Maybe you've never made an omelet, so you are unable to appreciate the skills required, or you've attempted one and said, "Never again!" I've had my share of disasters that looked very much like my daughter Lisa's attempt...
Making an omelet is on my "bucket list"... things I want to accomplish before I "kick the bucket". So I read as much as I could and watched Food Network everytime I got wind of a segment on omelets. I tried and tried again (not on my B&B guests) using newfound tips until my success has proven consistent enough to share what I learned. I always find Alton Brown from Good Eats on the Food Network Channel to be so helpful because he explains why you need to do things a certain way. I will share my notes from his most recent segment interspersed with tips I've learned here and there. I use a combo of whole eggs and egg whites in my omelet because, despite a yolk being the source of cholesterol, it is jam-packed full of important nutrients. So as not to overload on cholesterol in one day, I pump up the volume by adding in egg whites. This is an Applegate Farms uncured turkey bacon and cheese omelet that I made this morning for breakfast.
French Omelet Serves 2
5 eggs, warmed in hot tap water for 5 minutes (You'll be using 3 whole eggs and 2 egg whites.)
2 tbsp milk or water, optional
1 tbsp room temperature butter
non-stick pan with gently sloped sides
Eggs are warmed to bring them to room temperature so they don’t cool the heated pan. Room temperature butter is used so that it melts evenly in the pan. Otherwise, by the time the last bit of butter melts, the first melted butter is starting to burn. Crack 3 room temperature whole eggs plus 2 egg whites in bowl, then add milk or water (optional) and salt. Blend with fork. Alton suggests using a fork rather than a whisk to prevent excess air bubbles. Heat an 8 or 10-inch non-stick pan over medium to high heat. (I use low heat to prevent browing the omelet.) The omelet’s thickness is determined by which of the two sizes you choose to use. Once the pan is hot, add olive oil or room temperature butter (it should sizzle gently) and swirl the pan to distribute the butter as it melts. If you like, you can use clarified butter which is “butter that has had the milk solids and water removed. One advantage of clarified butter is that it has a much higher smoke point, so you can cook with it at higher temperatures without it browning and burning. Also, without the milk solids, clarified butter can be kept for much longer without going rancid.” (www.ochef.com) Once the butter foams (it should not be browned), turn the heat down and pour eggs into center of pan. Stir vigorously with rubber spatula for 5 seconds as you gently shake the pan back and forth to cook evenly. As soon as a semi-solid mass begins to form, lift pan and swirl around until the excess liquid pours off into pan so the top layer of uncooked egg can reach the pan’s heat. This step also prevents the eggs from browning on the bottom. Using your spatula, move around the edge of the egg mixture (sweep) to loosen edge. Let omelet sit in pan 10 seconds without touching. Shake pan to loosen omelet. If using an 8"pan, the omelet is thicker and therefore more difficult to cook the top layer. Through trial and error, I found that placing it in a 275 degree oven for about 5 minutes, at this point in the process, ensures that the eggs are fully cooked without producing a browned top or underside. (The thicker omelet produces a fluffiness less attainable with the thinner omelet produced when using a 10" pan. That's why I go through this extra trouble.) Lift up the far edge of the pan (the side opposite the handle) and snap it back towards you to fold over 1/3 of the omelet. I haven’t mastered this movement yet, so I just took my spatula and folded it over. Alton then sprinkled fillings on the remaining 2/3 of the omelet. If you look at my photo, you will see that doing it this way produces one layer with no fillings, so I prefer scattering the fillings over the entire surface of the omelet then fold over 1/3 of the omelet. This makes a fatter roll. You can also scatter the fillings down the center. Slide omelet onto plate and fold over so that the omelet is a tri-fold. (The folding over takes place as you slide the omelet out of the pan.) Lightly coat the top with melted butter or olive oil so that a sprinkling of herbs will adhere to it. I can’t remember where I saw it done, and I forgot to do it for this photo but, if you cut the omelet diagonally rather than straight across, it makes a prettier presentation. You can even stand smaller chunks (by cutting omelet into 4 pieces instead of 2) on end for a different look yet. Keep practicing. It will so be worth the effort when one day you have mastered the omelet and breakfast will never be quite the same again.
April 9, 2009
Today's mileage: 2-mile walk
Total mileage for April: 29.25 miles
Bible reading? Yes.