The Perfect French Omelette according to Julia
To go straight to Julia Child’s French Omelette recipe, proceed to end of post.
If you’re of a certain age you may have watched Julia Child’s first television show, The French Chef when it originally aired back on February 11, 1963.
The certain age I was back then, was just a few days old, so I watched this series via DVD from the library, until I broke down and bought it. It got me through many a boring treadmill workout, I can tell you.
One episode that especially caught my attention was titled The Omelette Show. Not because breakfast is my favorite meal (which it isn’t) but because recently the movie The Hundred-Foot Journey was released, and in it, there’s a scene where it’s revealed that the owner of the Michelin-starred restaurant in the film, can judge a chef by one bite of their omelette.
Would Julia agree with this? Probably not. She was pretty down to earth, and it strikes me as a little dismissive to judge someone’s entire repertoire from one bite of egg. Still, I have to admit, I enjoyed the movie.
The recipe for the classic omelette is her iconic book, complete with pages and pages of diagrams!
Anyway, The Hundred-Foot Journey did make me think of Julia’s omelette episode. The first one she makes is a French Omelette, very flat, and very tender. Butter is key.
How about a last minute dinner party for 300 people? How about an omelette!
Julia suggests if you find yourself in a dinner party pickle and in need of feeding 300 people ASAP – an omelette set-up is the way to go. On the show, through multiplication and addition, she figures you can have 300 omelettes made in 20 minutes (or was it 15? It was one of those).
She makes a few other versions as well, but it’s the first, very simple, one that I tried.
I have to admit, I like it much better than the fluffy football-shaped ones that usually arrive in American restaurants.
I also enjoyed Julia’s casual television style and the hominess that non-big-budget editing allows…at one point when explaining pans, Julia giving an example of a pan not to use, and then just sort of tosses it off to the side, maybe onto the floor? You wouldn’t see that happen on Ina or Rachel’s show (both whom I love).
- 2-3 eggs
- Just a bit of water (optional)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1 Tablespoon butter + a little extra for glazing the finished omelette
- You may also want fillings such as herbs, cheese, mushrooms etc, add as desired.
- Mince a few herbs if you would like to add garnish.
- Put a tablespoon of butter in a frying pan (a 7"-inch pan with about 2" sides works well) - set aside. Julia uses a non-stick pan, if you're not, use a little extra butter.
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs until the yolks and whites are blended with a fork - 20 seconds or so. If you would like to add a tablespoon of water, do that now, and mix in.
- Place the fry pan with the butter over High heat.
- When the butter begins to melt, tilt the pan and let it slide and coat the bottom and sides.
- Let the butter get foamy - just before the foam subsides, pour in the eggs.
- Hold the pan with your left hand and begin sliding the eggs around. With your right hand, take your fork and quickly stir the eggs, keeping the flat side of the fork again the bottom of the pan
- After about 4-5 seconds, the eggs will be light and custard-like (if you want to add filling such as cheese, mushroom etc, you would do that now).
- Lift your pan handle to a 45-degree angle over the burner and start gathering the eggs at the far end of the pan, herding them to the edge with the back of the fork.
- Still holding the pan at an angle, run your fork around the edge of the pan and under the edge of the omelette to loosen it, making sure nothing is sticking to the pan.
- Shake the pan back and forth, to further loosen and slide out onto a warm plate.
- Rub top with a bit of butter and garnish with herbs if desired.
In Julia Child's book 'Mastering the Art of French Cooking', this omelette recipes occupies 4 pages with diagrams, and that's not even including her additional opening tips. However, what I recommend is watching The French Chef Omelette Show episode - even if you have Julia's book. There are a few techniques which are better understood by watching than reading! See link in post below.
Want to watch the episode?
You can see it on YouTube by clicking here.