Learn how to make a perfectly cooked omelette with this simple technique. Guaranteed to be light, soft and custardy, and ready in less than five minutes.
If you can make an omelette, then you will never starve. They are nutritious, filling, and extremely quick to make. It takes less than 5 minutes to rustle up an omelette from a standing start. You can raise the pretensions of a simple omelette by adding a filling, such as smoked salmon, ham, wilted spinach or sauteed mushrooms.
In fact, the trick to a good omelette is cooking it quickly. If you just tip beaten eggs into a hot frying pan, the bottom will set quickly, but the top will take a long time to cook, by which time the rest of the omelette will be horribly overcooked and rubbery. So you need to move the cooked bits away from the cooking real estate at the bottom of the pan with a spoon, while tilting the pan to allow the liquid to run into the space. I have described this technique in the recipe, but if you want a demonstration then you can search for a video to watch on You Tube.
- 1 teaspoon cooking oil (I used lard)
- 3 medium eggs (55g each), at room temperature
- pinch of salt
- pinch of freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tablespoon snipped fresh chives (or any combination of fresh soft herbs, such as chervil, parsley and tarragon)
- Mix the eggs. Crack the eggs into a bowl, and add a seasoning of salt and pepper. Gently and briefly combine with a fork, until the whites and yolks are more or less mixed. Resist the temptation to beat like mad until completely blended into a uniform primrose colour, as this will overwork the egg and result in a rubbery texture when cooked.
- If you are using soft herbs, add them at the same time as the seasoning and leave the whole lot to infuse for 15 minutes before cooking.
- Cook the eggs. Heat a frying pan that measures 20cm/9″ across the base over a medium heat, then add the cooking oil. Once the oil is hot, turn the heat up to the highest setting. You need only enough oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan, so tip out any excess into a mug. Wait 30 seconds, then pour in the egg mix, tilting the pan to spread evenly across the bottom. Leave to cook undisturbed for 10 seconds, by which time the egg will be just starting to set on the bottom.
- Take a tablespoon and scrape the sides toward the middle while tilting the pan, so that the liquid runs into the space you have cleared on the bottom of the pan. Repeat, working your way around the pan, until the mixture is more or less set, with just a small amount of liquid on top. Leave to cook undisturbed for 10-20 seconds to get some colour on the omelette, but make sure the top does not completely dry out (you want some liquid to remain). The whole process will take between 1 – 1 1/2 minutes. Turn off the heat.
- For a French omelette, use a combination of tablespoon and fingers to roll the omelette. For a filled omelette, spoon a filling onto half of the omelette, then gently lift the other half over the top. Gently slide onto a plate using a fish slice.