How to make an omelette - French style or Soufflé

Learning how to make an omelette is really useful. It makes a quick, simple and delicious meal whether you eat it plain or add extra ingredients as a filling.

The secret to a perfect omelette? It has to be using really fresh eggs and a dedicated omelette pan.

In an ideal world you should never use your omelette pan for anything else. Doing so would mean that it would need washing, which could then cause your omelettes to stick.

So what is an omelette pan? Well, it is basically a small frying pan, about 7 to 8 inches in diameter (which will hold 3-4 eggs), and made from either thick aluminium or cast iron, with or without a non-stick finish. A feature of a good omelette pan is the curved edge which makes it a lot easier to turn out the finished product.

A new pan needs treating before use. Wash it and dry it, then cover the bottom with olive oil. Leave it for around 12 hours, then put the pan onto a hot ring and heat until the oil smokes. Remove from the heat, pour off the oil and wipe the pan with kitchen paper.

After each use do not wash the pan, but instead wipe it out with a damp cloth dipped in salt. This is called seasoning the pan, and it will prevent an omelette from sticking.

How to make an omelette - Plain (or French)

So let's start with how to make an omelette of the classic French type.

These tend to be savoury, either plain or with a filling. They can be served as a starter or more often as a breakfast or supper dish. You will need....

  • 3 eggs
  • 1.5 tbsp cold water
  • black pepper
  • 1 oz butter
  1. Break the eggs into a bowl and mix well with a fork. Add the water and seasoning.
  2. Heat the pan on a medium ring. Add the butter into the pan and, when frothing, pour in the egg mixture. Leave it alone for about 10-15 seconds and then gradually use a wooden spoon to pull the outside mixture to the center of the pan. As the egg begins to set, keep lifting the edges to allow the uncooked egg to slide underneath onto the hot pan.
  3. When all the liquid egg mixture has disappeared from on top of the omelette it is cooked and time to fold it in half.
  4. Tilt the pan away from you and using a fish slice, or palette knife, fold it over onto the side furthest away from you. Gently slide the omelette out onto the serving plate. Serve at once.

Cheese omelette variation

Follow the above recipe but add 2-3 tablespoons grated cheddar or Gruyere cheese over the omelette just before folding.


Mushroom filling

Follow the instructions above for how to make an omelette, but first make the mushroom filling.

  • 3 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 oz butter
  • 2 rounded teaspoons flour
  • 3-4 tablespoons stock or water
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

Fry the mushrooms in the melted butter in a separate pan. Stir in the flour, add the liquid (stock or water) and seasonings. Stir until it comes to the boil, and it thickens into a creamy consistency.

Pour the mushroom mixture into the omelette just before folding it over.

How to make an omelette - Soufflé type

These are usually served as a sweet and can have various fillings. They can be cooked in your omelette pan or in a dish in the oven.

Many people tend to shy away from anything with soufflé in the name, thinking it will be difficult, but this method is not really any more difficult that learning how to make an omelette in the French manner.

Jam Soufflé omelette

  • 3 large eggs, separated
  • 1 tablespoon caster sugar
  • 2 tablespoons single (light) cream
  • apricot or strawberry jam (jelly)
  • 1/2oz butter
  • more caster sugar to sprinkle on top
  1. Start by turning on a grill to preheat while you prepare the omelette mixture.
  2. Mix the egg yolks with the sugar and cream.
  3. In a separate bowl, whip the egg whites until they are firm (you can turn the bowl upside down and they do not slide out).
  4. Using a metal spoon, gently cut and fold the egg whites into the yolk mixture. Do not beat, or you will lose all the air that you have just whipped into the whites.
  5. Pop 2-3 tablespoons of jam into a small saucepan and pop over a low heat to warm through, so that it is easily spreadable.
  6. Put the empty omelette pan onto a high heat and when hot drop the butter into it, and while it foams pour in the egg mixture. Spread it over the base of the pan and then leave it alone for almost 1 minute until the bottom has set and browned. Do NOT stir during this time!
  7. Pop the pan under the hot grill, to set the top. Take it out from under the grill, spread with the warmed jam and fold it in half. Sprinkle caster sugar over the top for serving.
  8. Traditionally, hot skewers are laid in a criss cross pattern over the folded omelette to decorate the top.

Variations

You could use the following fillings instead of the jam...

  • fresh, sliced strawberries
  • 2-3 small bananas, sliced, fried in butter and dusted with caster sugar (yummy, my favourite!)

I hope you enjoy learning how to make an omelette, whichever version you decide to try.


 


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