A perfect omelet and perfect hash browns. These will tease great things from our kitchen studios!
Omelets the French way are easy and outrageously delicious. Here’s how.
Just finished up cooking and filming last week with a restaurateur in Los Angeles. He wanted to do simple food that’s sure to please family and friends.
I was totally on board with that. Sandro Reinhardt, who owns a long-time favorite restaurant in town, had me over to his kitchen and we put together (among other delicious food) an omelet and hash browns. Oh. My. So. Good.
Here’s my take on what we did, so you can bring home all the goodness.
Get out your best omelet-sized EuroCAST skillet. 8-10” of skillet is just fine. Now, it’s time to channel our inner Jacques Pépin.
Beat the eggs until they are really well incorporated. White and yolk should be homogenized. Jacques Pepin suggests piercing the yolks with your fork first.
Season the eggs (see my suggested seasoning below!).
Butter is optional in EuroCAST. If you want butter, use the best grass-fed butter you can find.
Pro tip: Plan to put in just a bit of filling. Adding too much of any filling will make the rolling process cumbersome. If your filling will be vegetables such as mushrooms or bell peppers, COOK THE FILLING FIRST! In a separate pan! Get all those flavors intensified and free of water. (If you’re just using fresh herbs, no need to cook those first.)
Put skillet over medium heat and bring to temperature (if you’re using butter, it should be foaming). If the pan gets too hot, just remove from the flame/heat for a few moments. Don’t adjust the flame/heat.
Add egg mixture all at once. Get it all in there (a silicone spatula is your friend).
Start whisking the egg in the pan — wooden chopsticks are a dream here. This makes sure that all the eggs get some contact time with the pan.
Shake the skillet gently to move the eggs around. This will also tend to incorporate the fillings at a uniform level. (See my suggested burrata filling below!) At this point, the omelet should be set where it has touched the pan, with some fine edges. Work quickly over low heat to achieve the golden yellow color without browning.
The right doneness for an omelet is what the French call baveuse — just a bit custardy and wet inside, but set up where the eggs have been touching the pan. When it gets to this point, take the pan off the heat.
With your silicone spatula or your fingers, start rolling the top edge of the omelet over the bottom (“Just like rolling a carpet,” says Chef Pepin).
Once the edge you’ve started has rolled over the filling, it’s ready to plate.
Tilt the pan over a plate. Turn the skillet steadily upright, with the plate under it to catch the omelet. As the omelet rolls out of the pan, it completes its full roll to completely embrace the fillings. (This move is much easier with EuroCAST than with heavier cookware. And need I mention the easy cleanup.)
The beautiful bottom side of the omelet is now on top.
Garnish with fresh herbs and chilis.
For omelets, fill lightly, avoid overly-wet ingredients, and pick what’s fresh and delightful. Here’s what I mean.
The beautiful thing about omelets is that you can fill them with seasonal goodies (just don’t overfill — and you want the filling relatively free of water).
This filling is great for Spring. Make sure you drain the burrata, though!
1/2 cup burrata per omelet.
Place the burrata in a fine mesh sieve, and position the sieve over a paper towel or two.
Let the burrata drain. It has a little watery whey to it which will make the omelette watery if you don’t .
When it’s drained, whip it with a fork until it’s creamy. (See the photo — that’s burrata in a bowl, and it’s so, so good.)
You could use another cheese, such as a ricotta or even a very soft goats cheese if you’d prefer not to go through the draining process.
As you’re beating the eggs, season them. Here’s my suggestion:
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1/2 teaspoon chopped oregano
Salt and fresh black pepper to taste
Hash brown potatoes
You can make these right before you make the omelet, and leave them in your EuroCAST skillet (a big one is good for these, and the big skillet holds heat nicely thanks to the dense ferrous plate on the bottom).
The trick to making these lickety-split and with a lovely browning: Boil the potatoes whole the night before. So Sandro said to me, and we then proved that terrific advice in his kitchen. (Video to come.)
3 waxy yellow or white potatoes
1-2 potatoes per person
1/2 of a large red onion, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
Herbs you love — I suggest parsley, oregano, chopped chives
Finely diced Serrano or Jalepeno if desired. I do desire.
The night before:
Cook them until just fork tender, then let them sit covered in your Eurocast Dutch oven until cool then retire them to the fridge to cool completely, ideally overnight. You can keep them in the fridge for a couple of nights though, with no problem.
The day you’ll be making your hash browns:
Slice them into match sticks (see photos)
Once cut into matchsticks, season the potatoes well with salt and pepper
Cooking over low heat to insure even browning. The potatoes are already cooked so theres no fear of running your teeth over a toothsome bit of potato. But, you don’t want them to burn. So keep it low and slow.
In your small EuroCAST skillet (or medium — if you’re making a lot of hash browns), over low heat:
Add 1/8 cup olive oil.
When the oil is hot add 1/2 of the potatoes in an even layer
Add the sliced red onion and the 1/2 of the herbs
Cover with the remaining potatoes and mash down with the back of a spoon
Continue to cook until the underside has browned nicely and has crisped, about 5-7 minutes
Over the sink, invert onto a large plate so the crisp, brown side is up on the plate
Then take the pan and the plate back to the stove, and slide the non-crisp side down into the skillet
Cook until that side has crisped nicely, about 5-7 minutes
Let cool slightly and garnish with the remaining herbs and chilis.
Cut into wedges.
Now, eat it, baby! Ideally with a freshly-made omelet.