When I was 20 and living in Chantilly France, I cooked breakfast for my French “parents,” Jean and Claudine. The menu: toast, bacon and eggs over easy.
They were very gracious about my clumsy attempt to share with them a typical American breakfast, but it must have been quite weird. In no other circumstances have I witnessed a French citizen–or perhaps anyone on the European continent–consume eggs for breakfast.
Just this week, I was reminded of how eggs deserve to be enjoyed much later in the day when we’re less bleary eyed and more particular about our selections. With all the wonderful local, fresh, eggy-tasting eggs we’re getting from our neighbors and friends with too many chickens, it’s time to give them a place of honor at the dining table.
With a sick girl and an absent husband all week, our suppers have been tres simple. Last night, I made a cheese and mushroom omelet because it was something the sick girl likes and it was quick and nutritious for all.
Deprived I was not! I accompanied my share of omelet with a mesclun salad and a tumbler of Chateau La Coustarelle. Afterwards, I desired nothing more. (Funny. That’s just the way I felt after a home-cooked meal in France, too.)
Where I’m going with this is a confession: I’m a lousy omelet maker. I’ve long felt frustrated by my efforts to produce what I consider an acceptable omelet: neither runny inside nor browned outside.
I once heard a NYC chef I admire mention that she usually messes up her omelets, so she turns them into frittatas and pretends that’s what she intended all along. I thought I was the only one who did that!
Frittatas are lovely, but I want to master the omelet and from here on out will be trying various techniques from time to time from the masters to get it right. Here’s the clincher: I’ll even do it in a cast-iron pan!
I haven’t yet tossed out my toxic non-stick pans (PTFE-coated or Teflon), lord only know why not, but I did stop using them–even for eggs–about 1 month ago. How about you?
I won’t show you what the cast-iron looked like after last night’s omelet experience. Let’s just say that I’ve scraped but haven’t entirely cleaned off the petrified egg bits.
Stick with me on this Omelet Project and in the next few weeks we’ll all learn how to make a perfect omelet in any type of pan we choose. And with that skill will come easy and delicious suppers to soothe our souls on demand.