If I had to judge how good technically a chef
is, I probably would ask him to do an omelet.
It is difficult to make a real good omelet
and there are different types of omelets.
I'm going to show you two types of omelets:
a kind of country, French omelet, which is
basically the way we do it in America, and
then a classic French omelet.
One is not better than the other, it's just
a different technique, a different taste,
a different look that you have in it.
In the first one - I'm doing an omelet with
four eggs, here - In the first one, salt,
a dash of pepper, all I'm going to do is to
stir it well first and cook it so that I have
fairly large curd of egg, and slightly brown
all around, reaching the look and taste that
we want to do country-like.
A little piece of butter there, and I have
here a beautiful pan because that pan doesn't
have any corners.
You see, it has a beautiful sway.
It is a non-stick pan, so it's ideal - it's
an omelet pan, actually.
Now notice that my eggs, to start with, I
have no pieces of egg white hanging, so it's
not like you just stir the eggs back and forth
- you have to go from one hand to the other
to really break it so that you don't have
any long pieces of egg white, otherwise you
have those becoming white in the plate, in
the skillet as it cooks.
So what we do here, in the country omelet,
let it brown a little bit, see the eggs - the
butter here - will be brown a little bit which
in the classic omelet I don't want to brown.
So clean up your pan good, and here you don't
have to worry too much.
You move it occasionally, to take the large
curd like this, and those large curds replace
them by liquid.
This will be totally different in the classic
French omelet, where I move the mixture very
very fast, as fast as I can, to have the smallest
No browning at all, because the browning will
toughen the albumin, and I want something
very tender and very soft in a classic French
In the country style, it's different.
Now, how long do you cook it?
It's entirely up to you.
You can have it slightly wet in the center.
I like it a bit wet.
I would say that here my omelet is still a
little bit wet here, which is the way I like
it personally, but I would probably also brown
it just a minute also.
Then kind of fold it in half like this.
I would, at that point, put maybe a little
piece of extra butter if I want, in the bottom
here to brown the bottom of my omelet.
And now I'm ready to invert the omelet.
This way here - you change hand, you grab
the handle this way.
You bang it a little bit to make it slide,
and you curl it upside down.
You have a nice beautifully browned omelet
- this is a country omelet, but you can see
fairly large curd and all this.
One way of doing it.
Now for the classic French omelet.
The technique is different.
First, clean up your plate - your skillet,
Put it there.
I have a great amount of heat on that pan,
and this is what I want for an omelet.
And as you see, it is a gas stove, and of
course the gas is going to be much better
than electric because you want to have the
flame to go around, and a good stove should
give you a great amount of it for an omelet
as well as a very low setting - a simmer or
So here again I have four eggs, in that omelet
this time, I put a little bit of chives, truly
a classic omelet fines herbes - fines herbs
omelet in France, you have chives, parsley,
tarragon and chervil for the classic, but
this is just a chive omelet.
So you can see here that my pan is hot but
I don't want it as hot as the other one.
So again we put it in there, and now, contrary
to what I did before, just letting the eggs
get into large curds, here with the bowl of
the fork I want to bring this around and stir
it up as fast as I can.
The smallest possible curd, and at the end
of it, about at the end of it like now, I
want to bring all of the mixture, I bring
on this side as you can see basically everything
is here - that is instead of having one layer
which I roll like a carpet, everything is
Run my knife around, bring back the lip and
you can see here I want to have a nice, half-moon
Run this behind to bring back that lip.
Hit it there which as you can see brings it
up, then push it down.
You want a nice corner, and you don't even
want to brown it further.
This is the time, between the lips now that
you would want to stuff it, if you have some
type of stuffing.
We change hand again, bring that this way.
Next, bang it to have it to the edge of the
pan, then invert it to have an omelet.
A classic omelet which should be white like
this or pale yellow, just pointed at the end
like this, smooth without any pleats.
This is what a classic French omelet is.
And you can see, quite different than that,
and as I said before, one is not really necessarily
better than the other.
It's a different technique and a different
The curd are going to be much harder here,
and if I cut this one open to show it to you,
then you will see that the center of that
omelet is very creamy and very soft and very
nice, which is the way the classic omelet
Jacques Pépin is perhaps best known for teaching America how to make an omelet. Here, he shares two different techniques for making this perfect egg dish.
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