Tuesday, May 21, 2013

My New Obsession: Omelettes

This blog is supposed to be about baking and cooking instead of about my rather boring life.  But it's not really possible to separate what you cook and eat from your life - food is a large part of our lives, even people who don't cook at all.  Several months ago, I was advised by various medical people that I desperately needed to eat more protein.  That's a little bit complicated because my digestive system doesn't handle red meat very well.  I'm missing one of the enzymes that you need to digest red meat, so I can eat it but I don't feel very good when I do.  Most people suggest fish and eggs as high-protein substitutes but I don't like the taste.

And then I got to thinking: what uses eggs but doesn't really taste like eggs?  Omelettes with salsa.  They taste great and you have a very fresh omelette which you can eat immediately.

Confession time: I love salsa and I put it or Sriracha on pretty much everything that I eat.  Brown rice + avocado + salsa = yummy time!  Etc etc etc.  Anything tastes better with salsa.*  So I looked up how to make an omelette and followed the instructions and dumped lots of salsa on it, and it was great.  Wonderful.  Fantastic.  Now I'm eating an omelette every day.

* No, not literally everything.  Just most things.

I used to associate omelettes with places like Denny's, which isn't a bad thing but I also didn't think I would be able to make one of those.  Jamie Oliver's youtube video on making omelettes looked so easy that I decided to give it a try.  His instructions are easy to follow and it's easy to understand what he means by the eggs being liquid and cooking because you can see it happening very quickly as you make your own omelette.

Warning: the whole process takes about 3-4 minutes so you need to keep an eye on the omelette or it will burn quickly.

Jacques Pepin has a longer video about the different types of French omelettes.  What we call omelettes in America are the country version of an omelette in France, but both types look pretty easy to make.

To cook the omelette, prepare any fillings by either slicing or cooking.  Put a small amount of oil or butter in a pan and cook until medium hot.  Whisk together the eggs with salt and pepper, and add some water or milk if desired.   Pour the egg mixture into the hot pan.  Wait 10 to 20 seconds for the bottom to cook and then drag the cooked parts from the outside into the center of the pan.  Tilt the pan to let the liquid egg mixture take up the space.  Wait another 20-30 seconds until it's halfway cooked, then lay the filling in a line across the middle of the omelette.  After another 10 to 20 seconds, use a spatula to loosen the edges of the omlette and slide the spatula under 2/3s of the omelette.  Flip one half of the omelette on top of the other half.  Slide the omelette onto a plate.

Tips: The biggest problem I had with making an omelette was folding it over.  It took me a while to figure out that I needed to flip more than half of the omelette over because some of it would slip back down.

Make sure that your pan is hot before you put the eggs in.  You want the eggs to start cooking immediately.  You want it to be medium hot, essentially as hot as you can get it without burning the oil or butter.  On my stove's dial, I set it to a 7 out of 10.

You don't need very much oil or butter.  The oil thins out as it gets hot and easily covers the pan.  I use a standard non-stick pan and it's easy to get the omelette out when it's done.

I usually put spinach, mozzarella, tomatoes, and avocado in my omelettes.  This time, I was out of tomatoes and avocados but it was still a nice taste combination with the salsa.  You can use anything you like for the fillings, but if it's something that doesn't cook very quickly you will need to cook the filling first and then lay it on top of the omlette before you fold it.  I use frozen spinach and mozzarella and fresh tomatoes and avocados, so I microwave the spinach and cheese quickly while the omelette is cooking and I slice up the tomatoes and avocado first.

It's easy to think that you need a lot of filling for an omelette but you really don't.  It's easy to overstuff an omelette.  When that happens, I just turn it into scrambled eggs.

You don't need very much salt at all in the eggs but you don't want to skip the pepper.  It adds a nice kick.

I only use one egg in my omelettes because I don't like large omelettes but most people have a two or three egg omelette.  It all depends on how hungry you are.

You can either add water or milk to boost the volume of your eggs, or don't add any other liquids at all.  It just depends on your personal taste.  I like having a little bit of milk in my eggs.

Make sure to whisk the eggs together thoroughly.  You don't want to have large strings of egg whites floating around or you will end up with half an egg white omelette and half an egg yolk omelette.

"What's that?  You want to cook something?  No no, don't mind me.  You don't really need anything from the fridge."

Don't use a lot of oil or butter.  When this gets hot, it will cover the entire bottom of the pan.
Same oil as above, but quite hot.

Beat however many eggs you want with some salt and pepper.  We are out of bowls so I am a) running the dishwasher and b) whisking everything together in a mug.

Whisked egg with a little bit of milk.

Make sure everything is completely mixed together.

Approximately 10 second after pouring the egg mixture into the pan.  The bottom has already cooked.  Now is the time to drag the cooked parts into the center and let the liquid fill up the empty space.

Cooked curds in the middle, more liquid cooking on the outside and in the middle.

This is the texture when you want to add the filling: still kind of liquid-y but also about 2/3 cooked.

This is about half a mug full of frozen spinach and mozzarella, nuked for 20 seconds in the microwave while the omelette cooked.

Folded omelette. It's almost overcooked but not quite.  You can press down with the spatula to cook the filling a little more before you take it out of the pan.

Finished omelette.



  1. I am going to have to try salsa with my omelettes! Cheers

    1. Omelettes are a good salsa delivery vehicle.