I decided not long ago that I was not a multitasker, and I wasn’t even going to try. This may not sound like such a momentous decision, but since it seemed like multitasking was in my job description, it felt like a big deal. I noticed, though, that when I tried to do more than one thing at a time, I became flustered, unfocused and generally did a poor job of it. Now I concentrate solely on the single task I am doing until I am done, and I have to say that I find most tasks more pleasurable as a result.
A recent study validates my anecdotal evidence, not just for me, but for everyone. Guess what, multitaskers? When you try to do too many things at one time, you don’t do anything well. I think is particularly true when you try to send text messages while eating a meal with me, one of my personal pet peeves.
I bring this up because when it comes to making omelets, multitasking is not an option. Many people think making a proper omelet is beyond them. Actually, an omelet is a very simple thing to make, but it requires focus and singlemindedness. The good news is that it also requires very little time, and at the end of it, you have an elegant dinner that you can eat while surfing the Internet.
Here are some very useful techniques I’ve learned that enable me to turn out a pretty good (if not perfect) omelet every time:
- Select your filling first, if you plan to have one. I suggest keeping the filling to a minimum, no more than one or two ingredients. Good candidates are a small amount of shredded cheese, minced herbs, a little salsa or a bit of leftover cooked vegetables, warmed in some butter. For a sweet breakfast omelet, think berries, sauteed bananas or apples, or a little jam and cream cheese. Prepare your filling and have it ready to go.
- For each omelet, beat 2 eggs with salt, pepper, a teaspoon of fines herbes if you want it and — here is the secret — ½ tbsp. cold, cubed butter. Adding some butter in with the eggs imparts a lovely richness to the omelet.
- Heat an 8- or 9-inch nonstick pan over medium-high heat with a little more butter until it foams. Add the eggs. Leave the pan alone for a few moments, just until the edges of the omelet set.
- Using a rubber spatula, stir the eggs gently in a circular motion until slightly thickened. Lift the edges of the omelet and tilt the pan slightly to allow the uncooked egg to run to the edge of the pan until the top is barely set.
- Remove the pan from the heat. Sprinkle the filling over the bottom third of the omelet. Cover the pan and let it sit just a minute or so, until the top is no longer wet.
- Fold the lower third of the omelet over with a spatula. Loosen the eggs from the pan and fold over again. The bottom of the omelet should not be brown.
Note: If I am making omelets for 2 or 3 people, I usually don’t bother to make them individually. Rather, I switch to a 12-inch pan and make one large omelet, using the same technique. I then cut the folded omelet into halves or thirds to serve.