How to make an omelet

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Napoleon Bonaparte was a big fan of omelets
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Knowing how to make an omelet assures that you can make a classic breakfast dish

Even if you are not an egg devotee, it is useful to know how to make an omelet - a very basic cooking technique and a simple, easy to serve item for breakfast, lunch or dinner menus.

Omelets, or omelettes, are certainly not a new invention. The word "omelette" is French and was first used in the mid-16th century.  

Legend has it that Napoleon Bonaparte was so taken by an omelet an innkeeper prepared for him while he and his men were camping outside of the French town Bessieres that he commanded the people of this town to collect all the eggs in the area so one large omelet could be made for his men.  

Omelets are the result of beating whole eggs, which are then cooked in a frying pan with other ingredients, such as cheese and meat. These additional ingredients become the center of the omelet. 

Although they look very simple, omelets can be a little tricky to make for the unindoctrinated. Making an omelet is a real art form that you can perfect with time. Omelets can be flipped or folded. They can even arrive on your plate open-faced.

Experiment with difference fillings—cheeses, ham, vegetables, spices—and come up with your special recipe.


For one omelet, you will need three eggs. Break them into a bowl. Add a splash of water. You can also add milk if you wish, but - although it seems counter-intuitive - milk in eggs can result in "watery" cooked eggs.

Whisk the eggs with a whisk or fork or egg beater until the yolks are broken. If you want especially fluffy omelets, whisk even longer. Grate your cheese (the cheese of your choice) and cut up the vegetables (e.g., tomatoes, onions, bell peppers) and meat (ham, bacon, sausage and mushrooms) that you are using as the center of your omelet.

Some ingredients, like mushrooms and green peppers, are better lightly sauteed before adding to an omelet. All meats should be fully cooked before adding to an omelet.

Turn your stove burner to medium/high and coat a medium skillet - 7" works great, larger will make a thinnner omelet, smaller will make a thick omelet that doesn't cook through - with oil or butter. When the skillet gets hot, add the vegetables and meat. This is the method you must use if you are going to "flip” the omelet.

Sixty seconds later, add the egg and "swirl" the skillet gently to distribute the egg across the surface. As the egg cooks, gently push the egg, using the spatula, from the outer part of the skillet toward the center. When you do this the runny, uncooked part of the egg spreads out and will then cook.

When the egg starts solidifies and the edges are getting crispy, you decide whether you are going to flip the egg or fold it.


If you have an appreciative audience, opt for the flip technique because this is impressive. If the egg is stuck to the pan add some more oil to the edges of the pant and let it run between the pan and egg, which lubricates both the pan and the egg.

Remove the skillet from the burner and move the omelet around with your spatula, determining that it isn’t stuck. Pull the skillet that you are holding in your hand toward you and quickly thrust the pan away from you, flipping the egg. Voila. Applause.

Add cheese to the center of the omelet and let it melt. Sprinkle additional ingredients across the top of the omelet.

Fold the egg into a semi-circle, with the fold down the middle, using your spatula. You can also turn two opposite ends onto the center, like an envelope. Your omelet is ready to serve.

If you think the flip method is far too hazardous then use the fold technique. 

The egg mixture is in the skillet and has cooked on one side. Put cheese and meat on top of the egg and pick up the right edge of the egg with the spatula and fold the right half over the left side. Let the omelet cook for a minute or so and then remove from the skillet by sliding it onto a plate and serve.


You can purchase omelet makers that take a lot of the work and need for dexterity out of the process but you will miss out on the fun and challenge of creating omelets.

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