On Omelettes

Not quite perfect.

I make a decently good omelette, but it's a skill that I've only recently acquired. With the bounty of eggs from our chickens, I've gone through the whole gamut of egg preparations: scrambled, fried, coddled, soft-boiled, hard-boiled, poached... I shied away from omelettes because it's the litmus test for chefs. Real chefs. I'm just a lowly home cook. Believe me, despite seeming simple, it's very easy to screw up an omelette.

According to André Soltner, the chef behind the famed but now-closed restaurant Lutèce, an omelette should take no more than two minutes to prepare and has to be shaped like a cigar. The final result should be smooth–no browned spots–and baveuse on the inside, meaning "soft but not runny." It's all about technique and heart, which is why it's the mark of a great chef. 

My omelettes, on the other hand, are shaped like a tortilla that's been folded over and I'm pretty sure that it takes me longer than two minutes to make. I should practice his technique and also learn how to expertly tap the omelette out of the pan and onto a plate as he does. That'll give the whole show some more flair. I learned how to make mine from watching a Jamie Oliver video on YouTube. Unlike Monsieur Soltner, Jamie has a casual, loosey-goosey approach and says that a tiny bit of color is O.K. (I personally don't mind it being a touch browned here and there.)

In one of my favorite films Frances Ha, there's a scene where Frances is in the kitchen and she says to her roomie something like: "I made an omelette, but it turned out to be more of a scramble." Thankfully, those days are behind me–and for Frances too. Later in the film, she masters a late-night omelette for a group of hungry friends.