Folded Omelette (French style)
'Eggs may be dressed in a multiplicity of ways, but seldom more relished in any form than in a well made, expeditiously served omelette.' So says Victorian cookery writer Eliza Acton, and things have not changed. She has said everything I want to say. If I can teach you how to master the well made, expeditiously served omelette then I will have served you well, because you'll never be short of one of life's simplest, quickest and most pleasant dishes.
Have everything ready before you begin: bowl, eggs, omelette pan, fork, tablespoon, seasoning, butter and oil. Put the plates in a warm oven.
Break the eggs carefully into a bowl, add seasoning, then gently combine the yolks and whites with a fork – don't overbeat them, combine is the word you need to think of here. Turn the heat to medium, place the pan over the heat and let it get quite hot (about half a minute). Now add the butter and oil and, as soon as it melts, swiftly swirl it round, tilting the pan so that the base and the sides get coated. Now turn the heat up to its highest setting. When the butter is foaming, pour the eggs into the pan, tilting it to and fro to spread the eggs evenly over the base. Then leave it on the heat without moving it for a count of five.
After 5 seconds a bubbly frill will appear round the edge. Tilt the pan to 45° and, using a tablespoon, draw the edge of the omelette into the centre. The liquid egg will flow into and fill the space. Now tip the pan the other way and do the same thing. Keep tilting it backwards and forwards, pulling the edges in with the spoon and allowing the liquid egg to travel into the space left – all this will take only half a minute. Sprinkle with the grated cheddar or gruyere. Soon there will be just a small amount of liquid left, just on the surface, so now is the time to start folding. Tilt the pan again and flip one side of the omelette into the centre, then fold again. Take the pan to the warm plate, and the last fold will be when you tip the omelette out on to the plate and sprinkle with freshly grated parmesan.
Remember, an omelette will go on cooking, even on the plate, so serve it immediately.