I’m the type of person that likes traditions. The more the better! And if there isn’t a tradition for something, you can be sure I’ll do my best to start one.
The last few years I’ve been making omelets for breakfast each Easter. We don’t really celebrate Easter beyond the bunny and an occasional family gathering, but with all that candy going on first thing in the morning, and with it being spring and the chickens swamping us with eggs……you can see where it was just a natural progression.
The thing is, and I don’t like to brag – especially about myself – I make a pretty mean omelet.
My grandmother – you know, the one who was the head chef at her own restaurant for over twenty years? She took me into the kitchen one day when I was young and taught me to make omelets. I remember she and my grandfather even took me out and bought me my own omelet pan at the restaurant supply store once I’d mastered it.
I’ve been making omelets almost exactly as she taught me ever since. And now I am going to share it with you.
First, crack a few eggs into a large bowl. The general rule is two to three eggs per person. I personally like a two egger – if I am making it for Paul it’s a three. If I am filling it with loads of extras, two is usually best.
To my eggs I like to add salt and pepper and some dill. I’ll always add fresh chopped basil if I have it, or dried if I don’t.
Then whisk it up good.
Next you can decide what else to put in your omelet.
Cheese? Excellent. Make sure you have some grated or shredded cheese at the ready. I like to chop up mushrooms, tomatoes, green peppers and red onions as well. Sometimes I like to be different and do sun dried tomatoes with marinated artichokes and goat cheese. Be creative – meats are good, as are all kinds of cheeses and veg. Whatever you want, prepare it ahead of time so it’s ready to toss in. This Sunday I used shredded cheddar, green peppers, onions, sun – dried tomatoes and mushrooms.
Meanwhile prepare your pan. I use a non – stick skillet generously coated with Pam. This is where my technique differs from my grandmother, who uses a seasoned omelet-only pan with no spray. I like the ease of my eggs sliding right out when I want them to.
You want a medium-ish heat. Not too hot; you don’t want the eggs to sizzle when they hit the pan. You will need them to cook evenly and gently.
Pour your eggs in the pan. After a minute or two the bottom will start to cook a bit. You want to lift one side of the pan off the heat now and scrape everything down to the side on the heat. Then, holding the cooked bits back with your spatula, rock the pan the other way so the fluidy bits of egg run down into the side you’ve just scraped.
Believe me it is hard to take pictures of yourself doing this!
Always let the runny parts pool down into the side of the pan touching the heat.
Scrape the cooked bits down just before you move that side back down onto the heat.
It’s not very tricky; you just want to maximize the amount of heat the runny parts get while minimizing the heat onto the cooked parts. This way none of it gets overcooked and hopefully nothing gets undercooked either (it helps to use fresh-that-day eggs if you are worried about undercooking!).
You want to keep this up until about 60 to 70 percent of the eggs are cooked. You need enough runny egg left to hold it all together when you lay the pan flat again.
Now’s the time to toss in your extras.
At this point, if I think the eggs look a bit too runny or if there is an awful lot of cheese to melt, I will put a lid on the pan and let it cook until almost completely firm.
But – here’s the trick – you don’t want it 100% cooked just yet, because you need it to remain a bit flexible to fold it.
You’ll carefully fit your spatula under one half of your omelet, lift it, and gently fold it in half.
This is where you’ll let it finish cooking, if it isn’t already done.
Et voila! Delectable omelet for you!