When people order an omelet with 6 or 7 ingredients at a restaurant, or relate to me the one they made at home and how many different things they put in it, I’m always left to wonder when they’re going to learn to cook a real omelet.
Eggs are the primary ingredient, by definition. And while a plain omelet cooked on low in lots of butter is a wonderful thing — you should try it to get your bearings on the base ethic of the thing — there is certainly room for an ingredient or two — just enough to stand out, but not enough to make you forget what the hell you’re doing.
As plainly and directly as I can make it: raiding your fridge to make an omelet is just plain lazy. Worse, it’s an admission of a total lack of imagination in cooking.
I’m typically a single ingredient guy. Just like when I do have a pizza, I prefer a simple one to an “I don’t know what I want, so make it a combination.” I like pepperoni. Some onions are a nice touch, or, black olives — but not both.
So Beatrice was off this weekend for the umpteenth “girls’ weekend,” and having been unable to locate either the party hats or kazoos since Friday evening, I decided to do an omelet Sunday morning while football was just getting started. My choice was mushrooms, since I had a half of a tub left, I hadn’t eaten since sometime in the afternoon yesterday, and it was time to use them. Mushrooms keep very well if, 1) you don’t enclose them in plastic like a moron, and 2) if you dispense with the Frigidaire craze of…I dunno…the 30s? Stop putting shit in the refrigerator unnecessarily! I swear to God: next time I see tomatoes in the fucking fridge, I’m going postal. Tomatoes should never experience cold. Ever.
So let’s cook a simple omelet. I began with pastured Kerygold butter & onions. You can click on the images for the hi-res versions.
Sautee thin sliced onions
Then it was on to the entirety of the mushrooms once the onions were well on their way, because in the end, I want the onions totally caramelized & toasty — which really brings out the flavor.
Just about ready to add the egg
As you might have noticed, I never use non-stick pans. In the case of an omelet, it will stick, but if you’re patient, keep the heat low-medium, and shake the pan side to side, the moisture from the egg should eventually unseat the stickiness. Just keep jostling the pan. Also, when you move the cooked egg about to make room for the raw egg, use a fork so you don’t scrape your fat off the cooking surface like a spatula does.
I had on hand some New Zealand Grassfed Cheddar. Unlike cafes and some people at home, a little is plenty for even a 4-jumbo-egg omelet.
Because this was so enormous and it looked so cool with the ‘shrooms on top, I decided to finish it under the broiler, along with the cheese.
The cheese is but a light enhancement, nothing more
And there was nothing left but to eat it, which I did outside amongst the falling autumn leaves.
Buttery and mushroomy
So there. And by my standards, using three ingredients is pretty steep for me. Sometimes I do plain, but let the butter brown first. Other times, I’ll do just onion, but a lot of it, and the onion is well toasted.
Give it a try. See what you can do with one, and only one ingredient.
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Amen, brother! Keep it simple … let those good, well selected ingredients speak for themselves.
Most people would call that a frittata, but whatever you call it, it looks delicious!
You’re right about that, Joe, since I finished it off under the broiler. Two reasons: it was four Jumbo eggs and while my success rate at flipping an omelet without destroying it is 95%, I hate to risk it. The other reason it that it was esthetically very nice looking with those shrooms on top and flipping it would have ruined that look.
That’s precisely why I always make frittatas rather than omelettes. I can’t flip an omelet. Period. My successful “flip” or “fold” rate is ZERO.
Finishing it in the oven is the only way to go, in my opinion. So easy, so fool-proof.
I looooooove fritattas! And they’re not just for breakfast.
You’ve referred to the “the flip” in previous posts. Those references led me to go out and get an extra wide, flexible flipper and it works great. You can easily flip a four egger in an omlette pan with it.
And good call on the purist approach. Mushrooms and onions almost always seem good together. Sometime try folding in some ground beef in pasta sauce.
Speaking of pasta sauce, another nice touch is to do a plain omelet and then lightly spread some marinara sauce on it. Even right from the fridge.
Yep, we do that frequently. Salsa too.
Oh my, yes. Fresh, with the stems of the cilantro intact. indeed.
Chill, Julia. And besides, one who insists on the purity of The Omelet should be advised not to cook the ever-loving shit out of it.
That too is variable. Funny you should mention Julia, because I also regularly do her style of a plain omelet in butter, high heat but very quickly. It consists of duping the egg in and whisking it around with a fork, or you can just shake it around violently (2 eggs work best for this). then you roll it, without flipping it and the inside is like egg pudding.
And this one is not actually overcooked at all. It’s a function of the butter browning whilst caramelizing the onion.
I’ve been a huge fan of the caramelized onion (and cheese) omelette since you first posted about cooking one.
A fresh herb (and maybe cheese) omelette is also a nice variation.
The more you cook (I’ve been cooking seriously for a few years now), the more you realize how much of a difference ingredient quality and subtle touches in preparation really make to the final product.
I have NOT mastered the stainless steel pan yet (haven’t even tried – very daunting), but I am becoming very fond of my cast iron finally.
I haven’t mastered stainless steel yet, either. But in the meantime, here is a household hint: Mr. Clean Magic Erasers work great for getting burned-on food off stainless steel and porcelain-clad cast iron.
Boy oh boy we differ on this one. I like lots of meat, including chicken, sausage and bacon. Chunky, so that with different bites you get different flavor/texture combos. Also, I like avocado, cheese (usually goat), onions, and jalapenos.
