Darling, is this how you omelette?

For most of my life, I didn’t like eggs. I got over it because it was ridiculous (what do you mean, you’re a vegetarian who doesn’t like eggs? what about this GORGEOUS DELICIOUS OMELETTE I have inevitably made you?) but it does mean that I never learned how to cook them.

Today did not get off to a good start. Last night, despite going to bed before midnight, I was tossing and turning till gone 3am and then this morning my alarm didn’t go off because of a battery fail incident and so I woke up at one in the afternoon, spitting feathers about how my BEAUTIFUL ORGANISED WEEK was RUINED and I would NEVER AMOUNT TO ANYTHING because I COULDN’T EVEN GET OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING. Nonetheless, I shambled off downstairs and into the kitchen, determined to try and see this through.

Day 2: Breakfast. for each person, 1 egg fried, boiled, scrambled or poached on 1 slice of toast with spread, followed by a 2nd piece of toast with spread and marmalade.

Did I mention that Best Mate has had a baking phase? There were fourteen eggs in our fridge this morning. Fourteen is a lot of eggs for three scatterbrained and disorganised adults with studenty lifestyles only one of whom ever really cooks at home much and she never cooks eggs. So I decided to have two of them on my two bits of toast, instead. And then I ran into the perennial OH GOD HOW DO YOU COOK EGGS problem.

Back when I was living in Edinburgh and attempting to Broaden My Food Horizons, I decided one evening that I would cook an omelette for my then-boyfriend. I looked up a recipe online and off I went. Ten minutes in, I called for him to come into the kitchen.
“Um, darling? Is this how you omelette? I don’t…I don’t think that this is how you omelette”, I said, dubiously.
He chuckled and rolled his eyes at me in fond exasperation – a common expression on the faces of the people I have relationships with, for some reason or another – and pointed out that it wasn’t how you omelette and it was too far gone for even his mad skillz to turn it into one*, but it was a perfectly decent example of scrambled eggs. So he and I split them between us and they were completely delicious, and all I had to do this morning at one in the afternoon when I’d only been up for five minutes and was really really cross was perfectly replicate a mistake that I made about two years ago while a tiny bit drunk. Easy, right?

I cracked two eggs into a bowl and added a bunch of crap that felt like the right kind of thing to add. Salt, pepper, mixed dried herbs, a splash of milk, a load of grated mature cheddar cheese. Then I mixed it all up with a fork, melted some butter in a frying pan, threw the eggy mixture in and poked it dubiously. What resulted was dry and spongy and really really really salty. Overbuttered toast was supposed to help but actually made the whole thing somehow worse.

Downside: I apparently do not know how to cook eggs yet and only ate half my breakfast.
Upside: Weirdly, I am feeling pretty full nonetheless.

* That particular boyfriend of mine had an excellent line in rescuing cooking that had Gone Wrong. I choose to believe this to be unconnected to the fact that he and I used to do a lot of cooking together.

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4 thoughts on “Darling, is this how you omelette?

  1. For an omelette, break two or three eggs into a jug, bowl or tall glass and beat thoroughly with freshly ground black pepper and additional condiments to taste. Honestly, love; never add salt to an omelette. You can put a little table salt on to taste if need be.

    Pour the mix into a very hot, oiled frying pan. Let it start to set, swirling the pan, then loosen the edges and the bottom with a slice to stop it sticking. When about half of the egg is set, sprinkle over some* cheese and fold the omelette over. Some suggest you flip the omelette over before adding the cheese and folding; I don’t, because mine tend to fall in half if I do.

    Turn out before entirely set, unless you like your omelette leathery.

    For scrambled eggs, beat the eggs with black pepper (you can experiment, but unless you have another combo that definitely works for you then, if what you want to do is eat, stick to just pepper) and then stir in just a little bit of milk. Pour into a non-stick pan and stir regularly so that the setting eggs break up instead of forming into a single omelette (in this instance, the cheese was your mistake, as it would have melted and bound the mixture instead of letting it break up; if you want cheesy gegs, I would suggest adding the cheese once the egg has started to set, but is still a bit runny, otherwise either the cheese will cool the egg too much or you’ll have to cook it too dry).

    * By which I mean ‘a lot of’, but YMMV, and you can use a wider range of fillings than this; as with the gegs additives, if you don’t have a set that works for you, cheese is a reliable stand in, unless you’re one of those odd types who don’t like cheese

    • Hrrm. That ‘honestly, love’ was supposed to be more affectionate and less condescending than I think it’s come out. Sorry about that.

      • [grin] No, don’t worry, affection was definitely what I took from that 🙂 And thank you! You are, as always, a wise and august personage.

        I shall attempt an omelette again at some point in my life. Perhaps to use up EGG MOUNTAIN. I shall also try scrambled eggs again soon enough – the same breakfast is on the meal plan again for Friday – and I shall remember that about cheese. I’m always big on putting cheese in ALL THE THINGS, and I thought (perhaps mistakenly) that there had been cheese in the failette that was my inspiration.

        Mind you, there was spinach in that too. And all sorts of things.

        I also think I very definitely overcooked them. I was waiting for my toast to be done and I didn’t think it would do any harm. And my word have I learned my lesson about not putting salt in them.

        Eggs are hard!

  2. Only on the outside.

    I am sure that other people have completely opposite advice on omelettes; they are one of the great controversial topics of cookery. As you have now learned, overcooking eggs is never good; better to pull them off the heat and let them get a little cooled.

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