Learning how to make a French omelette may sound daunting, but it’s not hard at all. Using these tips and techniques, you can make your own perfectly fluffy French omelette any time.
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French Omelette vs American Omelette
First of all, let’s sort out the difference between a French omelette and an American omelet.
A French omelette will be just cooked, without a trace of brown. It will also have that traditional rolled look. Generally, French omelettes tend to have minimal fillings, perhaps some fine herbs or a wee bit of cheese.
An American omelet tends to be browned all over, folded in half rather than rolled into thirds, and filled with an abundance of ingredients.
An Italian omelette is known as a frittata. Here are step by step instructions on how to make an Italian frittata.
How to Make the Perfect Omelette
As with all cooking and baking, it’s important to assemble all of your mise-en-place.
What is mise-en-place? This simply means to have all of your ingredients, including equipment, ready to go. It’s important to have all the fillings chopped and ready to add once the eggs have begun to set up. That means the eggs should be beaten in a bowl, and the fillings should be cooked and in small dishes next to the stove.
There’s nothing worse than beginning to cook and realizing that you’re missing a key ingredient or that a piece of equipment is dirty or can’t be found quickly.
What kind of pan do you need to make an omelette? I recommend having a well-greased or non-stick pan. The eggs must be able to cook without ever sticking to the bottom of the pan.
This doesn’t mean that you need to use a teflon or traditional non-stick pan. In culinary school we had dozens of carbon steel pans of varying sizes. A well-seasoned carbon steel pan will be 100% non-stick if it’s taken care of.
How Many Eggs Do You Need For an Omelette?
You can make a French omelet with as many eggs as you would like. Two eggs per person is a general rule. If you have a hearty eater, three is perfect. I like to make each omelette to order.
For this French omelette, you’ll need:
- 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 1 ounce Swiss cheese, finely grated
- 1 Tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 Tablespoon fine herbs such as parsley, chervil or chives, optional
- kosher salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
How To Cook An Omelet
What makes a perfect French omelette? It should be cooked gently with no traces of brown on the outside, and will be rolled into thirds.
First, heat your pan over medium heat. Add a little butter in the pan, making sure it’s well coated.
Pour the egg mixture into the pan, and let it cook for about 1-2 minutes, or until the edges of the omelet begin to set.
As the eggs begin to set, pull the eggs away from the sides and bottom of the pan. If you’re wondering how to make a fluffy omelette, this is where the magic happens. Using a spatula, gently lift the edges of the omelet and allow the uncooked egg to flow underneath. This will help create the fluffiness.
When the eggs are nearly done cooking, add fillings in a straight line in the center of the omelet, perpendicular to the pan handle. Using a spatula, carefully pull up the sides of the omelette to enclose the fillings.
Roll the omelette away from the handle of the pan, until it’s folded into thirds in the pan. You should be able to easily slide it onto a plate.
Now that you know how to make an omelette, you can host a delicious weekend brunch! Here are some more easy brunch recipe ideas:
Perfect French Omelette
- In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs to break up the white and the yolk.
- Over a medium heat, heat pan. Add butter and melt.
- Once butter is melted, add eggs, stirring constantly just until eggs begin to set. Adjust heat if necessary, turning it to medium low if eggs cook too quickly.
- Once eggs have begun to set, add cheese and any fillings in a row perpendicular to the handle of the pan.
- Using the spatula, gently begin to roll the eggs away from you while tipping the pan down. Ideally the omelette will roll onto itself in thirds.
- Roll onto plate and brush the top of the omelette with butter if desired.
- Make sure all ingredients are ready before making the omelette.
- Use a well greased or non-stick carbon omelette pan.
- Monitor the heat, adjusting the temperature if the omelette is cooking too quickly.
- 2 eggs per person is standard. 3 for hearty appetites.