Friday, January 28, 2011

How Metal Mark conquered the dreaded Omelet!

I (finally) made a decent omelet.

I have now been alive here on planet Earth, the third rock from the sun, for 40 years now. Many of those years, I have made breakfast for either myself, friends, girlfriends, parents, room mates, various couch sleepers, neighbors, freeloaders (see neighbors) and now She-Ra. It's been a treat, honestly. I love breakfast. Most important meal of the day, right? That's what 'they' say. And I love to cook. But one thing, one thing!, has eluded me the entire time I have manned the griddle and fry pan, one thing that I adore and some claim to make the best one ever.

I'm talking about the omelet.

I don't know why. Can't explain it. All the hints, recipes, watching of breakfast line cooks, watching Jamie Oliver do it on YouTube and trying again and again and again only yields one certain outcome: Your omelet that I am making you is now a “scramble”.

I'd do all the flips, the folds, the clever tricks and...nothing. Disaster. Luckily for me though, being a huge Top Chef fan and oft watcher of the Food Network, I found that a LOT of people, celebrated chefs and celebrity cooks included, can't make a decent omelet. It's not an easy task. It's not the impossible mission but, it can be done. Heck I watched a young, fresh out of culinary academy kid make an exceptional omelet at a resort here in Tucson. Boy had skills yo. Fluffy, perfect eggs, right amount of ingredients, cooked impeccably; I gorged that thing down and told myself that one day, one day!, that I would master the art of the omelet.

Soooooo, after much research, some “air flipping” practice and watching, yet again, that skittish Jamie Oliver do it online, along with a few other 'normal' cooks, I finally came up with a master plan. On a recent day off with She-Ra, I entered the kitchen, prepped and prepared myself to make an omelet.

Here's what I did and, hopefully, some of you out there that can't make one or have never attempted due to the daunting task that it is and could possibly be, will find my play-by-play instruction here helpful, even in the most minuscule way.


We had jumbo eggs, so I used 2 each. Cracked them into a bowl and mixed with a tablespoon or two of milk. I use 1% and that seems to be alright. Little salt and pepper and, get this, I add a dash of Worcestershire sauce to the mix. Why? Brings out a bit of the meaty flavor in the yolk. Try it. Trust me.

Now, here's the important part – you gotta whisk like a mofo. For real. That's the key to nice and pillowy eggs, beat them into submission. Not gonna lie here, my wrist hurt a bit. But, hey, cooking isn't for sissies you know.

Get your skillet or non-stick pan on the stove and turn the heat up to Medium High or 6 or 7 if you have an electric stove (which we do...unfortunately). Put in a pat of butter and immediately turn the pan so the butter coats all side of it. Do NOT let the butter turn brown. Scorched butter sucks and it'll make the eggs taste yucky. Once the pan is hot, the butter is perfectly melted, it's time to add the eggs.

Pour them in but DO NOT STIR! Let them cook for about a minute or until the bottom is set. With a spatula, a good quality, heat resistant one that's fairly wide, push on an edge of the eggs ever so gently while tilting the pan to allow the still liquid eggs to slide underneath. Repeat this step with all sides until there is no liquid left.

Now, what you got in your pan is a big bright yellow pancake. That's what you want. It should move easily around the pan (if not, get a better non-stick pan or use a little extra butter next time) but loosen it with that spatula just to be sure.

This part can get a bit clumsy, one step I always screwed up. Flip those eggs over! Hey, I got a little on the back of the stove so it's okay if some spills. Just do it quickly, using the spatula to ease it in. Cook for a few more seconds. But not too long. Just until there is no uncooked egg left.

Here comes the fun part. Adding your ingredients. She-Ra, knowing that I wanted to make omelets on our day off, had supplies ready to go for the filling. She got some ham, green pepper, red onion and good Wisconsin cheddar cheese. That's right dear reader. We figured if I'm gonna make omelets, they might as well be Denver style.

In a straight line across the center I added the ingredients (the cheese was shredded of course). Once I was happy with the filling, which looked awesome, I then folded one side over so it lined up with the other side. I then flipped the whole folded omelet over and let it cook for a few more seconds. Once I saw just a hint of browning, I immediately transferred it to a ready plate.

At the same time I had hash browns going in another skillet. Hey, if you're going to go, you gotta go.

The end and pleasing result of my omelet attempt was this:

Not bad right? And, oh, was it good. Sure, I've had plenty of omelets before, a lot being far more exquisite than the ones I made that morning, but, still, it felt good not to be afraid of the dreaded making of an omelet.

Then we watched Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back and took a nap.

There it is. Quick, painless, easy and so delicious. Just wanted to share my experience on becoming a non-omelet virgin. It's a good feeling. Liberating really.

Now I gotta try crepes....

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