Learn Jacques Pépin's famous omelet techniques

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05:53   |   May 16, 2017


Learn Jacques Pépin's famous omelet techniques
Learn Jacques Pépin's famous omelet techniques thumb Learn Jacques Pépin's famous omelet techniques thumb Learn Jacques Pépin's famous omelet techniques thumb


  • 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 possible curd.
  • No browning at all, because the browning will toughen the albumin, and I want something
  • very tender and very soft in a classic French omelet.
  • 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, rather.
  • 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
  • something.
  • 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
  • there.
  • Run my knife around, bring back the lip and you can see here I want to have a nice, half-moon
  • shape.
  • 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 taste.
  • 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 should be.

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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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