When the Easter Bunny (aka my friend Caitlyn) brings you fresh eggs from the chickens she and her family keep in their backyard, you make omelettes. And, if you're a culinary school grad trained in classic French cooking, you make Omellete Aux Fines Herbes.
The French way of making omelettes is a far cry from what you'll find at a typical American diner. They are delicate, completely colorless (meaning no brown marks from a hot pan) and if they're filled, it's a dusting of ingredients, not a mountain of filling that prevents the omelette from being rolled (the traditional way of serving them).
The standard diner omelette does little for me, but a delicate, rolled omelette with a slightly runny curd is the definition of satisfaction.
The folds in a chef's hat are meant to represent the many varied ways he or she can prepare eggs. Master this omelette and you're well on your way to grasping the fundamentals.
Here are the keys:
1. Low and slow - be patient with your eggs. High heat is the enemy of a tender, colorless omelette.
2. Nonstick - I use stainless steel pans 99% of the time, but when it comes to working with eggs, use nonstick. It's what they were made for.
3. Fat is your friend - you don't have to use a lot, but the pan should be slicked with fat. Since the temperature stays low, butter and coconut oil are great options.
4. Move and then don't - after you add your eggs to the pan, use a spatula to move the curd around occasionally for the first minute or so and then stop. Let the eggs set for the remaining cooking time.
5. Undercook - the best omelettes have an ever-so-slightly runny curd on the inside. Once you roll the omelette the interior curd will continue to cook from the carryover cooking so trust me and pull it off the heat before it's completely finished.
The step-by-step recipe and image tutorial should get you started, but as with all things in the kitchen, practice makes perfect. Try it a few times and you'll get the hang of it. As always, let me know if you have any questions.
Omelette Aux Fines Herbes
2 tsp butter or coconut oil
2 tbsp mixed, chopped herbs (traditionally parsley, tarragon, chervil and chives)
Preheat a nonstick pan over medium-low heat.
Crack eggs into a bowl and whisk until no white streaks remain. Add a pinch of salt or more to taste and stir.
Melt the cooking fat in the pan and add the eggs. Use a rubber spatula to stir the eggs as they cook, pushing the cooked egg off the bottom of the pan and allowing uncooked egg to fill in the space (as in the image below). Stir in this manner for the first two minutes of cooking, then tilt the pan from side to side to make sure the base of the pan is fully covered and let the mixture cook, undisturbed until almost set (see note above about undercooking).
Remove the pan from the heat and sprinkle most of the herbs down the middle of the omelette.
Use the spatula to fold a third of the omelette over the center.
Then continue to roll the omelette onto a plate. Sprinkle with remaining herbs and a touch of salt and serve.