The Perfect Omelette

One of the many New Year’s resolution for 2016 is to go back to basics. In my kitchen there has been quite a revolution in the past two years. Since Baby Lemonade has arrived I’ve tried and often succeeded in developing new skills, try new recipes and flavors. But as she was weaned off milk, I often found myself in a bit of a pickle: should I foster her palate to be as adventurous as can be or should I give into the few “picky eater” episodes and just give her what she wants? The resolution to go back to basics is in essence a necessity but also a pleasant new phase in which I hope to hone my craft as a home cook. Given the success that some basic techniques video had in the past, this new phase will also allow me to connect with the audience better and get more hints on what you all want to see on Cooking in Manhattan.

Why Omelette, then? It’s simple, one of you requested this video last year. Initially I didn’t give it much thought but as Baby Lemonade started to eat solid food I quickly realized how omelettes are easy and quick dishes that can feed a cranky, picky eater in less than 15 minutes. They are invaluable in my dinner arsenal: Omelettes in Italy (and France) are often eaten for dinner and not for lunch.brunch like in the US. So you could argue that this is a “breakfast for dinner” scenario, but I really don’t like labels in the kitchen. I just eat what tastes and feels good, and it looks like Baby Lemonade shares my view.

Before we get to the part where you visit my kitchen, here are a few suggestions to give you the best results:

The Pan: In a small kitchen you may be tempted to shy away from “unitaskers”. This term, aptly created by Alton Brown, identifies kitchen equipment that only has one purpose. You might be tempted to see the omelette pan in this light but please refrain from doing so. If you want a restaurant quality omelette, you need a dedicated pan. But this dedicated pan should not only be used for omelettes. You can also use it for other egg dishes (sunny side up, over easy, scrambled, etc.). There is no need to call this a unitasker, if you can cook multiple dishes in it.

The Seasoning: now that we have discuss the elephant in the room, the fun begins. Even if your pan is non stick, you will still need oil or butter to make sure that the eggs don’t stick. I know you have seen half a million infomercials claiming that with the right pan you don’t need fat to cook your eggs. But that is absurd… it’s an infomercial, the pan they are using might be coated in Vaseline and you wouldn’t even know. Trust me, I have friends who are food photographers and you don’t want to know what they do to the food. Suffices to say that what they potray might be beautiful but 99% of the times it’s also unedible.

The Eggs: I should tell you to buy organic eggs coming from cage free chicken, but I will leave this decision up to you and your budget. Word to the wise, though: The fresher the egg the fluffier the omelette. If your last 2 eggs are a week old don’t expect the omelette to come out super fluffy no matter how good your technique is.

The Heat: as one of my viewers pointed out, French Omelettes are yellow and have no browning whatsoever. The omelette in the video is a little browned on the outside, but there is a reason for that: Baby Lemonade doesn’t like her omelettes if the egg mixture is not completely set or even a bit runny.