I’m a bipolar cook. When I’m putting something together in the kitchen I either want it to be something that’s is really challenging and involves multiple steps and stages or I want something earth shatteringly easy and beautifully simplistic. Now I say easy, but not Rachel Dogfood Ray easy. I mean learning how to cook things efficiently and perfectly easily. Eggs, pasta dough, soup, these are all things that tend to be pretty easy and really difficult at the same time. For me, the omelet has always been a sticking point. Sure I could bust out a pan of properly cooked eggs and drop in a few ingredients, fold the eggs over and serve. Problem was, the bottom would always be overcooked and leathery, or the insides wouldn’t be cooked enough, or the whole thing would taste like styrofoam. Any number of issues would arise to make a intuitively simple breakfast into a god damn lackluster meal.
So deciding that I had had enough of trying to figure out this egg dish on my own, I turned to who everyone should turn to when they can’t figure something out in the kitchen, Ms. Childs. Within a minute of opening Julia Childs’ The Way to Cook I found the technique for 20 second omelets. Brilliant. About 5 minutes after reading the method I was on my way to pick up fresh eggs despite the fact it was almost 10:00 at night.
The French/Childs’ method, is not only are extremely fast, but moist and tender omelets easy to do now, and it’s a great crowd pleaser. Like my ipod, I wonder how the hell I ever got along without this knowledge. It takes a little practice, but you get the hang of it quickly. Thanks Julia.
Prep work is nothing more than getting whatever ingredients you want in your omelet ready for a quick drop as the eggs set and mixing your freshly cracked eggs in a bowl. Don’t be afraid of high heat, high heat is KEY, eggs and butter love high heat.
Ingredients for 1:
1-2 eggs, beaten
handful of cheese of your choice
Beat your eggs until air bubbles are visible in egg mix. Add a pinch of salt and pepper.
Get your pan on medium-high heat. When your eggs are ready, toss in the knob of butter and swirl to coat the pan. The butter is what’s going to keep the egg from sticking to the pan.
Here’s where the quickness happens. When the foaming butter subsides, pour in your egg mix and swirl IMMEDIATLEY so egg mix coats the whole pan (first 5-10 seconds)
The second the egg base is set, add whatever ingredients you want to toss in there (today’s case just a handful of shredded cheddar).
Now give the pan a strong jerk towards yourself and the set eggs should slide to the back of the pan and bunch up a little on itself. If it won’t budge, just use your spatula to push it a little and shake the eggs loose.
Using a spatula push the edge of the set eggs into the shape of the traditional omelet and leave over heat for about 5-10 seconds more to cook through.
Remove from heat and slide omelet out of pan onto the plate. Garnish and serve. If it took longer than 30 seconds to cook the egg your heat is too low.