C’est Bien!: The Time I Discovered the Joy of French Omelettes

As everybody knows, there is only one infallible recipe for the perfect omelette: your own.”          – Elizabeth David

I’m not exaggerating when I say I’m willing to eat eggs with every meal. Me encanta mis huevos. Real talk. I’m writing this post while watching a breakfast challenge from Top Chef: Season 2.

What’s not to love? During a more frivolous time in my life in which I had……(ahem)……more than a few gentlemen and lady callers, I was always willing to scramble some fridge extras together or slide an over-easy egg onto a piece of toast before gently guiding them out the door…..What? I had class to attend.

No shame. Not even a twinge.

Aside from Dad’s hangover-curing scrambled “junk eggs,” I usually prefer eggs with any iteration of runny yolk: poached, soft-boiled, over-easy…..as long as I can use the yolk to sauce up whatever is underneath, I’m a happy girl.

Let’s return to the matter at hand: I’ve found an alternative to the runny-yolked egg in the French omelette. I feel as though I’ve been banging my head against a wall for the past two decades. Um, what makes a French omelette different from a regular omelette? I’m so glad you asked.

When cooking eggs in the French style, any form of color on the eggs besides fluffy yellow-white goodness means the eggs are burned. How true that statement is comes down to opinion, but French eggs should put one in mind of custard, and fluffy white unicorn clouds – simple, soft, and buttery.

French omelettes are stupid simple to make. It will take me way longer to write out the steps to make a French omelette than it will take you to make one yourself. This is the lightest and fluffiest egg dish I’ve ever paid for or made. Try it. Make it for your lovers. Use leftover fresh herbs that are about to go bad. Make it when you’re hungover. Make it when you’re not sure what to make. I really don’t care what your reasoning is….I can eat eggs at any time, and you should start doing so if you haven’t already.

Ingredients:

  • 3 large eggs – room temperature, if you’ve got the time to leave them out for a bit
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter – half cut into cubes, half for greasing the pan
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mixed fresh herbs – use whatever is leftover. In this case, I used basil and chives.
  • A large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper to taste.

Crack the eggs into a bowl and add the teaspoon of water (it will help break down the butter later on). Whisk with a fork and STOP WHISKING when the eggs drop cohesively as a weird congealed conglomerate unit from the fork.

Seriously, don’t over-whisk the eggs. It’ll create drama in the pan later. And you don’t need a whisk. Whisks add way too much air and means the eggs will be runny and awkward.

Whisk in the butter and herbs while heating whatever pan you’re using over Medium-High heat for 30 seconds.

Place half of the butter (1/2 tablespoon) in the pan and swirl to coat. Pour in the egg mixture and LET IT SIT FOR TEN SECONDS.

We’re having a lot of serious moments in this post.

But seriously, don’t touch those damn eggs. Count to ten by Mississippis while the edges of the omelette set.

After ten seconds of tweedling your thumbs have passed, use a rubber spatula to stir the egg mixture in a figure-8 motion. In other words, keep moving the set edges into the runny edges. Do this for 25-30 ish seconds, or until the eggs are mostly cooked. When curds start to form, don’t stress about your eggs being scrambled – these suckers need to get fluffy, and these soft curds are making that happen.

If/when you see color starting to form, or there is only a small amount of uncooked egg in the middle, flip the omelette over and remove the pan from the heat. Have a plate ready, because by the time you slide the omelette onto the plate, those uncooked parts will be ready.

To make the prettiest omelette possible, tilt the pan away from you until the omelette slides to the edge, and pull to the center of the plate with the fork. Attempt to make a tri-fold, but don’t stress if it just falls onto the plate.

Add whatever you normally put on top of your eggs. Steal one last kiss from whoever you’re cooking for and wiggle your eyebrows in a provocative manner to suggest going back to bed after the meal is over.

Also perfect for a snack break in between rounds. Use your imagination.

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