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Nov 15, 2006 05:14 PM

How to Make a Perfect Omelet - So Easy

It's really hard to get a perfect omelet in a restaurant, let alone at home. If you want to make sure the cheese melts the eggs will have gotten tough, rubbery, or dry. If you want the eggs tender and moist, the cheese won't have a chance to melt. And personally, most of the omelets I'm served - I feel the eggs are too thick - they should be thin, tender and yet somehow, somehow, the lavish amount of cheese I want should somehow be able to be nice and melted.

Impossible? Only a dream? Well, I did a lot of research and development and today I achieved the impossible dream.

The trick is you pour in the eggs and you do not touch them. Just pour them in, and cover them on a very low flame.

This is for a 4 egg cheese omelet - basically 2 servings. You need a 12" non-stick pan that still has its non-stick abilities intact and a cover that is sort of flat rather than a high dome (to concentrate the low heat). With a fork, whip up the eggs with about 1 1/2 tablespoons of water. Crumble 8 oz. cheese of your choice. If you freeze the cheese first and then defrost, even semi soft cheeses crumble instantaneously. Melt about 1 T butter to cover bottom of pan. Heat pan on a VERY low flame and pour in the eggs. Cover and do not open for 5 minutes. When eggs appear cooked (surface is not liquidy looking) spread on the cheese and maybe some very thin sliced scallions, cover, and turn off the heat. Drop the toast and by the time it's buttered you can fold the omelet in half to enfold the melted cheese inside the egg, and serve. The egg layers are only 1/4" thick. It's beautiful, delicate, tender - perfect.

Really good with some home made cooked salsa spread on top.

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  1. That sounds almost like a frittata. Omelets should be cooked over high heat and should take a minute. Only single serve omelets too. You should try using less eggs.

    I take 2-3 eggs scramble lightly, adding water/milk if its thick. Pour in a nonstick pan thats been heated over med-high heat with a pat of butter. Let sit for a few seconds and then shaking the pan back and forth, keep pushing the edges slightly into the center so all the raw egg goes contacts the pan. When most of the egg is cooked, I turn off the heat, flip, add cheese and plate. Other people don't even flip the egg and rather just cook on one side and add the cheese at the point I flip it and then fold it onto a plate. Either way, there is plenty of heat in the eggs to melt the cheese.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ESNY

      ESNY - this is exactly how I make an omelet (no flop, just fold it over onto the plate) and I sometimes toss in a few other ingredients if I'm in the mood but not too much.

      Once I got the hang of it, the cheese melts fine, and the egg does not get brown (unless the phone rings at the wrong time!). I've tried to do a double omelet of 5-6 eggs in my bigger pan and it come out just fine, but not quite as pretty. For that I will take a large turner and fold it over in the pan, cut it in half then slide each half on off onto each plate.

      1. re: ESNY

        I read all these posts, decided to try ESNY's recipe above... I had a small omelet pan, I beat 2 eggs and about a teaspoon of water together, poured into a HOT pan that had a pat of butter melted covering the bottom. I kept the heat on about 80% (med/high) and used a spatula to push the edges in a little so the raw egg could keep runningto the outsied. I even picked my pan up several times and turned it to get the raw egg to keep running to the edges/on the pan. When the egg stopped running and bottom was set, I flipped it over, and sprinkled my cheese and bacon on top, folded in half, and removed from heat. I let the omelet sit in the pan for about a minute, and cheese was melted. DELICIOUS. AND the omelet was beautiful. If you've ever stayed at Embassy Suites, they make wonderful omelets, and I'd say mine was almost as good!

      2. Are you actually pleased with what you get when you order a cheese omelet in a restaurant? I posted recently on the SF board that I was trying to find, in SF of all places, a really tender, big, cheese omelet, and virtually everyone agreed no such thing existed. See, I used to work in a restaurant that made these really big, tender cheese omelets on the grill - not in a pan. That is the secret. The eggs spread out so thin. You need a very big diameter, not a little omelet pan if you want tender eggs AND a lot of melted cheese. So, I thought how to do this at home and I decided to try the huge pan and the very low temp.

        My invention is nothing like a fritatta. A frittata gets puffy and is thicker than a quarter inch. Also, the eggs get kind of tough/dry - especially on the bottom. I don't like frittatas at all. Your method is fine - for a french omelet - a 30 second plain omelet made in a small pan. But I dare you to try to get 8 oz. of cheese to melt in there - you'd have to cover it and the bottom would get tough because a small pan would have to be at a higher temp to melt that much filling. You'd never make a french omelet in a 12" pan. But the diameter allows for the very thin layer of eggs to spread out so thin and a lot of cheese to spread out on them. The very low temp. prevents the eggs from getting tough. Just try it and then we'll see what you say.

        1. Half a pound of cheese for a two-person omelet? Yikes!

          1. I like the sound of this method. Does the bottom get brown at all? That's the part I don't like about my home cooked omelet.

            6 Replies
            1. re: bookgirl234

              No, that's the point - it is so very tender and wonderful. Just use a very wide pan, a tight fitting lid and a very low flame. Once the eggs are dull on top - barely cooked through perhaps 5 minutes, add the cheese, turn it off and cover for another 5 minutes.

              1. re: niki rothman

                It sounds good. I agree that a proper "french" omelet should be cooked VERY LOW because there shouldn't be any colour on an omelet.
                It probably doesn't taste like a fritatta because it doesn't have additional ingredients (ie veggies, etc.), but covering it the way you describe, is technically the way you make a fritatta.

                1. re: pescatarian

                  The last step is to fold the eggs in half over the filling so you have a semi-circle with the eggs on the bottom & top and the filling on the inside.

                  1. re: pescatarian

                    St. Julia would emphatically disagree with the low-heat thing - when she demonstrated the Art of the Omelet on the Tonight Show, her gas hotplate was set to Full Torch and the omelet came out of the pan almost as soon as it went in. I was so impressed (and also never liked the fluffy, puffy things my mom had made) that I tried it her way and never looked back. And I don't like any color on mine, either.

                    1. re: Will Owen

                      As would Rudolph Stanish. You don't turn out 90 omelets/hour on the slow-n-low plan (Stanish worked 2 pans, so make that 180/hr).

                2. re: bookgirl234

                  The bottom should never get brown. Brown equals tough and dry.

                3. I think it needs asiago! And after it's folded a ladle of hot Bolognese sauce.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: yayadave

                    Sounds delicious. I've been topping mine with the home made version of (Horrors!) Pace Picante Sauce which I recently posted the recipe for here. With home made hash browns cooked slowly in butter with onions until they're all crusty and an English muffin - that equals the best breakfast I've ever eaten. And so easy.