3 farm eggsfresh
white pepper from mill2 turns
sea salt from mill3 turns
1 cup spinach leavesfresh, picked of stems
1/4 cup sweet onion marmalade
1 medium white onion
1 splash cider vinegar
1 vine ripened tomatoes
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
pepper melangefreshly cracked
Sea Saltto taste
spicy basilwith tender stems
“The theory of the preparation of an omelette,” quipped Escoffier in his 1902 treatise Le Guide Culinaire, ‘is both simple and at the same time very complicated, for the simple reason that people’s tastes for this type of dish are very different.”
Escoffier then goes on to explain that some patrons like their omelettes only when golden brown on the exterior, while others may prefer them underdone and almost runny on the inside.
And what is an omelette, according to this giant in the culinary arena? “…A special type of scrambled egg.” He goes on to gab about the manual dexterity, the endless variations, and the need for practice.
As for me, I have spent decades listening to laymen discuss the improbability that they themselves could properly cook an omelette, almost as though the fabled omelette were a rarely seen animal on the Serengeti; photographed by but a few, and elusive in nature to the common man.
However, I am here to tell you that it is well within the reach of anyone with a non-stick frypan, butter or oil, and, yes, some scrambled eggs.
In regards to your mise en place (French for “get your junk together”, to put it politely), make sure that you have your fillings ready, all ingredients amassed, and your eggs scrambled and properly seasoned. This is a quick ‘one-two’ combo when you get around to cooking it, so don’t expect to run back to the fridge during execution.
Now, here is the difference between my omelettes and others you probably see at restaurants. I typically have my filing appropriately cooked and at the ready, set aside in a bowl or cup, and not particulates which were fried in the pan, with the egg mixture poured directly on top. The latter more resembles a frittata to me, and not an omelette in the traditional sense.
So, having your filling cooked and set aside, and your eggs scrambled, let’s talk about seasoning. Personally, I prefer my super-secret pepper blend, but if you don’t want to see any specks, or realistically don’t want to see as many, use white pepper.
I remember being judged by a German Master Chef a few years ago, and he shared that he found it curious that people were so concerned about pepper specks in their food. Being married to a Korean National, he was quite familiar with Asian cuisine, and felt that White Pepper belonged in Asian food, and only Asian food.
In Western food, black pepper was much better suited. So, to each his own. Use the pepper you like. I used white pepper in the omelette, and my secret pepper mélange on the tomato salad I served on the side.
You may make a mess the first few times that you try an omelette, but that’s just part of the game; in fact, it’s one of the fun parts of the game. Truthfully, and resonant of the man’s brilliance, knowing how your guest would like the blasted thing cooked in the first place is truly the most difficult part of preparing the elusive omelette.
- Heat a frypan to medium heat. Never go too high on a non-stick, as you stand the chance of burning off the Teflon coating, hence the black flecks often found in foods cooked in old non-sticks
- Add your butter or oil, and pour in the eggs
- With a firm grip on the handle, roll the eggs around the periphery of the pan, which will make a nice thin lip around the edges
- Take your rubber spatula, and flip these edges onto the center portion and repeat
- With every bit of edge that you make, you will logically be cooking the eggs through. Also use your spatula to pick up the edges of the eggs and work some raw eggs into these spaces.
- Once the omelette is 90% cooked, run the spatula underneath to ensure that it is not sticking anywhere
- With a quick forward rolling motion, flip the eggs in the pan. If you don’t want to try this, gingerly roll the eggs over onto the spatula and lay them out again upside down, ensuring that they are even on the pan
- Immediately add your cheese and fillings, which are already cooked, and slide the omelette on the plate
- Be patient. Julienne the onion and place in a saucepan with just enough oil to get it started
- On a medium heat, stir the onions until they start to turn translucent
- At this point, turn the stove to low and cook, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until they are soft and incredibly sweet. Don’t get discouraged; low and Slow
- Add the vinegar to taste
- Cut the tomatoes into slices, and top with the rest of the ingredients. Hey, no one ever said it had to be difficult