We eat a lot of eggs in our home. Farm fresh, they just can't be beat for nutrition, versatility, and frugality.
The omelet has always eluded, me, though. I fry, I scramble, I bake, I frittata, but on the rare occasion that I actually did make an omelet it was tough and only the fillings were good.
I was looking through an old copy of Cook's Illustrated and when I read about adding butter to the beaten eggs and the science behind it I was reminded of Julia Child and her butter makes-it-better philosophy. While our family happily uses butter every day because it is, in fact, healthy, this butter trick has revolutionized my egg world and I know that my children and husband are going to be happier for it.
Because I will be making omelets now. Stuffed with swiss and ham, spinach & cheddar, asparagus & parmesan – they will all be light, fluffy and delicious.
The trick? Simply add small cubes of (cold) butter to the beaten egg before adding it to the pan. As the butter melts it creates a buffer between the (large amounts) of protein in the egg. This produces a lighter texture since the proteins are not able to cling to one another so tightly.
And it is seriously good.
I am now thinking that whatever comes out of our garden this year will be promptly stuffed into fluffy, golden eggs.
Recipe: Basic Fluffy Omelet
Note: I think the key to an easy-to-make omelet is a cast iron skillet. I don't like teflon because it is made non-stick by toxic chemicals, but a cast-iron skillet, properly cared for, makes even better eggs.
- 2-3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 tablespoon cold butter, broken into small pieces + extra for the pan
- salt & pepper to taste
- fillings: cheese, bacon, ham, greens, asparagus, tomato, onion, or any other vegetable you have lying around.
- Place a 9" cast-iron skillet over medium-low heat and allow to heat up. Meanwhile crack your eggs into a small bowl and beat lightly. Add little bits of butter, salt and pepper to eggs, mix, and set aside.
- Prep your fillings: cook bacon pieces right in your warming skillet, chop veggies, grate or slice cheese, etc.
- Once the skillet is hot add about 1 tablespoon of butter, swirl, and add egg mixture. Allow to set 1-2 minutes. Now grab the handle of the skillet with a hot pad, tilt the handle up, and use a rubber spatula to gently push the edge of one side of the omelet towards the center a bit, allowing the runny egg to flow into its place. Repeat 2-3 more times on different sides.
- Once it looks fairly set and just a bit runny on top you can fill the omelet or if you're like me and don't enjoy runny omelets you can very carefully flip your eggs using a large spatula. Then fill one half, folding the other half over the top of the fillings.
- Remove from pan and season to taste as needed. Serve with a salad or other vegetable.