Sunday, August 23, 2009

Proper Omelette Technique (p. 37)

The proper way to prepare an omelette (note, this is not how I spell the word. Just so spell check doesn't drive me nuts, for the rest of the post, I will be spelling the word "omelet") is brought to us by Cornelius, aka Mr. Bear. Cornelius is much older than most of the residents of Acheworld. He is a well-seasoned British gentleman, and essentially every thing that most men want to be when they retire. You know those Dos Equis commercials with The Most Interesting Man in the World? Cornelius is like that guy, but way classier and he would probably never touch a Dos Equis (much like most sane people with taste buds). Cornelius is a publican (a word I learned from the comic strip), as owner of The Dude and Catastrophe- the naming of which inspired me to name this blog The Scribe and Mouse. So there, see how it all ties in?

Anyway, after the previous evening's gin-soaked film festival, I needed a bit of a pick me up in the morning. I love omelets, both in the eating and the preparing, so this seemed like as good a time as any. Normally I make a three egg beast, but the book only calls for two, so I went with that. I didn't miss the third egg (better for me and a money saver!). The method Mr. Bear suggests is similar to my standard preparation, but a few differences emerge. Infusing the egg with garlic is a nice touch, for starters. Also, I generally let a pat of butter melt into the pan, whereas the recipe used olive oil. The instructions told me to layer on ingredients as soon as I poured the egg in- I usually let things set first. Finally, Cornelius claims that the proper omelet should not be browned on the outside, whereas I generally let mine get a little toasty.
I learned a couple of things today. First, as I mentioned, the difference between a two egg omelet and a three egg omelet is negligible. It was maybe a little thinner, but the taste was the same (it tasted like an omelet, what else can I say?). Well, I could taste the garlic, and, like I told you already, it was a nice touch. Another thing I learned is that if you want to "roll" your omelet using only the pan (instead of a spatula), you should probably put your fillings on the side of the omelet closest to the handle. I was totally ready to roll my omelet like a pro, but as it started, I could see that the filling was going to get in the way. For some reason, my instinct has always been to place my cheeses and vegetables on the "outer" edge of the pan. This instinct is strong enough that I even did it on the second omelet, when I purposely was trying not to. Oh well, next time.

Speaking of fillings, the recipe considered them optional. There were some suggestions listed, but I went with what I had on hand - mozzarella, tomato, pecans, and a greek omelet seasoning. I will not consider my mission to conquer the Achewood cookbook "incomplete" if I don't try omelets with each of the suggested fillings. They weren't really part of the recipe, just an afterthought. I'll probably try them at some point (I make omelets fairly often), but for now I'm content with what I did.

The final lesson I learned, and I don't exactly know how to apply this in the future, is that the second omelet cooks much faster than the first. As soon as I poured the egg in, it started to solidify and bubble like an angry yellow jellyfish (this is a very witty analogy; jellyfish don't have emotions- ha!). As you can see from the picture, this one turned out much browner than the one before it, and it still didn't completely cook in the middle. I really had no time to fill and flip before the char had started to form. If anyone has suggestions on how to remedy this, I'd love to hear them (seriously, hit me up in the comments). My thinking is to let the pan cool a bit before I start cooking the second, but then the first one's getting cold while it waits for me to finish. I'm just trying to enjoy a nice breakfast with my wife, Nature, is that too much to ask? I mean, come on, Nature, let me fry up some of your unborn baby chickens in a more convenient way! We're not through, here, Nature...



  1. Ditto on your comments about Mama Mia!! Do you use an omelet pan or a regular fry pan? Maybe an omelet pan would help omit the brown finish. Keep up the great posts!

  2. I used a regular, non-stick fry pan (most people have told me that using my stainless steel for eggs would be more trouble than it's worth). I'm honestly not sure what the difference between a 10" fry pan and a 10" omelet pan would be.

    I've been looking to upgrade to a hard anodized pan for cooking eggs, maybe I should look for one that's specifically for omelets.