Omelettes are a dish which varies around the world and even between family recipes. With fillings like cheese, bacon, spinach and mushrooms, it is the ultimate use-up food to utilise what you have in your cupboards.
An omelette is a dish made from beaten eggs, which are then fried with butter or oil in a frying pan.
Unlike scrambled egg, the mixture is not stirred in the pan to give an even texture all over.
Omelettes can be cooked as soft or as firm as you wish.
With a range of recipes and variations, Express.co.uk has rounded up two recipes – one for a ham and cheese omelette – although feel free to add whichever toppings you fancy – and another for a softer French-style omelette.
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How to make a ham and cheese omelette
- 3 free-range eggs
- 10g/½oz unsalted butter
- 30g/1oz cheddar, preferably Montgomery cheddar
- 1 thick slice ham, finely chopped
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Gently beat the eggs together in a mixing bowl and season, to taste, with salt and pepper.
2. Heat the butter in a frying pan until foaming. Pour in the eggs and cook for a few seconds, until the bottom of the omelette is lightly set. Push the set parts of the omelette into the uncooked centre of the omelette.
3. Cook again, until the omelette has set further, then push those set parts into the centre of the omelette again. Repeat the process until the eggs have just set but the omelette is still soft in the centre.
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4. Put the cheese and three-quarters of the ham in the centre of the omelette and cook until the cheese has melted.
Increase the heat to high and cook the omelette for a further 30 seconds, or until it browns on the bottom.
5. Fold the omelette in half, then remove the pan from the heat and tilt it slightly to move the omelette to the edge of the pan.
Slide the omelette onto a serving plate, then shape it into a neat roll. Sprinkle over the remaining ham.
How to make a French omelette
- 3 eggs, as fresh as possible, room temperature
- 2 knobs unsalted butter
- 1 tsp finely, freshly grated parmesan (or vegetarian alternative)
To cook with herbs
- 2-3 chopped tarragon leaves
- 1 tbsp each snipped chives and chopped chervil or parsley
To cook with cheese
- 3 rounded tbsp finely grated gruyère
1. Get everything ready. Warm a 20cm (measured across the top) non-stick frying pan on a medium heat.
Crack the eggs into a bowl and beat them with a fork so they break up and mix, but not as completely as you would for scrambled egg.
With the heat on medium-hot, drop one knob of butter into the pan. It should bubble and sizzle, but not brown. Season the eggs with the parmesan and a little salt and pepper, and pour into the pan.
2. Let the eggs bubble slightly for a couple of seconds, then take a wooden fork or spatula and gently draw the mixture in from the sides of the pan a few times, so it gathers in folds in the centre.
Leave for a few seconds, then stir again to lightly combine uncooked egg with cooked. Leave briefly again, and when partly cooked, stir a bit faster, stopping while there’s some barely cooked egg left.
With the pan flat on the heat, shake it back and forth a few times to settle the mixture. It should slide easily in the pan and look soft and moist on top. A quick burst of heat will brown the underside.
3. Grip the handle underneath. Tilt the pan down away from you and let the omelette fall to the edge.
Fold the side nearest to you over by a third with your fork, and keep it rolling over, so the omelette tips onto a plate – or fold it in half, if that’s easier.
For a neat finish, cover the omelette with a piece of kitchen paper and plump it up a bit with your fingers. Rub the other knob of butter over to glaze. Serve immediately.
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