You’d think, what’s so hard? Eggs mixed or just broken in a pan, fried and eaten, what could be the problem? And yet, even the simplest frosting is easy to spoil, let alone an omelet! And why not? Let’s talk about it! Let’s not go over the terminology for a long time. Let’s agree right away: scrambled eggs are eggs with a whole yolk. An omelet is when the egg white and yolk are mixed together.
The frying pan!
Yes, to start talking about scrambled eggs and omelets, it’s not even ab ovo (with an egg), but ab coctorio – with a frying pan. Because if you have a proper omelet pan (aka egg pan), then everything is much easier. If you don’t have one yet, and you want perfect omelets, don’t try to adapt your existing one. Get a new one. It has to have a non-stick coating. It should be 22-24 cm in diameter. The sides are low. There is no edge-to-edge transition from the bottom to the rim. The edge itself is placed to the bottom at a blunt angle (although there is no angle, everything is smooth there), which means that with such a edge an omelet or barbecue will slide onto a plate easily and without problems. And don’t use this pan for anything else!
Glazunya & Co.
Let’s go from the opposite direction. What is, in my opinion, a spoiled frosting? It is an overcooked dry white and a hardened yolk covered in a white film. I know very well that this is a very subjective opinion, because my beloved husband, for example, does not like runny yolk and always wants it “well done”. But the quality of the protein is still the most important factor! There is a simple technique that will allow you to get a fully baked, no “snot”, but still tender and tasty white. You put a frying pan on low heat, put a spoonful of butter in it at once, let it be already softened. Once the butter has slightly heated up and melted, you pour the eggs into the pan – it’s better to break them into a bowl, it’s much easier to fish the shells out. Salt white (do not salt yolk – during cooking you will get ugly white spots). And leave the pan on medium-low heat for about 5 minutes. Do not interfere in the process. Do not put the lid on. You don’t touch the egg white. You mind your own business: making tea, toasting toast, heating up your plate. This is important, by the way – a heated plate. Scrambled eggs and scrambled eggs placed from a hot frying pan on a cold plate lose some of their flavor. After five minutes, your perfect frosting is ready. Well, that is, ready if you like liquid yolk.
If you don’t like it, then I recommend using the traditional American way of making sunny side down eggs – that is, fried on both sides. To do this, add a little more oil to the frying pan and use a spatula to very carefully turn the fried eggs with the yolk facing down. If you want the yolk to get only a little bit stuck to it, 30 seconds is enough. But you can do it over medium (1 minute) or even over well (1.5 minutes). I like it this way much more than with a lid on the pan. But if you’re afraid to flip it, pour a tablespoon of water into the pan before closing the lid. The steam will keep the whites from drying out and the yolk will cook faster.
Shakshuka is an egg dish native to the Middle East, in a thick vegetable sauce. There are many recipes, but the principle is the same everywhere. You fry chopped vegetables in a big frying pan: onions (yellow, red, white, leeks or a mix of them), sweet pepper, garlic, zucchini, eggplant, and then add chopped tomatoes and stew all together until soft. Spices are very welcome: zira (aka cumin), coriander, sweet and spicy paprika, turmeric, dry herbs. Salt and pepper, of course. Fresh herbs won’t hurt either: parsley, thyme, celery, coriander. And when sauce is ready, you make wells in it, break an egg in each one, mix egg whites with sauce. You finish the eggs, either over a fire or in the oven. You eat the shakshuka (if you follow Middle Eastern tradition) from the same frying pan, each part dipping into the sauce on tortillas or bread.
There are also all kinds of funny variations of scrambled eggs in the oven, such as eggs “Orsini,” the recipe for which was found in the notebook of the great impressionist Claude Monet: carefully, without damaging the yolks, separate them from the whites. Whites whip with salt into a stiff foam and pour into a greased buttered dish, make hollows for the number of eggs and place in an oven preheated to 180 ° C for about 5 minutes. Then without breathing you put yolks in hollows, sprinkle whites with grated parmesan, pepper and put back in the oven for 2-3 minutes more. And that’s it!
