Observations on Omlets, Fritters, &c

Method

The composition and nature of a Soufflé, as we have shown, are altogether different, but there is no difficulty in making good omlets, pancakes, or fritters; and as they may be expeditiously prepared and served, they are often a very convenient resource when, on short notice, an addition is required to a dinner. The eggs for all of them should be well and lightly whisked; the lard for frying batter should be extremely pure in flavour, and quite hot when the fritters are dropped in; the batter itself should be smooth as cream, and it should be briskly beaten the instant before it is used. All fried pastes should be perfectly drained from the fat before they are served, and sent to table promptly when they are ready. Eggs may be dressed in a multiplicity of ways, but are seldom more relished in any form than in a well-made and expeditiously served omlet. This may be plain, or seasoned with minced herbs and a very little eschalot, when the last is liked, and is then called an “ Omlette aux fines herbes;” or it may be mixed with minced ham, or grated cheese; in any case, it should be light, thick, full-tasted, and fried only on one side; if turned in the pan, as it frequently is in England, it will at once be flattened and rendered tough. Should the slight rawness which is sometimes found in the middle of the inside, when the omlet is made in the French way, be objected to, a heated shovel, or a salamander, may be held over it for an instant, before it is folded on the dish. The pan for frying it should be quite small; for if it be composed of four or five eggs only, and then put into a large one, it will necessarily spread over it and be thin, which would render it more like a pancake than an omlet; the only partial remedy for this, when a pan of proper size cannot be had, is to raise the handle of it high, and to keep the opposite side close down to the fire, which will confine the eggs into a smaller space. No gravy should be poured into the dish with it, and indeed, if properly made, it will require none. Lard is preferable to butter for frying batter, as it renders it lighter; but it must not be used for omlets.

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