How to Make an Omelette
'Egg may be dressed in a multiplicity of ways but seldom more relished in any form than in a well made expeditiously served omelette' (Eliza Acton)
So says Eliza, 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.
The Delia Online Cookery School: Watch how to make omelettes, just tap the recipe image to play
This recipe is from Delia's Complete How to Cook. Serves 1
One omelette will serve one person and, because it is so quick to make, it's not worth cooking a large one for two.
So, according to how hungry you are, use 2-3 large eggs per person. For omelettes, the fresher the eggs the better, but up to two weeks old is fine. Just break the eggs carefully into a bowl and season with salt and freshly milled pepper. Blend the egg yolks and whites with a large fork – the number one rule is not to over-mix – no beating or whisking.
The size of the pan is vital: too small and the omelette will be thick, spongy and difficult to fold, too large and the eggs will spread out like a thin pancake and become dry and tough. You can find out more about the frying pan by clicking here
For a 2 or 3 egg omelette, the base should measure 17cm in diameter. I recommend using a teaspoon of oil. Place the pan on the heat and let it get quite hot, add the oil and swirl it round, tilting the pan so that the base and the sides get coated. Turn the heat up to its highest setting – when I first demonstrated this on television I said, 'As hot as you dare' and that still stands – then pour the eggs into the pan and leave it on the heat without moving it for a count of five.
After this time a bubbly frill will appear round the edge. Now you can tilt the pan to 45 degrees and, using a tablespoon, draw the edges of the omelette into the centre. The liquid egg will flow into the space, filling it. Now tip the pan the other way and do the same thing. Keep tilting it backwards and forwards, pulling the edges so that the egg can travel into the space left – all this will only take half a minute.
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 take the pan to a warm plate and the last fold will be when you tip the omelette on to the plate. Remember, an omelette will go on cooking even on the plate, so serve it immediately. For this reason it is important to have some liquid egg left before you start folding, but if you have left too much, leave it to set on the plate before eating.
The perfect omelette is one just tinged with gold on the surface and very soft and squidgy on the inside. To finish you can sprinkle over some freshly grated Parmesan.
Note: if you want to make a cheese omelette, pre-heat the grill before you start then cook the omelette so there is still some liquid egg in the surface, then scatter the top of the omelette with about 40g of any cheese you like and flash the pan under the grill briefly until the cheese has melted.