Wednesday, February 9, 2011

An Omelet and a Glass of Wine a fine book by famed writer, Elizabeth David.  I wish I'd coined the phrase, but, alas, I just eat the meal regularly.  Add sauteed spinach, a piece of whole-grain toast (I often skip this or have half) and you have a meal.  (Photos below.) This particular omelet is a cheese one, but you can make whatever kind of omelet you like.  I'll give some tips about that at the bottom under "Solo Cook's Notes."  If you'd like to see another, more classic omelet prep, watch this Julia Child video et voila!

Or watch Jacques Pepin make an omelet here.   Choose your method!

A great Judith Jones omelet post, with lots of pics from her kitchen, is here.

No, I'm not pedaling books, but I've read Elizabeth David (and others-- Jacques Pepin or MFK Fisher for example) for years.   If you like yummy prose as well as yummy food, try books by  these writers who knew from words and knew from food. 

My Little Omelet Info and Primer:
Omelets are  notorious for using up leftovers...that bit of broccoli left from last night, that last tablespoon of chopped onion or green pepper, that bit of hard cheese you didn't wrap well.  Here are a few tips:
  • Best quality cage-free eggs.  (or from a local farmer)
  • Don't overbeat your eggs.  30 whips with a big whisk is plenty for two eggs. 
  • Buy a heavy-duty, 8", nonstick pan (or stainless steel if you like that) and you'll have it for a long time.  I like Scanpan for more expensive pans and Pampered Chef for a good cheapie. 
  • Don't be afraid to crank that heat up a little to really get the butter really hot.  But don't dare walk away either.  Turn off your cell phone.
  • You must have everything you need ready before you heat the pan, because after that, your eyes and your hands must attend the omelet.  Set table and get your drink first.
  • Do not make an omelet without butter unless you are allergic to it, are vegan or have a health problem that requires you to use oil.  Omelets are made with butter period. 
  • As the eggs begin to cook, gently stir them to allow uncooked eggs into the bottom of the hot pan.
  • If you want to cook more than one omelet, heat the oven to 200 and let one omelet rest there while you cook the other.   Move on to a frittata if you have several people.
  • Be brave, cook your omelet and enjoy it!  However it turns out, you'll eat it and be glad. 
  • Note: For South Beach Option, skip toast

Omelets are great for solo cooks.


Cheese Omelet with Sauteed Spinach and Toast
serves one

2 eggs
Pinch ea kosher salt and freshly ground pepper (perhaps 1/16 of a tsp is close to a good pinch) 
1 tsp water
1 tsp butter
1 slice cheese of your choice
1tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, smashed and minced
3 cups fresh spinach
sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper or a pinch of red pepper flakes
1 piece of bread

Directions:  (Get your plate and fork out.  You can warm your plate in a 200 F oven for five minutes if you like.)
  1. Start with the spinach.  Place a small-medium skillet on the burner over medium heat and add oil and garlic.  Cook 1-2 minutes (garlic burns easily) and then add spinach, salt and pepper.
  2. Turn down heat and cook slowly until done, stirring occasionally.  (You can do this totally ahead, cover it and serve after you cook your omelet if you only have one pan or just like cooking one thing at a time.)  Turn off heat.
  3. Meantime, toast your bread. (Or you could do this way ahead if you like cold toast.)
  4. Beat the eggs, water, salt and pepper in a mixing bowl with a fork or whisk.  Set aside.
  5. Heat the omelet pan with the butter in it over  medium-high heat, watching closely.
  6. Pour the eggs into the very hot pan and stir them gently (pull the cooked edges to the middle of the pan) with a rubber spatula or whisk so the uncooked eggs get to the bottom of the pan.  When the eggs are about half-way cooked, turn off the heat.
  7. Add your cheese on top of one side of the omelet and cover the pan. Let sit 11/2-2 minutes.
  8. Meanwhile, plate your spinach and toast.  To serve the omelet,  take  your rubber spatula and slide it under one side of the omelet, pulling one side over the other to make a smile in the pan.
  9. Turn the omelet out carefully onto the plate with the spinach.  Enjoy.
The Spinach...Cook it more or less according to your taste.

The Omelet...Same Drill.  Cook it according to your taste, but it should not be runny:

A French chef would not have this edge on the omelette, but would keep stirring it back into the eggs.  I don't mind it.  Suit yourself.
Solo Cook's Notes:
  • The classic omelet (omelette in French) should be a lovely yellow and tender without much browning, but, if you like things crispy, cook a bit longer and have your brown bits by all means.
  • If you like other kinds of fillings, fix or cook them before you make your omelet unless you like raw vegetables (tomatoes are great) in your eggs.  For instance, if you want onions, saute them first in your omelet pan and pour them out onto a plate.  Add them after you've cooked your omelet  where I've added the cheese in this recipe.
  • Have fresh herbs?  Chop a little and beat that into the eggs for an herb omelet...great just like that, but really a happy mouthful with some fresh tomato and/or cheese.
  • Use leftover pizza toppings for a great omelet filling.  Cold chicken or salmon is also lovely.  Smoked salmon (should you be so blessed to have any) is a favorite of mine; beat it into the eggs.
  • Go back to the post on salad and make the chopped salad with your omelet for a big meal.
  • Watch this omelet video from youtube and be glad you have my method! (Still helpful.) 
  • Do the chicken dance.  Laugh; you earned it.
  • Have fun cooking and taking care of yourself, Alyce


  1. Great tips! This is my ultimate breakfast but excellent and healthy dinner choice too.

  2. If you can make an omelet, you'll never go hungry. And... a number of people in your life will be soooooooooooo very happy lots of times.Thx!!!


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