The French Omelet
An omelet cooks in a matter of seconds, so have your ingredients ready to go. Tarragon, chives, parsley, and chervil make up the classic quartet known as fines herbes.
- PREP: 5 MINS
- TOTAL TIME: 5 MINS
- SERVINGS: 1
- 3 large best-quality eggs, preferably room temperature
- 1 teaspoon water
- 1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
- 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, half cut into small cubes
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped mixed herbs, such as tarragon, chervil, flat-leaf parsley, and chives, plus more for garnish
- Freshly ground pepper
- Option: add black forest ham or turkey
The most practical tool for making an omelet is a table fork. Combine eggs, water, and salt in a bowl and briskly whisk with fork just until yolks and whites are thoroughly blended.
One secret to a light, fluffy omelet is not overmixing. Stop whisking when eggs drip smoothly and cohesively from fork tines. If eggs are room temperature, yolks and whites will combine more readily.
Whisk in cubed butter and herbs. The combination complements the flavor of the eggs instead of overpowering it: Unsalted butter adds a creamy richness, while tender herbs add freshness.
Place a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat 30 seconds. Add remaining butter and melt, swirling to coat pan. Add egg mixture and cook, undisturbed, until edges begin to set, about 10 seconds.
Holding fork flat, stir eggs thoroughly in a figure-eight pattern with one hand while shaking skillet back and forth with the other. Keep incorporating set edges into runny center. This takes just 25 to 30 seconds.
Turn off heat while eggs still look slightly wet. Tilt skillet away from you until omelet slides up far edge. Loosen side of omelet nearest you and roll with fork 2 or 3 times toward center.
After folding far edge of omelet into center as well, press down gently to seal with fork. Invert, seam side down, onto a warm plate. The residual heat in the omelet will cook it a bit more.
The added value of a warm plate: If you want to serve two, your first effort will keep nicely while you make another. Then season with pepper, sprinkle with remaining herbs, and serve immediately.