Omelettes are on of my favorite foods on the planet. I love them for breakfast, lunch or dinner. I love them loaded with spicy meats, creamy cheeses, or fresh vegetables. I love them served on toast and I love them plain.
I am an omelette fiend…get the picture?
When I got the opportunity to have a cooking class with Neil Kleinberg, of Clinton St. Baking Company fame, I jumped at it. This man is the Master of NYC Breakfast – who was I to turn down this opportunity? Following are the expert tips I took away from the man who put pancakes on the map:
As Chef Kleinberg pointed out, eggs cook quickly. So quickly that if you try to chop the tomatoes and grate the cheese after your eggs are in the pan, you are likely to end up with egg flavored rubber. By preparing all of your ingredients ahead of time and just having them there in toss into the omelette, you won’t waste any cooking time.
Don’t be a lazy whisker. Get those eggs really well aerated. The key to a light, fluffy omelette isn’t cream or milk, it is incorporating enough air into the eggs before you get them in the pan.
The butter should not just melt, it should bubble slightly and create a light foam. Do this over medium heat, and once the butter foams, be ready to add your eggs so the butter doesn’t turn brown. If the butter browns, you have to wipe it out of the pan and start over.
Once your eggs are in the pan, scramble them once or twice then leave them alone. In a very few minutes, the outer corners of the omelette will start to set. Don’t disturb the omelette yet! Just let it gently cook while you add…
The importance of adding toppings is twofold: Distribution and Symbiosis. The toppings should be added in rows, which allows for an even amount of each topping in each bite. The toppings should also mix well with each other – you don’t want cream cheese, avocado, and pate – who wants an entirely mushy omelette? You also don’t want brie, chorizo, and sundried tomatoes – there is an umami overload if there ever was one. Choose fillings that are creamy, crunchy, fresh, savory, and sweet – you want a mixture of tastes and textures. Goat cheese, bacon, tomatoes, and caramelized onions, is a great combination.
To create a classic French filled omelette, simply fold the omelette over with your spatula about 1/3 of the way when it is stiff, but still a little jiggly in the very center top layer. Then, move the omelette over to the edge of the pan and, with your spatula, flip it out on the plate. Tuck in the sides and…ta-da! If your omelette breaks a little, just cover it with some chopped chives.
Of course, it comes out a lot easier if you have this Zwilling Thermolon pan. Yes, this was a press event, but I was not required to write about it. But I am. Because this pan was incredible. It heats evenly, has cool-touch handles, and a nonstick surface that is not that insufferable plastic coating that I can’t stand. This is ceramic, unscratchable by metal spoons or forks. The omelette nearly flew out of the pan when I was ready to remove it, and the residue was nada. Chef Kleinberg uses these pans, and I am a fan as well.
Next up, maybe I will try to cure my own bacon?