whole food ~ well made

The Omelet Project–

When it comes to omelet-making methods, you can pick your preference.

Whew! We’ve spent a long time getting everything ready to make great omelets. I’ve led my poor friend Jane on the long road to pan purchase and seasoning. (It’s going to be worth it, Jane, I promise. Thanks for hanging on while I’ve been in the depths of beefdom.)

On Father’s Day last weekend, after a full day at the butcher’s shop and co-hosting a group of Portlanders for a beef tasting and ranch barbecue, I wasn’t fit for much. I did manage to pad over to the stove in bathrobe and slippers by 10 a.m. to make the father of my two children an omelet. I might mention that the man himself had been incredibly industrious, besides the usual kid and dish management, he was doing laundry and cleaning bathrooms.

Yes, I know. Bathrooms. Sorry, he’s taken.

I did my usual routine of preheating my seasoned and oiled omelet pan over medium-low heat, while I scrambled 4 eggs to make 2 omelets, one for him, one for the girls. I poured the eggs into the shimmering oil and watched them bubble, and I thought again about omelet technique.

Method 1. When I first started The Omelet Project in late February 2010, I believed that I would find the single best omelet-making technique. So did some readers, who sent me the link to the Julia Child pan-thrusting method as explained by Mark Bittman and advice on what not to do (like try to flip an omelet). You can read her 13-page description in Mastering the Art of French Cooking or watch it here (good nostalgia). But, this way is too noisy and laborious for me.

Method 2. At the outset, I thought I’d adopt the technique demonstrated in the final silent scene of the film “Big Night.” On the morning after, Primo stirs eggs in the hot pan until they are nearly set, and it looks to many like he is scrambling them. But he stops moving the eggs around after just a few moments, lets them set and then flips fairly elegantly. This video is an excellent demonstration by Stanley Tucci, though he uses a higher heat than I recommend for a light omelet.

The flip is the technique I use most often–though I flip with less self-assurance, and I do it over the sink just in case. I know that someday I will be able to do it with confidence and ease.

Method 3. This particular Sunday morning, I did not feel up to flipping. So, I lifted the edges of the omelet to let the uncooked eggs flow underneath, as I’d been advised. I turned the heat to its lowest setting, covered the pan and steamed it to finish cooking the eggs in the center.

So, if you’re looking for one definitive method, I’m afraid I’ve failed you. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of my mood. No two omelets are ever the same, like no two days in a lifetime. There are good omelets and better omelets…and I’ve come a long way since I began this project. I am now one who makes omelets.

Now, you try. Then, tell me, What’s your single most favorite omelet filling?

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