A delicate, fluffy omelette is made by whipping eggs really well, like you were going to make a cake. Fresh spinach leaves, Cheddar cheese on top and who cares that it doesn’t fold perfectly?
Omelette or scrambled eggs?
At a glance an omelette is nearly the same dish as scrambled eggs. Fresh eggs beaten with a fork with salt and pepper, poured onto foaming butter and fried. Scrammies are scrambled (I’m stating the obvious), while an omelette is artfully pushed around.
So far so similar, but the two products off the frying pan are totally different. Would you put an omelette on toast or in a sandwich? Would you add milk or cream* to your omelette? Scrammies with spinach? Omelette made with only egg whites?
I guess the last proposition to most of us will sound disgusting whether it’s the case of scrambled, or omeletted egg whites. Still, yolkless scrammies are prepared and consumed in certain dietary circles. I'm not judging.
The time of serving one or the other dish also does differentiate them. Scrambled eggs for supper are usually reserved for the nursery realm, while a lavish omelette can be a fully fledged main, albeit on the light side. I have recently taken to making it for my Friday night suppers, alternating the toppings, and I enjoy it immensely.
Ah, the toppings. Or is it fillings? And again, do we fold the omelette or leave it open, like a crêpe? Plus of course there is the dilemma of spelling: as above on this, and ‘omelet’ on the other side of the Atlantic.
How to cook the perfect omelette?
One simple dish, so many controversies. And that’s even before we get to the heart of the matter: how to cook a perfect omelette?
My answer is: you don’t. An omelette doesn’t have to be perfect. I am of the folding faction but I completely do not care if my omelette folds neatly or bundles up in knots around the filling (topping).
Folding is the last, minor stage of preparation before sliding the thing onto a plate and tucking in. And whether it’s a tidy crescent with the topping (filling) orderly hidden inside or not, it will taste divine anyway.
My omelette method
My method is as follows: two super-fresh eggs nonchalantly but thoroughly beaten with half a teaspoon of salt. A small frying pan – smaller is better – with vigorously foaming butter, a lot of it. I pour the eggs onto the butter and push the mix towards the middle from all sides so the runny egg flows underneath the already set.
I plant the topping/filling in the middle and fold, ignoring splits and ruptures. If you prefer the egg more done, tumble the omelette over to the other side, briefly. Either way slide it finally onto a plate shivering with anticipation.
My favourite omelette toppings
I won’t tell you what toppings or fillings are possible because, practically, the world is your omelette. My personal preferences are cheese and mushroom, cheese and ham, cheese and chives or cheese. But I won’t sniff at a creation filled with white crab meat or lobster.
The recipe below is extremely easy, without faffing with two pans or cooking spinach in advance. Fresh is the best anyway, so all you need to do is wilt the leaves in the pan, wipe it with paper towels afterwards and proceed with the eggs.
And finally, my sacred omelette rule: it is invariably, exclusively, strictly only always a one-person dish. It’s a selfish, me first, look after number one lunch, breakfast or supper.
*No, and you shouldn’t add them to scrambled eggs either. A tablespoon of water, counterintuitively, is what makes scrammies really creamy.