, using a fork, simply lift the egg from the bottom of the pan as it sets, letting unset egg fill in the space on the bottom of the pan (I tend to go nuts with the fork, and cook small omelettes ultra-fast, so that I create an uneven surface to the omelette, with troughs and peaks; it’s just how I like it). When the egg is about 60% set (again, this is how I like it, but you can cook it a little longer if you prefer), drop in a couple of spoonfuls of filling and fold the omelette over itself. Cook a little longer to ensure the filling is heated and the egg a little more set, then slide the omelette onto a heated plate. Dust with parmesan cheese if appropriate. Serve immediately, then continue making any remaining omelettes, wiping the pan first (there’s no need to wash the pan before making the next omelette).
I prefer to make single-serve omelettes to order rather than a massive unwieldy thing. I use either a smallish cast-iron pan or a non-stick one. Both have sloping sides which makes it easier to turn out the omelette onto a plate.
Photography Aaron McLean http://www.aaronmclean.com
Recipes using eggs