Nothing beats an omelet for an elegant brunch, an easy lunch, or a quick supper. Fast to make, omelets can be flavored with an assortment of ingredients ranging from ordinary cheese and onions to more exotic wild mushrooms and smoked salmon.
Just about everyone likes omelets but not everyone can make one. These culinary creations fall into the category of “tricky at first but once mastered, very easy to make.”
Omelets are most successful made with at least two large eggs, rather than a single egg. You can make omelets with three, four, or five eggs. Cooking larger omelets becomes unwieldy. For numerous servings, cook several omelets.
While you can make omelets in a small skillet, a nonstick omelet pan will make the task easier. For a two-egg omelet, you will need a six- to eight-inch diameter pan.
To begin, whisk the eggs in a bowl. Season them lightly with salt and pepper but do not add anything else, such as water, milk, or cream, unless a recipe specifies.
Most eggs are cooked slowly over a gentle flame. Contrarily, omelets are cooked over high heat and take only minutes.
The key to success is to have the fat – usually butter -- hot enough to set the exterior of the omelet but not so hot that it cooks the eggs so fast that they toughen.
The fat is ready for the eggs when it has foamed and then subsided.
If the fat is the right temperature, a two-egg omelet will take about 90 seconds to cook. That’s it!
Success is yours if you work methodically and logically. Prepare the ingredients you plan to use to fill the omelets and have them ready. This includes the butter or margarine for cooking.
Slice the peppers, broccoli, onions, mushrooms, ham, and tomatoes; shred the cheese; chop the sausage, artichokes, asparagus, and herbs.
If you prefer, sauté or blanch vegetables first. Some ingredients, such as potatoes and bacon, must be pre-cooked.
Whisk as many eggs as you need in a bowl. If you plan to make four omelets, whisk eight eggs.
Tilt the pan to cover it with the hot fat. Ladle enough egg into a cup to measure a quarter cup and then pour this into the fat. This amount equals a two-egg omelet.
When you pour the eggs into it, shake the pan back and forth over the heat and stir the eggs at the same time with a fork.
Add the filling almost immediately and before the bottom of the eggs has set. Don’t overload the omelet with filling -- a quarter cup or so will do.
As soon as the filling is in place, start pushing at the edge of the omelet with a fork to fold or roll it. Tilt the pan at the same time and, when the bottom of the omelet is browned, tip the folded or rolled omelet onto a waiting plate.
Practice Makes Perfect
The first few times you try an omelet, it might break and you will end up with fancy scrambled eggs. Don’t give up. One day the neat, folded package will slide out of the pan and onto the plate and you will have become an official omelet chef.
If you are frustrated by folded omelets, you can always make flat ones. These are usually heartier than folded ones.
For flat omelets, begin by sautéing the filling ingredients in the fat. Pour the eggs over them and cook them just until set. Slide the omelet onto a place and cut it into wedges for serving.