Omelette

Omelette

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From
Encyclopedia of Food and Cookery

A good French omelette is a smooth, golden oval that is tender, soft and creamy inside. The perfect omelette must be beaten quickly, cooked in less than half a minute and served immediately.

An omelette is one of the greatest instant gourmet meals. Once you master the simple art of making a good omelette, you are well on your way to being a gourmet cook. Learning to make a good omelette is entirely a matter of practice. A few tips: be sure you have everything ready, the pan at hand, egg bowl and beater, spatula for turning the omelette, butter for cooking, the filling or seasoning, heated plates – and don’t forget the diner, who should be sitting at the table before you start cooking the omelette.

Almost every country has its own omelette in its cuisine; there’s a Spanish potato omelette and one made with peppers; then there is the famous American omelette, hangtown fry, an omelette with oysters, and the egg foo yung of China. The French omelette is a world favourite, and the wonderful thing about learning to make an omelette is that you have not only one dish at your fingertips but nine or ten, for with each different filling you have a new taste sensation.

Dessert omelettes: Sweet omelettes for dessert can be made in the same way as savoury omelettes of the basic type, but more often they are the fluffy kind and are known as soufflé omelettes. Omelettes in soufflé form are closely related to the dessert soufflé proper, but they offer far fewer problems for the cook other than a few minutes’ absence from the table. As for all light omelettes, basic, savoury or sweet, the soufflé kind must be served immediately after it is cooked. For spectacle, the dessert omelette should come to the table enveloped in the blue flames of rum, brandy or a liqueur of some kind, or dusted with sifted icing (confectioners’) sugar and burnt in a diamond design. Serve with a bowl of whipped sweetened cream.

Flaming an omelette: A flamed omelette should be flavoured with the liqueur that will later envelop it in flames. A tablespoon of rum or brandy is sufficient, beaten in with the eggs. If the platter is hot, the omelette straight from the stove, the liqueur heated with a pinch of sugar and ignited as it is poured on, the ‘flaming’ will be a success.

Omelette pans: To produce a really golden omelette you must have a heavy pan. Cast iron or heavy aluminium is the best because the heat is spread easily; once hot, the pan acts like a hotplate and it is the pan rather than the source of heat that does the cooking. Thinner pans allow the heat to come through, so that the centre of the pan over the flame or element is hotter than the outer part. Don’t have your pan bigger than 20–23 cm. This will cook a 3–4 egg omelette nicely and will serve 2; if you are cooking for 4, repeat the recipe.

A new development in pans has been non-stick surfaces; this, combined with strong metals, makes the perfect modern omelette pan. The eggs must be able to slip around freely, and eggs will never stick to a pan that is properly cared for. That is why many people keep a pan especially for omelettes. Certainly you should not pan-fry other foods at high heat in your omelette pan, or you may burn food into the pan and omelettes will stick to it forever after.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
see method for ingredients

Method

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