French omelette

This basic French omelette recipe is the easy version of a cafe classic. Using a few simple tricks, you can master the technique of making a versatile French omelette – also known as omelet – and customize it with the perfect filling for breakfast, lunch, or dinner. Try the traditional cheese and herbs filling, or get creative with chopped ham and roasted vegetables for a wholesome meal.

Cook’s note: Read through the entire recipe before making your first French omelette. Egg recipes move very quickly and there is no time to consult your recipe once you’ve begun the process.

INGREDIENTSFrench omelette
3 eggs, as fresh as possible, preferably organic and free-range, room temperature
2 knobs unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely, freshly grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)

TO COOK WITH HERBS
2-3 chopped tarragon leaves
1 tablespoon each snipped chives and chopped chervil or parsley

TO COOK WITH CHEESE
3 rounded tablespoons finely grated Gruyère

DIRECTIONS
Get everything ready. Warm a 20cm (measured across the top) non-stick frying pan on a medium heat. Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork so they break up and mix, but not as completely as you would for scrambled egg. With the heat on medium-hot, drop one knob of butter into the pan. It should bubble and sizzle, but not brown. Season the eggs with the Parmesan and a little salt and pepper, and pour into the pan.

Let the eggs bubble slightly for a couple of seconds, then take a wooden fork or spatula and gently draw the mixture in from the sides of the pan a few times, so it gathers in folds in the centre. Leave for a few seconds, then stir again to lightly combine uncooked egg with cooked. Leave briefly again, and when partly cooked, stir a bit faster, stopping while there’s some barely cooked egg left. With the pan flat on the heat, shake it back and forth a few times to settle the mixture. It should slide easily in the pan and look soft and moist on top. A quick burst of heat will brown the underside.

Grip the handle underneath. Tilt the pan down away from you and let the omelette fall to the edge. Fold the side nearest to you over by a third with your fork, and keep it rolling over, so the omelette tips onto a plate – or fold it in half, if that’s easier. For a neat finish, cover the omelette with a piece of kitchen paper and plump it up a bit with your fingers. Rub the other knob of butter over to glaze. Serve French omelette immediately.

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