The perfect omelette

I managed to live for over half a century without knowing how to cook an omelette properly. Or at least in a way that avoided husband and son sharing eye rolls and ostentatious dry heaves.

Speaking of exasperation, there are a few culinary fads that really boil my noodle: egg white omelettes (just eat the whole egg or go for the polystyrene option) and spiralised ‘spaghetti’ vegetables (eat spaghetti or eat vegetables, both if you really want to push the boat out, but don’t eat ‘pretend’ food unless you’re a toddler; exactly how idiotic do you think your taste buds are?)

Back to The Omelette. There used to be a restaurant, l’Hôtel de la Tête d’Or, on the Mont St Michel in Normandy, which was famous for its omelette. The owner of the hotel, Madame Poulard, attracted tourists from all over, and although there was much speculation about her secret recipe, she always stayed circumspect. I suspect that her secret had more to do with hardware and impeccable timing than the actual ingredients, although apparently we will never know. 

In any case, the simplest dishes are often the most delicious, but also the most difficult to get right. During my years of blissful ignorance, I used to beat the eggs a bit, add a touch of seasoning and then fry until most of the runniness was gone. They used to taste OK, although they sometimes looked as if I’d finished them off in the tumble dryer.

In my naivety I didn’t realise that in fact you have to go all sado-masochistic on the poor eggs, furiously beating and whipping them into complete submission.  You then have to pitch them, molecules awhirl, from across the room into a blazing furnace of a pan for mere seconds, until the outside is seared and the inside still runny. The experience is athletic, stressful, and affirmative.

As the saying goes, you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs, sweating profusely, hyperventilating, F-bombing anyone and anything in your way and setting off the smoke alarm…

Ingredients (serves 1)

knob of butter

2 fresh free-range eggs

Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

Melt the butter in a flat-bottomed frying pan over a high heat. Beat the seasoned eggs very fast until they become frothy. Throw the still-frothy mixture into the pan immediately and sear. Fold the omelette in half while the top is still runny. Serve! And breathe…


9 responses to “The perfect omelette

  1. I usually end up with scrambled eggs, because I do not like runny eggs, at all, under any conditions, even when making eggs Benedict. I acknowledge my weakness. So, using the process you outlined, is the inside still runny, or does the interior cook up on contact, when you fold it? I would image you used some method of keeping the eggs from sticking? We use ceramic pans, but I think they have been used beyond their lifespan, as eggs now stick to the pans like glue.

  2. So funny!! I’d give anything to eat eggs regularly but they are one of my darn intolerances. They are so darn good though that I still eat them occasionally, hoping it’s been long enough to be de-sensitized.

  3. ah, the elusive omelette! I have similar stories of omelette woe and glory. I like to think of them as a sandwich using eggs instead of bread.

  4. Pingback: The perfect omelette — The Healthy Epicurean | My Meals are on Wheels

  5. Oh my God, so true about egg whites! Why take away the best part? I get offended by skinless chicken too, so it’s probably my immoderate taste for fats. 😊

    • I know – fat is not only healthy and delicious, it’s part and parcel! Another thing that really gets me is separating turkey ‘crowns’ from the rest of the turkey. What happens to the rest? What a waste! And white meat is so dry on its own. Grrrr.

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