It’s no different that a soup/stew where the many flavors/ingredients work in concert together. And I like my pizzas with 3-5 meat toppings, too, along with jalas. 🙂
And I realized I may have spelled “omelet” incorrectly… must be the French in me coming out.
i’m trying to stuff 2600+ calories in my face today in an 8 hour eating window. i just finished 400 grams of chicken, i’m stuffed, and yet somehow, my brain has been made hungry by your pics.
thanks. or fuck you. whichever. 🙂
Looks great. In place of non-stick I use cast iron. Will probably be a family heirloom one day, all black, gnarly (never tuched by soap). Ever try adding fish for a protein? Just a thought.
I’m a big fan of last night’s carnitas in my omelets, but the salsa on the top makes it two ingredients. …unless I spoon it on at the table.
Looks delicious. I’m a huge fan of plain roasted meats–I love slices of eye round dipped in good salt. Technically two ingredients if you count the salt, I guess, but simple and so delicious. I also love slices of plain roasted kabocha squash. It has the texture of pudding.
My current favorite omelet is an oyster omelet seasoned with a little fish sauce (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oyster_omelette). I discovered it at a Malaysian restaurant, where I tried it with some trepidation, and have been addicted ever since. It is truly an amazing combination of flavors! The traditional way calls for a batter of water and sweet potato flour, but it’s great without it, too.
Chopped fresh herbs – usually oregano and basil – are my simple omelet favorite.
Fresh or even dried dill works well too. If you want to go over the top, a dollop of creme fraische on it too.
You should just do a video on how to cook omelets (swearing included) to: first, piss people off – cause that’s always fun; two – well some people have trouble with it even after your descriptions. Could even make people pay for the non-expletive version or sit there talking rhetoric while you’re waiting for parts to get done.
Chris, that’s really a good number of good ideas in one short para,, as a matter of fact, I had been working out doing an omelet making video just a bit ago.l
I just might..
You can put shrooms in, but don’t cover them. But, they will dry out faster because a refrigerator is also a dehydrator, because of the fan circulation. Mushroom are best left out, as is just about all fruit except apples (keeps the snap on them).
It really come down to freshness, not refrigerating plant matter compels you to dispense with them while they are fresh.
The fridge is for meat & dairy. That’s all.
and apples. and left overs.
Definitely; I learned to leave a lot of it out after watching shit go bad, faster. Never made sense until I realized CO2 decides to get stuck in those awesome plastic deals.
“Fruit bowls” for my (unpeeled) onions, mushrooms, fruits, and under the counter for my potatoes works wonders!
I can’t wait to see what you come up with for your video.
I didn’t know you could make eggs in a non-non-stick pan until I discovered Julia’s old videos on Youtube – life-changing! The trick is high-enough heat and a heap of butter to cushion the egg, and also do one portion at a time. I am very picky about my eggs and if any bit is browned I can’t eat it. So I prepare any filling in advance in a separate pan or ready nearby, then add them quickly to my omelette. Carmelized onion is a favorite. Plain is excellent too.
Watch a master.
I do all my plain omelets this way. I was fortunate enough to see that video on PBS years ago.
Wait wait wait. I’m not supposed to put tomatoes in the fridge? Or mushrooms? Why?
Any other veggies need to steer clear of the cold? It maybe shorter to ask what does go in the fridge?!
All real tomatoes , avocados,fruits belong ON the counter till scarfed down. Nice work RN
Frittata with fried diced potatoes and onions is really good
Cooked crispy in butter.
Dude, that’s 5 ingredients – count them: butter, onions, mushrooms, eggs, cheese.
Details, details. So far, everyone seems to have gotten the point.
Nice looking bit of scran, I do mine with same ingredients (except Kerrygold and Irish Cheddar) but always flip using my le creuset cast iron job. That get’s the lift something heavy bit out the way at the same time! Who needs kettle bells?
The butter is indeed Kerygold.
I was always taught that to be called an omelet, the non egg ingredients need to be sautéed in a seperate pan.
Put your egg mixture in a medium hot well buttered pan. Take a spatula and scrape to one side of pan, tilt pan to fill empty space. Repeat several times. Place sautéed filling on top and and fold over. The heat from the filling will finish cooking the egg. Omelet should be half moon shape with no filling visible. Although Richard’s way is easier, it’s technically a Scramble or Frittata.
That is the way I generally do it, though depending on how much liquid there is from a big omelet with jumbo eggs, I’ll flip it and then add the fillings.
Yummy! Yes, that tomatoes in the refrigerator thing drives me crazy too.
its ok to let the butter brown?
pixel, yes, indeed. You can let the butter brown, to light or dark degrees, just know that those scorched milk solids are going to impart a flavor. It’s a flavor you probably don’t want if you’re filling your omelet with shrimp & crab meat, with a dill & creme fraische garnish, but one you definitely do want if you’re filling it with bacon bits and a sprinkle of shreded cheddar cheese.
I like using red peppers. Stick them under the grill and char the skin. Put into an airtight container for a coupleof minutes and then take it out. The charred skin will peel away easily, leaving soft, lightly cooked flesh behind. Dice and throw into omelet. No further cooking necessary.
I also like purple onion. Just dice and chuck it in. No prep necessary. Adds a nice bite.
I totally disagree. I love ‘everything’ omelets and the best one I had recently had a filling of cooked sliced bacon with celery, onions, tomatoes , zucchini cubes and herbs sauteed into a nice stewy mess. I poured the mixed eggs into a heated cast iron pan with melted butter, added the veg/bacon mix and then put cheese on top. The pan was hot enough to toast the bottom to a nice golden glow and it was easy to fold in half for serving. YUM!
top three faves
Sautéed ginger omelette
garlic feta spinach omelette
peppers onion mushroom omelette
wash rinse repeat.
Nicely done! The way I see it, if you’re going out of your way for farm fresh eggs, don’t cover up the taste.