How To Make An Omelette - Quick and Easy
When you are looking for a quick and easy supper, lunch or breakfast, the French omelette is the answer. You can have a tasty meal ready in under five minutes and, once you learn the few simple techniques, it’s an easy and satisfying dish to cook.
Because it’s so quick to cook, you need to gather all your ingredients and fillings before you start, set the table with crusty bread, butter and a salad and have your fellow diners ready to eat as soon as the omelettes come out of the pan.
French omelettes are best made individually with 2-3 eggs per person, so if you are making for several people at once, it makes things quicker to have the eggs ready beaten in separate bowls.
- 2-3 eggs per person
- Knob of butter per person
- Salt and pepper
- Filling – chopped herbs, grated cheese, chopped ham or see more suggestions
- Break the eggs into a bowl and beat them briefly with a fork, just enough to break up the egg yolk and mix.
- Season the eggs with salt and pepper.
- Prepare your fillings and have them conveniently at hand. You only need 2-3 tablespoons of filling per omelette, just enough to sprinkle over the centre third of the omelette as it is cooking.
- Once you have everything laid out ready, heat the omelette pan over a medium high heat. When it is hot (but not smoking) add a knob of butter about the size of a walnut. It should melt, sizzle and foam. Tilt the pan so that it covers the whole surface. As the bubbles die down, and before the butter browns, pour in the beaten egg.
- After 5 seconds or so a skin will have formed on the base. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, draw the cooked skin towards the centre and let the runny egg flow to fill the gaps. Tilt the pan and do this several times around the sides of the pan, until most of the runny egg has flowed to fill gaps and the top is soft rather than runny.
- Sprinkle the filling over the centre third of the omelette, let it cook for 15 seconds more, then fold one third of the omelette over the filling using a spatula or spoon, tip the pan so that the omelette can slide out onto a plate folding over on to the last third as you do so. It should end up with the sides folded under and looking a light golden colour.
- The soft egg inside will continue cooking in the heat of the closed omelette, and will firm up slightly, so don’t wait until it has completely set before folding.
- Garnish with some chopped parsley or a little of the filling depending on what you are using.
To start your next omelette, add another knob of butter to the pan, wait for the bubbles to subside and repeat the process.
Some people recommend adding a teaspoon of water or milk to the egg. This makes the omelette slightly lighter and fluffier, as the steam puffs up the egg as it evaporates, but can dilute the flavour, so is a personal choice.
The cooking technique described above is very effective and easy to learn, but there are other techniques: including shaking the pan without using a spatula to redistribute the egg as a professional chef would do, or using the back of a fork to scramble the egg in the initial stages as recommended by Julia Child. The main thing is for the egg to be cooked quickly and evenly without drying out or forming a tough outer surface.
Once you know how to make an omelette, you'll know how to quickly put together a nutritious meal at any time of the day