Sometimes I really worry about being obsessed about food. And then there are times when I dive into my craziness with the the force of an Acapulco Cliff Diver.
I offer into evidence: It was a hot humid day in Seattle, 85 degrees and high humidity. So did I head to the air-conditioned theater? Did I walk down to ‘Bite of Seattle’ which was in town? Or did I spend 4 hours over a stove trying to figure out the most efficient way of makign a high quality omelette?
I’ll give you a hint – I made ten variants of a basic 3-egg cheese omelete.
But before getting into the…ahem…meat of the article, I have to settle what seems to be a bit of controversy in the omelette world (and that’s a sentencce I never thought I would write): Milk or no milk?
Well, there seems to be no hard and fast rule. Recipes for the omelettes in the past included some with no milk or cream, and some with. Using milk in an omelette is not a blasphemy and if anyone gives you any grief, tell them to chill.
Me personally? I didn’t use milk. And I’m fine with that.
But what pan to use? Well, I tried it with my iron skillet, a 12″ frying pan, and an omelette pan. The winner? The Omelette pan. It’s light, which is useful as you’ll see later on, and fits three eggs perfectly. (Tell me you didn’t see that one coming).
So, step 1 - Heat your pan!
Put it on medium heat, and Step 2 - add 1 tablesoon of unsalted butter…(why unsalted? because it allows you to salt your omelette to your own taste, without trying to guess how much salt is already in the butter)…allow the butter to begin to melt, and then add 1 – 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil. This will increase your smoke point of the oil (keeping you from scorching your eggs), and yet still give you the taste of butter. If you don’t like the taste of butter, chuck it all and use 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Now at this point, some people will tell you to mix your eggs before hand. To them I say….rubbish!! Step 3 – Break your eggs into the dish as if your were frying eggs, and then stir into an omelette mixture in the hot pan! Why? Because the heat will harden the albumen of the egg before you incorporate it into the omelette mixture, ensuring a fluffier omelette when complete.
It is at this point where you want to perform Step 4 - add your liquid. Be it milk, water, or chicken stock, you want to add it immediately after mixing the eggs. Why is this stuff important? As the liquid evaporates, not only will it leave the residual taste of the liquid (unless its water), the steam of the liquid will also puff the omelette mixture, making the omelette even more fluffier.
Now personally, I like the taste of chicken stock in the eggs, but not that of the milk. But I realize that most people won’t have chicken stock available, and if you want an eggy-taste over a creamy-eggy tase, then use water. Oh, and don’t use more than 1/8 of a cup of the liquid, or you’ll run the risk of making omelette soup. And that’s not as tasty as one might think.
As eggs begin to set at the edges, use a spatula to gently push cooked portions to the center, tilting the skillet to allow the uncooked egg to flow into empty spaces. Shake skillet gently to keep eggs from sticking to the bottom. Then let set for a moment or two.
When the surface of omelette looks set, but is still wet on top, add your toppings, on one side on the omelette. Using a spatula, fold the omelette over the the toppings. Let set for 30 seconds, and then plate.
Voila! The perfect, fluffy omelette!