Today we will talk about making a French Omelette! French Omelettes are fast to make and delicious to eat. What I love most about this recipe is that it is 10% ingredients and 90% technique—if you only have eggs and butter on hand you can still make a luxurious morning treat.
The main difference between a French Omelette and an American Omelette is a perfect French Omelette has very little to no browning. The aim is for barely set eggs with a smooth yellow texture. You can achieve this by keeping the heat in the pan very low.
What surprised me most was the direction to scramble the eggs in the pan before allowing the omelette to set. Scrambling eggs when making an omelette had never occured to me before (wouldn’t you just end up with scrambled eggs?) and I had to watch a video to fully understand the technique. I suggest you do too.
They each have slightly different techniques. I found Julia Child’s faster and better suited for serving a crowd, but if I do have time, I prefer Chef John’s three stage technique of shaking, spreading, and rolling the omelette.
I have made this with olive oil for our dairy free guests but I do think a generous amount of butter is what give this omelette such a creamy texture and superior flavor.
Recipe for one Omelette:
What you will need:
One tablespoon butter plus more for serving
Salt and pepper to taste
1/2 Teaspoon of water
8” frying pan (preferably non-stick)
Whisk or blender
Whisk together eggs, water, and salt and pepper until the whites and yolks are completely blended. The mixture should have a uniform yellow color with no streaks. I use a blender for this, but if you are doing it by hand aim for about 2 minutes of whisking.
Set your pan to medium low heat and add 1 tablespoon of butter. Wait until the butter is completely melted before adding your egg mixture.
Next, take a spatula and start stirring the pan to blend the melted butter with the egg mixture. Use one hand to shake the pan in circles over the heat and another hand to swirl the egg mixture with the spatula. Small curds should start to form. Keep shaking and swirling, running the spatula along the edges of the pan and filling in any open areas with uncooked eggs.
When eggs start to set on the bottom but are still wet on top stop shaking the pan and use your spatula to spread the mixture, filling in any bare areas of the pan with uncooked eggs. Continue spreading until mixture is thick with small curds but still slightly wet.
At this point you can add filling such as cheese, but you don’t have to, it is delicious just with eggs and butter. Remember, with a French Omelette less is more, if you use too many fillings your omelette will be difficult to roll. NOTE: If you are using bulky fillings like mushroom and sausage don’t bother trying to roll them in. Instead, after your omelette has cooked follow Julia Child’s suggestion and cut a slit in the top of your finished omelette and stuff it with warm fillings prior to serving.
Turn your heat down to low and start rolling the Omelette. Lift a side with your spatula and add a little more butter to help keep the omelette from sticking to the pan. Use your spatula to nudge the butter under the omelette and roll one side as if rolling a crepe. I usually do two rolls on one side and then roll the other side to seal the Omelette. I also like to tuck the sides up with the spatula while it is still in the pan to seal the sides.
Next, turn the heat off and let the omelette sit in the warm pan for a minute to finish setting.
Transfer omelette to plate with sealed side down. You can use a pastry brush to brush additional butter on the top of the omelette to give it a nice shiny appearance, and top with fresh parsley or other herbs, if desired. Or cut a slit in the top of the omelette and stuff it with warm fillings such as port wine sauteed mushrooms and caramelized onions.
I usually serve this with a simple salad and whole grain toast.