La Mère Poulard had a restaurant in Mont St-Michel in Normandy and was famous for her omelettes and roast chickens. When asked what was the secret of her omelettes she replied that she beat the eggs well, used a well-seasoned pan and a good-sized lump of the best unsalted Normandy butter, which scarcely reveals any trade secrets. The important thing, though, is not to overcook, so that the centre of the omelette remains baveuse, dribbling moist.
Put a dry
Throw the butter into the pan, tilting and swirling it, and immediately add the eggs before the butter burns.
With the flat of a fork, stir the centre vigorously for 5 seconds, tilting the pan to move uncooked egg to the edges. Work round the omelette, pulling the eggs gently towards the centre.
The eggs are going to continue cooking after they come out of the pan, so remove them from the heat while the middle is still moist and creamy.
To serve the omelette, tilt the pan and then give the handle a firm tap to turn the furthest edge over, tipping on to a plate with a rolling movement to give a cylindrical shape. This is as hard to do as it is to describe, but practice will make perfect. Omelettes are like pancakes, they get better as you go along.
© 1998 Alastair Little. All rights reserved.