07 December 2019

Une omelette pour midi

A recent lunch: une omelette au fromage, aux épinards, et aux champignons. There is no particular recipe, I guess, but there is a method. I usually make a five-egg omelet for the mid-day meal, and we usually have leftovers, which can become a nice, light supper. I cook the spinach (frozen) beforehand, seasoned with salt, pepper, and a grating of nutmeg, in the microwave, and I sauté the sliced mushrooms quickly, unsalted, in butter or a mixture of butter and oil, over high heat, so they don't poach in their own liquid.

A slightly runny, soft, tender omelet — not overcooked

One secret to making a nice puffy omelet is this: if you want to add a little liquid to the beaten eggs (les œufs battus en omelette), just add a little bit of water. Never add milk because the milk won't really blend into the eggs (a tip I learned from watching Jeff Smith, "The Frugal Gourmet"). The steam from water makes the eggs puff up slightly. When the omelet is just barely starting the brown in the pan, but the top of the omelet is still not set — not completely cooked — sprinkle on as much grated cheese as you like. Pepper the eggs but don't salt them yet. Make sure the omelet is not stuck to the bottom of the pan (non-stick coatings are great).

Thanks again to CHM for the gift of this nice set of stainless-steel serving dishes, a classic in France.

On the half of the omelet that is farthest from the handle of the frying pan, lay down the cooked spinach with the mushrooms on top it. Then tip the pan to start sliding the omelet out onto the serving dish. When about half or a little more of the omelet is out of the pan and is on the serving dish, lift up the pan to fold the "undressed" side of it over the filling ingredients. Voilà. The omelet is folded but the filling ingredients are still visible. Serve with French fries and a salad if that floats your boat.


  1. Glad to see those platters are of use. I never regretted giving this set to you and Walt. They've had now a new home and a new history for a number of years. In the linked post you ask how old they are? I think they go back to the thirties.

    My mouth is watering at the thought of how delicious this omelette must have been!

    1. We use the stainless serving bowls and platters, the earthenware cooking dishes (which you bought at the Marché de l'Avenue de Saxe), and the soufflé dish — not to mention the All-Clad non-stick sauté pan — all the time. Also the yellow blanket.

  2. This method of folding your omlette is a total cheat....
    and I am going to copy this from now on!!
    And my mouth is watering as well!I
    I have always used milk or créme fraiche...
    because my mother and grandmother both did...
    but I am going to try water the next time...
    but, soft and slightly liquid is how we both like them.

    1. The omelette slides out of the pan and folds over on itself. Much easier and more chances of success than when folding the omelette with a spatula.

    2. And, to be honest... I think it looks more attractive like this, too.
      Especially on that platter.

  3. I was going to remark on those lovely serving dishes -- makes your delicious lunch even that much more special. Thanks for the tip about water vs milk. Hmm.

  4. I have one stainless steel platter which I like because it is a bit deep to hold gravy. But I never knew it was a French classic style. Now I'll appreciate it even more. And oh, that omelet looks so good. I have always enjoyed Jacques Pepin's video on two ways to make an omelette. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s10etP1p2bU.

  5. I'll have to try the water trick; thank you.

  6. Good tip about the water! Thx, Ken! And thank you @Thickethouse, for the Jacques Pepin link!

  7. I have used water in my omelettes after you mentioned it before! Absolutely makes a nice puffy, light omelette!
    Beautifully served and how gracious of CHM to have gifted you with the dishes!

    Mary in Oregon


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