A Perfect Omelet
Being back in the swing of the school year and the swirl of parents that comes along with it, I’m reminded of the rich community of moms around me: So smart, and so full of clever ideas. Just this morning I found myself swapping lunch packing tips with Kelly, a mother of two challenged with a picky eater, and healthy snack ideas with Suzanne, whose kids have put the kabosh on dried fruits and nuts (raw almonds and unsulfured apricots can only take you so far). I was impressed with how both approach the task of nourishing kids.
Maybe it sounds mundane, chattering about the nitty gritty of feeding kids, but exchanging stories and recipes is a time-honored tradition of parenting. It’s often where I get my best ideas. In this spirit of sharing, I’m hoping today’s post will become a recipe swap of sorts. I’ll start by offering up my most tried and true quick dinner: a simple omelet. Then, I’d love to hear what you do for dinner on those nights when you blow into the house late in the day and have to get supper on the table in a flash, so please leave comments below!
About the omelet
Now, onto the perfect omelet. I wasn’t particularly keen on this preparation for eggs until about 10 years ago when I had my first taste of a classic one over lunch at a restaurant in France (but of course). The omelet was tender, gently cooked, with just enough Gruyere to make you want more. It was nothing like the overstuffed and overcooked ones I’d been eating all my life. I ate one almost daily for the remainder of the trip and returned determined to make a proper omelet at home. It’s now often the first thing I teach in my cooking classes for kids, and is my “go-to” dish when the cupboards are bare and the dinner hour approaches.
Just a few ingredients
A classic Fresh omelet with a simple salad or vegetable to go with it is a perfectly nourishing and satisfying meal. All that’s required are a couple of eggs, a knob of butter, salt and pepper. Cheese is a nice addition, but not essential. A glass of white wine for the cook never hurts.
I recommend a non-stick skillet with sloped sides that is about 8 inches across. Here’s a little known secret to omelet cooking perfection: slightly scramble the middle. Basically, you run a fork through the eggs, pulling the cooked parts into the middle of the pan, allowing raw egg to fill in the bottom of the pan. You can tilt the pan to help the eggs run to the edges of the pan. Do this a couple of times and then jiggle the pan so that the eggs settle into a nice round shape.
I’ll talk you through the basic technique in the recipe below. Don’t be discouraged if you don’t nail it the first time around. Eggs are relatively inexpensive and it may take a few times to get it right. To help you along, I recommend this “how to” video by Jamie Oliver. It’s worth the few minutes it will take to watch it.
A Perfect Omelet
A classic Fresh omelet, perhaps with a simple salad or vegetable to go with it, is a perfectly nourishing and satisfying meal. All that’s required are a couple of eggs, a knob of butter, salt and pepper. A glass of white wine for the cook never hurts.
- 2 to 3 eggs
- Pinch salt
- Black pepper
- ½ tablespoon butter
- 2 to 3 tablespoons grated Gruyere or sharp Cheddar cheese
Crack the eggs into a small bowl, add a pinch of salt and a few cracks of black pepper. Mix with a fork or whisk until the color and consistency is uniform.
Set a pan that's about 8 inches (sloped sides and non-stick helps here) over medium heat and add the butter. Melt the butter, swirling it around the pan to coat the bottom and up the sides.
Pour the eggs into the pan and let them settle for 10 seconds or so until the bottom cooks a bit. Run a fork through the eggs, pulling the cooked parts into the middle of the pan, allowing raw egg to drift into the bottom of the pan. You can tilt the pan to help the eggs run to the edges. Do this a couple of times and then jiggle the pan so that the eggs settle into a nice round shape.
Let the eggs cook until the firm along the bottom with the top nearly set. Sprinkle the cheese over the surface of the eggs. When it looks like the top of the eggs is cooked, or nearly so (it may be slightly runny, but will continue to cook even when off the heat), use a spatula to wedge under one half of the omelette and fold it over, forming a half moon. Lift the pan from the stove, tilt it and with the aid of the spatula slide the omelette onto a plate.