Omelette Francais

The traditional French omelette is to be admired. Simple, filling, and tasty. Quick and easy to make by following the instructions, make sure you assemble ALL the ingredients, before you start cooking. Having the ingredients at room temperature makes for a fluffier finished product.

You can't make a great omelette by rushing things out of the frig and dumping them into any old frying pan, you have to put it all together with a bit of care and respect for the food itself.

Of course the pan itself is an issue. A good omelette pan will allow you to slide the creation out and fold it at the same time, a pan with high sides requires a spatula. And a properly seasoned omelette pan is often any chef's most prized possession.

Ingredients for a single-serving:

three fresh eggs

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1/2 cup finely grated cheese

herbs and seasonings to taste - dill, tarragon, salt and pepper for example

have a warmed serving plate ready

herbs and a small amount of grated cheese added to the egg mixture is quite nice

Instructions:

Heat the omelette pan at a medium setting, add the butter and melt it. Meanwhile, in a bowl, beat the eggs with a fork until mixed. When the butter is spread over the entire pan and has become aromatic, pour in the eggs and swirl around the pan until they spread out evenly across the bottom. Cover the pan, and the omelette should cook to firmness within a minute or two. At this time you can flip it over and add any filling you want, or just slide and fold the omelette off the pan onto the warm plate you have ready.

NOTE: Adding salt to the beaten eggs toughens them, consider salting the filling or the top instead.

At this time you can glaze the omelette, garnish it or stuff it. Glazing an omelette is done by brushing it with butter, or sugar for a sweetly-filled version, then the omelette is placed under a hot broiler for a minute until glazed. This is a beautiful way to finish off an omelette, but also toughens the eggs. For a way more decadent omelette consider making a mornay sauce on the side, then spreading a thin layer of it on the omelette, and broiling it for two minutes.

Fillings for omelettes are great, and can be almost anything. I've had crab-stuffed, cheese-filled and mushroom versions. There are as many varieties as there are people it seems. But generally an omelette this size would require about 1/2 cup of filling, whether it's sauteed mushrooms or grated cheese. Many wonderful dessert-type sweet omelettes are to be found, but you'd generally not want to mix anything like strawberries with onions and garlic. Let's be sensible!!!

Recipe by Martin Trip, Editor of the Hip Guides.





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