Tips for Making the Perfect Omelet
1. Use clarified butter, which does not burn as quickly as salted or unsalted butter. If you do use regular butter, watch carefully to keep it from burning.
2. Whisk the eggs immediately before you pour them into the hot skillet, otherwise they will deflate. Incorporating lots of air into the eggs will ensure a light and fluffy omelet.
3. To make sure the skillet is the right temperature, hold your palm a few inches above it; when your hand feels warm, the pan is ready.
4. After adding the eggs to the pan, simultaneously whisk the eggs and shake the skillet vigorously back and forth over the heat for about 1 minute. (Keep the eggs moving, so you incorporate some of the runny parts with the cooked curds.) The key to a fluffy omelet with a smooth surface is to stop whisking just before the egg sets.
5. Use a rubber spatula to gently fold half the omelet over the filling. Press down lightly on the half-moon to seal the omelet.
6. To serve: Lift the skillet with one hand and hold a serving plate in the other. Tilt the skillet to let the curved edge of the omelet slide onto the plate. Quickly invert the skillet, folding the portion of the omelet that is left in the skillet over the curved edge on the plate.
A Note About Frittatas
A frittata is a round Italian omelet that has its fillings mixed into the eggs before cooking, rather than folded inside like the French omelet. The eggs are cooked slowly over low heat, and finished in the oven or under the broiler to set and lightly brown the top. The result is a firm and fluffy egg pie that can be eaten warm or at room temperature. Leftover frittata can be sandwiched in a wedge of crusty bread for an excellent panino (Italian-style sandwich).
Most fillings will not have enough time to cook inside the omelet, although finely grated cheeses will melt. Therefore, make sure that the filling ingredients are pre-cooked or can be enjoyed eaten in their raw state. Try some of our favorite filling combinations when making omelets and frittatas.
- Smoked ham and tomato
- Goat cheese, roasted red peppers, and fresh thyme
- Cheddar cheese, tomato, and crumbled bacon
- Cooked chorizo sausage and minced green chilies
- Feta cheese, sauteed spinach, and cherry tomatoes
- Parmesan cheese and diced grilled vegetables
- Fontina cheese and sauteed mushrooms
- Smoked salmon, shredded arugula, and cream cheese
- Brie cheese, prosciutto, and steamed asparagus
- Monterey Jack cheese with good-quality prepared salsa
- Fresh mozzarella cheese, tomato, and basil leaves