And the best scrambled eggs in the world (for me, at least) are scrambled eggs Birmingham style, on bread, just like my dad taught me.
Omelets are kingdom come. There are an enormous number of them. Puffy and thin, tender and dense, European and Asian. With greens, cheese, onions, lard, tomatoes, zucchini, sausages, meat… Let’s deal with two kinds: the so-called “rustic” and the classic French.
A country omelet is what we all know from childhood: puffy, with lots of different toppings. The technology is simple.
* First, prepare the eggs: beat them in a bowl, salt and stir with a fork until they are completely homogeneous. If there is a lot of filling and it is juicy, you can not add milk (water or cream) – the juice will dilute the eggs. If you want to add cheese to the omelet, mix it into the eggs at this stage.
* Prepare the filling: let everything be ready, so as not to be distracted during the frying process.
* Take your omelet pan and fry the ingredients to the desired degree. Onions, for example, are very good in an omelet if they are fried to a crispy crust, but still a little crispy inside. You can fry in any oil, vegetable or butter, or fat (lard, chicken, duck, goose, lamb). Eggs like animal fats best. Pour the egg mixture over the fried ingredients. Season with pepper. At the beginning the fire should be strong, but no more than 15-20 seconds. Then reduce the heat to medium and – while the eggs are liquid – cook the omelet, gently sliding the “seized” pieces and letting the liquid drain into its place. This will take about a minute and a half, or a bit more, depending on the amount of filling.
* Now turn the heat down to low. Shake the pan so that the omelet mass spreads evenly, without holes. Close the pan with the lid and leave the omelet to bake, this will take 2-3 minutes. I usually turn off the fire at this point – I like the bottom to remain not particularly brown, and the top did not become dry – and just keep the omelet in the pan under a lid. That’s it – you cut the omelet with a spatula into the desired number of portions and spread it out on warmed plates.
Of course, you can make a rustic omelet without stuffing; it’s the same way but much faster.
A classic French omelet differs from a “rustic” omelet in several ways. First, it is made in portions. That is, one pan – one serving. Secondly, the filling, if any, is not incorporated into the egg mass, but is placed inside the cooked or almost cooked omelet, which is folded in half or rolled up into a roll-oval. Third, a French omelet is not fried until “well done” and is never cooked under a lid. The fried crust and dry surface are the hallmarks of a failed French omelet. The sequence of operations is about the same:
* Stir the eggs with salt, adding liquid at the rate of half a shell per egg, if desired. Pay special attention to the white “threads” – they should not be there after mixing, otherwise they will fry into white clots in the pan, for a perfect omelet this is considered “ew”. There shouldn’t be any foam in the egg mixture either. Honestly, the easiest way to get the consistency right is to simply strain the beaten eggs through a sieve – it will get rid of both “threads” and foam.
* Prepare the filling: for example, finely chop the greens and mix them with soft or grated cheese. The stuffing should be completely ready – in the omelette it will only have time to warm up.
* French omelette is cooked in butter. Put it in a frying pan – at the rate of at least 1 tsp. of butter per egg – and heat until tiny brown dots begin to appear, this is the milk component of the butter begins to fry. This butter is called in French beurre noisette (“nut butter”) – it does have a nutty flavor and goes great with eggs. But be careful – you are literally five seconds from beurre noisette to burnt butter.
* Remove the pan from the fire, pour in the eggs and return the pan to the fire. It should be medium high. Do nothing for the first 20-30 seconds – let a light crust form.
* Then start shaking the pan with one hand while the other hand shakes off the “seized” pieces, letting the liquid drain into their place. Shaking the pan will help the egg mixture spread evenly across the pan, remaining whole. This will take about 1.5 minutes.
