The Omelette and Me
Usually I try to keep these posts brief, but I just can’t talk about omelette making without sharing a little bit of my backstory with you.
Where it Began…
When I was 19 years old, I lived in my first apartment just off campus. It was the first time I’d had my own kitchen and the first time I’d ever really had to cook for myself. It was a simpler time; it as a time of grilled cheeses, Kraft mac and cheese by the boxful, copying fancy Pinterest recipes when I needed to impress a guy, dry yet undercooked chicken breasts (every time), and a whole bunch of crock pot concoctions.
As you can imagine, I was strongly convinced that I had the skills of a master chef. Despite several disasters (setting my oven mitts on fire, filling my apartment with the fumes of overheated oil, and all that totally normal stuff), my pride kept me assured that I could cook just as well as anybody – especially the dining hall staff.
Some mornings I would eat on campus with my friends and watch a student worker turn out omelette after omelette. I could scramble some eggs (or so I thought), but the omelette was uncharted territory. It was a challenge that I believed I could handle, so I took to the kitchen, and much to my surprise…I failed. Miserably.
Just like the dining hall worker, I threw all my veggies and meat in the pan to heat it, and after it had cooked a little I added some eggs to it. But I couldn’t successfully flip the half-cooked mixture and ended making a slightly over-cooked, sad scramble.
After a few more failed attempts, I decided omelette making was just not for me.
The Power of My Ego
Flash forward about 3 years to 2020. I was 22 years old, taking the last few classes to finish my degree and living with my then boyfriend and now fiancé. On one of our COVID zoom parties, one of our friends started talking smack. He was proud of the fact that he’d learned how to make omelettes, and in the past I had admitted that it was a dish I couldn’t master.
Enter my ego. I was in shock. He was a twenty-something year old man who, at the time, lived primarily off of Lunchables and McDonald’s. Overcome with annoyance and the effects of a few homemade cocktails, I let him know I was going to put his omelette to shame.
Mind you, I’d still never made a successful omelette or even come close. So I did my research and pulled out the egg pan. This time, I would not fail.
I honestly did a pretty alright job (and did put him to shame – he admitted it). My first omelette wasn’t perfect, but it was a start.
Over the past year I’ve really gotten the hang of omelette making. I’ve done more research, talked to more people, and tried out some of my own ideas. Ultimately, I’ve boiled it down to my most reliable method.
My Omelette Tricks
Now that storytime is over, let’s get into how to build the perfect omelette.
Before you pull out you start cracking eggs and melting butter, think about the flavor you’re trying to achieve in your omelette. The basic decisions you’ll need to make are:
- Seasonings: Start with salt & pepper (always) and then figure out what else you need to get the taste you’re looking for. Red pepper flakes? Herbes de Provence? A little cumin and chili powder? The possibilities are endless. Incorporate your chosen seasonings into the eggs and into an toppings you may be preparing.
- Fresh Herbs: Not only can you add a nice touch of green to your omelette, herbs can provide a fresh flavor and really enhance the overall taste of your breakfast. I like to use things like cilantro, dill, parsley, or chives.
- Veggies: Raw veggies are a great option for an omelette. Toss veggies like avocado and tomato in a little salt, pepper, and other seasoning. Adding a little seasoning to your veggies will have them bursting with flavor by the time you load them onto your eggs. Hot veggies really add to an omelette too. Sauté things like peppers, onions, and mushrooms to add to your breakfast.
- Meats: Ham, chorizo, bacon, andouille sausage, etc. Need I say more?
- Cheeses: Any cheese will do! Whether you have swiss, gouda, colby jack, cheddar, or something else in your fridge, as long as it will melt, it will work.
- Other: Want to add some black beans to your Tex-Mex omelette? Or curious to try warm apples with melted gouda? Go for it! Make your omelette your own.
How to Make and Omelette
As you may or may not know, I’m not big on measuring. If you’re looking for exact ratios to use, google it.
Here are some tips & tricks that work for me:
- Beat your eggs (I use 2-3) in a small bowl
- In a separate bowl, add a splash of heavy cream, salt, pepper, whatever other seasonings your heart desires. Mix the seasonings into the cream and taste it. The cream should taste fairly salty and strongly seasoned because it’s going to get diluted in the eggs. Putting the seasoning into the cream first will help it get evenly distributed through the eggs.
- Mix the seasoned cream into the eggs, and let that mixture sit for a while. The correct amount of cream should make the egg mixture just a little bit lighter while still very yellow. (Still not sure if letting it sit does anything – I read this online and letting the eggs sit for 5-15 minutes seems to bring me success)
- Melt ½ Tbsp of unsalted butter in your pan on low heat (internet usually says 1 Tbsp, I think that’s too much – just make sure you have a nice layer on the bottom of the pan). I always use our designated egg pan (Red Copper 10 inch non-stick pan). Yes, we literally only use it for eggs.
- Get your toppings prepped too. Get anything hot (meats and veggies) heated up before starting the omelette and get your chopping (fresh veggies and herbs) done. If you’re going to throw some fresh veggies in (like tomato), I recommend throwing a little salt and pepper on it so it can absorb some good flavor while it sits.
- On low heat (think 2 out of 7), pour in the egg mixture. Treat it kind of like soft-scrambled eggs at this phase (stirring constantly with your rubber spatula), but you can get away with being slightly less attentive. The point is to get your mixture to start heating fairly evenly.
- At the critical point where you are seeing some solid egg throughout but there is still enough liquid to bind everything together, stop stirring (it takes a little practice to identify this point).
- Go back to tending any toppings that are heating up or chop of that thing you forgot you were going to throw in.
- When your egg patty is starting to solidify, you can use your rubber spatula to gently get under the edges. Move the pan to make sure the patty slides around a little. When it looks like the patty is nearly cooked through (just a little wiggly on the top) turn up the heat a little (3 out of 7).
- Once the top is just a little shiny, start adding the cheese and then the toppings. The internet generally says to go light with the toppings…I have found if you make the omelette well enough, it doesn’t honestly matter how much you pack it.
- Fold the top over, and carefully slide it onto a plate.
In case you were wondering, I am now 23. It’s been about 4 years since my first omelette attempt. If you’re new to cooking like I was a few years ago, keep trying – it takes time.
Let me know if this helps you too. Stay Riled Up!