Saturday, I wanted an omelette.
Thing is, I am scared of omelettes. But when I am scared of something, kitchen-wise, it’s usually a good idea to see what Julia Child has to say, and so it was that I turned to Mastering the Art of French Cooking, where detailed, illustrated instructions explain how to master this task, if by nothing else than practicing for days at a time.
Among the helpful guidelines were these:
1. Use high heat: This is really important for getting the eggs to cook properly and quickly.
2. Use a non-stick pan: You’ll be shaking the pan around a lot, and a non-stick pan keeps the omelette from sticking.
3. Work quickly: Julia says you shouldn’t even have your cookbook nearby to double-check with. If you’re checking the instructions, you’re taking too long.
After studying the recipe for a bit, I went to work and in minutes, I’d achieved the very thing I hoped for: a lightly golden fold of eggs, mozzarella and chopped asparagus, firm out the outside and tender at the center, thoroughly cooked throughout. Reminiscent of those fancy brunches from childhood—the kind where cooks in chefs’ whites stand behind skillets at the table and custom-make your order while you stand nearby, dressed up, your plate piled high with pastries and fruit and French toast you pulled from a stainless steel platter.
Next time, I might let the mixture brown less, but overall, this was a good first step. And anyway, I am quite sure now that made-in-minutes omelettes are the things good weekend mornings are made of, especially when followed by hours reading in the sunshine, your dog at your side, and a long nap in the afternoon, and a hot fudge sundae, before you watch a silly movie and go to bed too late.
Asparagus & Mozzarella Omelette
Adapted from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking
Some chopped asparagus (cooked ahead of time)
Some shredded mozzarella
Salt and pepper
2 Tablespoons butter
In a small bowl, whisk together two eggs, just until the yolks and whites have combined.
Heat a nonstick skillet (I used half of a frittata pan) over high heat and melt 2 Tablespoons of butter, moving the pan around to distribute the butter evenly. When the butter becomes liquid and slightly froths, pour egg mixture inside.
Give the eggs 2 to 3 seconds to form a slight surface on the bottom. Then, begin shaking the pan towards you, holding it at a slight angle. Add asparagus and mozzarella. As the mixture solidifies, continue moving the pan back and forth. Then increase the angle slightly to encourage the omelette to fold over onto itself. If it doesn’t naturally, you can use a fork to help it along.
Let the omelette cook a bit longer and slide it onto your plate.