* If you have toppings, this is a good time to place them while the surface of the omelet is still moist. It’s not easy to explain the formation of an oval roullette in a text, if you want to learn, go to YouTube and search for the name of a French chef named Jaques Pepin + omelette. He speaks English with a very understandable Russian accent, and filmed everything perfectly understandable. I’ll tell you how to make a version folded in half, also beautiful. Place the pan with the handle facing you. If you’re right-handed, put the filling on the left half of the omelet, if you’re left-handed, put it on the right half. Keep the omelet on the heat for another 20 seconds. Lift the pan and shake it slightly to make sure the omelet slides easily.
* Now take the pan, tilt it slightly over a plate (warmed!) and slowly, without sudden movements, let half of the omelet with the filling slide onto it. Once you get to the middle, lift the edge of the pan a little (you have it tilted at an angle, and you bring the edge back to the horizontal position for a second) – and cover the filling with the other half of the omelet. Voila! Serve immediately.
omelet with sour cream (1 tbsp. sour cream per egg);
Coconut omelet (2 tsp of coconut milk per 1 egg); this calls for some spicy tom-yam paste;
Omelette souffle (eggs, sometimes with heavy cream, beaten with a mixer to a lush steady foam a la biscuit, put in a greased mold and baked in the oven at 150 ° C)
What omelets and scrambled eggs do our readers love
Maria Volgush: Two eggs, the same amount of milk, equal parts olive oil and butter. The main thing is the technology! beat the eggs with a fork, salt a little, add milk, beat. pour onto a steadily hot pan with a mixture of oils, count to six, move the bottom part of the omelet from the edge to the center, so that in its place was spread raw-liquid. once more to six and repeat. in about a minute the top will mature and you can remove it to a plate – half of the omelet, and cover with the other half. In between the halves, it’s very nice to pour a little pepper-cucumber-tomato-onion-greens mixture and whatever else you like. White peppers in the veggies are optional.
Irina Kogan: I make scrambled eggs, I really like the texture. The idea is that after the egg mixture is poured into the water, the stove is turned off, the whole structure is covered with a lid for 20-25 seconds, and then the water is drained, the omelet is fished into a towel-lined sieve and shaped. You can then sprinkle it with cheese and go over it with a burner, I put it under a very hot grill in the oven. It comes out very… Cloudy.
Anastasia Gurman: Omelet with cottage cheese (I just mix it with eggs, I take a fat one, it spreads perfectly evenly there), or with tomatoes, onions, garlic, or bread.
Olga Zaitseva: Leeks, sour cream, nutmeg, white pepper + an egg in a well and cover for 5 minutes.
Eka Eliseeva: Butter chutney, something between chirbuli and shakshuka. Coarse onions so they stay crispy, tomatoes, old baguette/bread, eggs, svan salt, slices of suluguni on top so it just grabs, and cilantro.
Anna Kozlova: And I spent a week in the fall practicing the scallop omelet technique: fry bacon, finely chopped onions, and shimeji mushrooms (you can do without mushrooms, but if you have them, why not?); mix eggs with Worcester and Tabasco, pour into the pan, put bacon mixture in the middle, cut up some fat raw scallops, cover with gruyere; roll in triplicate; sprinkle with black pepper. Bacon/scallop ratio is important, depending on how salty and smoky the bacon is.
Tatiana Bakhisheva: My favorite is folded in half, in butter and with melted butter. And stuffed with cheese and porcini mushrooms.
Alena Kurulenko: With melted butter. With crab
Faina Samartseva: Omelette with potatoes, pre-fried on salt speck
Victor Simakov: I smash cauliflower, put lemon zest and garlic in it, fry, pour the eggs over it (I use egg whites only) and mix it up. My favorite.
Alena Koshkina: Omelet always takes me back to my childhood. In butter, under a lid, eggs, milk, salt and sugar are mandatory – that’s what my grandmother used to do, and there is no other omelet in the world tastier. And another grandmother baked in a tall dish in the oven over low heat. She used to make an omelet with the skin on it. I like it too, but she didn’t add sugar, and I liked it much less.
Elmira Glebova: Scrambled eggs with kimchi. And if you put some ham in it, it’s gorgeous.