How to Cook Omelets, the Ninja Way

22Jul08

Seeing as how eggs are a pretty good part of my new way of eating, omelets are about 75% of my breakfasts (with scrambled eggs making up most of the other 25%).

That being said, there’s a trick to omelets.

I have no idea if this is the “real” or “best” way to make an omelet. But it works for me, and it’s versatile enough that I can add all kindsa stuff in the middle to make it different.

The trick to omelets is layering. If you just let the egg lie in the pan, the bottom will get overcooked and the top won’t finish. If you scramble it, it’s no longer an omelet (though it’d still be tasty). So you gotta build layers of equally-cooked egg.

Stuff You’ll Need:
Small Pan (bonus points for angled sides)
Lid of some kind for small pan. (sometimes we have to be innovative)
Spatula
Small Bowl (for mixing the eggs in)
Fork or chopstick (optional – for getting the eggs good and scrambled before cooking)
Eggs (2)
Small Plate
Fork (optional – for eating the omelet)

Most of my omelets are two eggs. Depending on the size of the pan, appetite, and people eating, you may want to shift that upward. This is fast enough that you could feasibly make omelets for up to four people without going insane with how long it takes. You may go insane if all four people want different stuffing, of course. Oh, and depending on what you put inside, two eggs is plenty for two people.

I put a small burner to medium heat and put a small dollop of olive oil in it. Larger dollops equal wet eggs, which is kinda squicky. And even if olive oil is good fats, it’s still got lots of ’em. I try to limit the amount I use per dish since I use it when sauteeing veggies as well.

While that’s warming up, I crack the eggs into a small bowl and whip them up till they’re all crazy and undefined using a chopstick. Most people use forks, but my chopsticks have cartoon ducks and bunnies on them. Obviously, they were made for scrambling eggs.

At this point, you can add spices and stuff to the eggs if you want. I find that sometimes the spices clump together if I do that, so most of the time I leave the egg plain and spice it while cooking. I might add dried basil, pepper, or salt if that’s part of the omelet I’m making since those tend to behave pretty well.

Back to the pan – the oil should be warm. I add a dollop of butter and swish it around till it’s mixed in with the oil. The butter adds flavor to the egg, but I don’t have to use as much as I otherwise would because the olive oil provides lubrication too. The oil also keeps the butter from burning. Always do oil first, then butter. If your pan is too hot, the butter can burn before you have time to add the oil. And that’s just nasty.

Once everything’s all zen, pour the eggs into the pan (use a spatula to get all the eggy goodness out of the bowl, especially if you used spices).

Now, while the bottom of the egg mixture is cooking, is a great time to go ahead and wash your bowl and fork/chopstick (if you used it). Look around, maybe clean something else while you’re at it. Quick stuff – swiping the counter top with a fresh rag, pouring out any leftover coffee or whatever. Your kitchen, your rules. But you’ve got a handful of seconds that you may as well use – there’s not enough time to go check email or anything, but there’s too much time to sit and stare at the egg cooking while your eyes glaze over.

Okay, back to the pan. The bottom layer of egg should be cooked. Take your spatula and lift one of the edges of the egg. This is where flared-side pans come in handy. Me, I have a straight-sided pan, so if I lift too early, I end up pushing instead of lifting. *shrug* Not as pretty, but still gets the job done. With a bit of experience under my belt, I can tell how done to let it get before I start lifting so it’s less delicate.

Anyway, lift the egg all around the edges, allowing the uncooked egg to run under the cooked part. Feel free to tilt the pan to help the egg run.

Keep doing this until the egg stops running. The top of the omelet will still look wet – that’s good.

If you’re using a gas stove, turn the heat down to low. If you’re using electric, sadly, you have to fire up a second burner and move the pan. Electric burners cool down slower than gas ones, and you don’t want to overcook the bottom.

Put the pan on the warm burner (very low – “warm” setting).

If you want to add extra spices to your egg, now’s the best time to do it – it’ll stick in the wet part of the egg and flavor the whole thing.

Add whatever innards your omelet’s going to get – but only on HALF of the egg patty you’ve got. That’s important. Only half. Top with cheese if that’s part of it – the melting cheese is a great way for you to tell when it’s done. You want to do this while the top of the egg is still kinda wet so that some of the toppings “stick” in the egg and won’t tumble around as much.

Put a lid on the pan so that the whole mess gets a nice warm environment to finish cooking. After a bit (your patience may vary) peek under the lid – when the cheese is half-to-three-quarters melted, use the spatula to flip the unadorned half of the egg over the filling and put the lid back on for just a little bit longer, to allow the rest of the cheese to melt. This will help the top to stay on and keep the whole thing from falling apart quite as easily.

When it’s done, use the pan and spatula to transfer to a small plate. If you washed your fork from earlier, you can use it again here!

Nom until you can nom no more.

Wash your plate and fork and pan and lid so they’re clean and ready for tomorrow’s omelet.

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2 Responses to “How to Cook Omelets, the Ninja Way”

  1. LOL – love your descriptions. I’m tempted to have an omlette right now. Too bad I’m at work, without eggs or a stove. Tonight, I will attempt an omlette, the Ninja way!

  2. @Gemfit

    *grins* You know, the hardest part of writing this post was deciding how to spell “omelet”. I like the french-sounding “Omelette”. But maybe it’s “Omlette” or “Omelete” or even “Omlet”

    *flails* It’s the thing! The flat egg thingy? With the stuff folded inside, like a taco, only not? Right. Thingy. Thing.

    I’ve decided I can spell it however I please. =P


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