The French say that the 101 pleats in a traditional tall chef’s hat stand for her knowledge of 101 ways to cook eggs. Eggs really are that important to what is widely considered the most highly evolved cuisine in the world.And for many reasons. An omelet with nutritious fillings can be one of the healthiest meals possible — and gourmet to boot — at a very low cost.
The adage about egg yolks being dangerous because of their cholesterol level has largely been debunked and, according to the Journal of the American College of Nutrition, the American Heart Association no longer limits daily egg consumption, as long as total cholesterol does not rise above 300 milligrams — roughly the content of 2 medium eggs.
If you’re still worried about cholesterol, simply use one whole egg with two to three egg whites, or one of the many low-fat, cholesterol-free egg substitutes available.
Making a French omelet takes a special technique. Mixing any ingredients other than seasonings or herbs into the egg itself as it’s cooking isn’t an omelet — that’s an Italian specialty known as a frittata. Flipping the egg so it’s fried on both sides, then folding it once over the filling, although closer, still is not a true French omelet.
The French whip their eggs to a very light froth before cooking; some chefs even beat the whites and yolks separately, then fold together, to get the lightest froth possible. Then the egg is poured into a heated, generously buttered pan. It is not turned over.
At just the right moment, the fillings are added to the top of the egg, which is still “baveuse,” or a little frothy, then one side of the omelet is given a flip over the filling and the whole thing is rolled out elegantly onto the warm plate.
How To make a French-style omelet
1. Have a very nonstick pan used only for omelets. It should be clean and dry.
2. Beat the eggs very well with salt and a pinch of white pepper if you like.
3. Heat the skillet with a teaspoon of butter, and swirl to coat the entire bottom of the skillet evenly.
4. Pour in the eggs and allow to cook gently over medium heat, occasionally pushing the egg toward the center of the pan, until set but moist and a little foamy on top. The egg on the bottom should not brown.
5. Place the fillings of your choice in a stripe down the center of the omelet.
6. Using a spatula, flip one side of the eggs over the filling.
7. Slide the egg to the edge of the skillet. Begin to slide one edge out onto the warmed plate, then, with a quick motion, turn the skillet over to let the remainder of the omelet roll out, enclosing the filling in a rolled package of egg with the seam on the bottom.
8. Sprinkle with a garnish or sauce if desired, and serve fresh and piping hot.