How To Make A Perfect Omelet

Omelet making is a bit of morning magic. With a deft twist of the wrist, a shake, a fold and a flip, and a nonstick pan, turn three eggs into an elegant breakfast.

You need only an ovenproof nonstick skillet, a wire whisk, and a heat-resistant rubber spatula to make a perfect omelet. Fresh eggs, butter, salt, and freshly ground pepper will guarantee that your omelet tastes delicious. The best butter to use is clarified butter, which does not burn as easily as salted or unsalted butter. If you use regular butter, watch carefully to keep it from burning. Clarified butter is easiest to make in large quantities, and because it has no milk solids, which cause butter to turn rancid, it can be refrigerated for several weeks or frozen until needed. To clarify butter, cut a pound of unsalted butter into tablespoon-size pieces, and place in a small, deep saucepan. Melt the butter very slowly over low heat. The water in the butter will evaporate, and the milk solids will sink to the bottom of the saucepan. Skim off the foam that rises to the surface, and pour the clear, yellow melted butter off the milk solids at the bottom of the saucepan and into a glass jar; discard milk solids.

  1. An omelet pan needs to be hot but not scalding. Heat 1 tbsp. clarified butter in a 10 inch skillet over medium-high heat. Place your hand above the skillet. When your palm feels warm, the skillet is ready to start cooking.
  2. Whisk together 3 large eggs, salt and freshly ground pepper to taste while the pan is heating, not before. If they have to sit and wait for the pan, the whisked eggs will deflate. You want to incorporate lots of air into the mixture so that your omelet is light and fluffy. Drop a little whisked egg into the pan. If the egg sizzles and begins to fry, the pan is too hot.
  3. Working quickly, pour the whisked eggs into the hot skillet. Reduce heat to medium. If you want to serve several omelets at once, turn the oven to low heat, about 200°F, and place the serving plates in it.
  4. Simultaneously whisk the eggs and shake the skillet vigorously back and forth over heat for less than a minute. You want to keep the eggs moving, incorporating some of the runny parts with the more-cooked parts until there are some curds swimming in the eggs. Stop whisking. The key to producing an omelet with a fluffy, very smooth surface is to stop whisking just before the egg sets.
  5. Continue cooking, making sure eggs cover the entire surface of the skillet. Using a rubber spatula spread the runny egg out to the edges of the pan and over any holes that may have formed on the surface of the omelet.
  6. With the handle of the pan pointing directly out toward you, sprinkle 1/2 cup of your favorite filling (see omelet filling suggestions below) over the left side of the eggs, leaving a small rim of egg around the edge. Run the rubber spatula along the right side of the omelet to loosen eggs from the skillet. Place the spatula under the right side of the eggs, making sure that the spatula is well underneath the eggs to offer maximum support, and lift the right side over the left in one fluid motion.
  7. The folded omelet should look like a half moon. Lightly press down on the omelet with the spatula to seal the omelet together. Do not press hard; you do not want to flatten the curds. Check to make sure the handle of the skillet is still facing directly out toward you. Lift the skillet with one hand, and hold the plate with your other hand. Tilt the skillet, and let the curved edge of the omelet slide onto the plate. Quickly invert the skillet, folding the portion of the omelet that is left in the skillet over the curved edge already on the plate. Keeping the skillet at about stomach level with the handle facing directly out should help you do this.
  8. Traditionally, omelets are garnished with something that relates to the filling, but this does not need to be a hard-and-fast rule. A simple sprig of parsley is sufficient. A garnish that’s been strategically placed can also help mask an imperfection.
OMELET FILLINGSRaw vegetables and meat must be precooked before they are combined with other ingredients in the following fillings:

  • Finely grated cheese
  • Smoked ham and tomatoes
  • Goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and fresh thyme
  • Cheddar cheese, tomatoes, and crumbled bacon
  • Cooked chorizo sausage and minced green chilies
  • Feta cheese, sautéed spinach, and cherry tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese and diced grilled vegetables
  • Smoked salmon, shredded arugula, and cream cheese
  • Brie, prosciutto, and steamed asparagus
  • Monterey Jack cheese with prepared salsa
  • Fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, and basil
  • Gruyère cheese with sautéed red and yellow peppers

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