Brunch is where omelets most often show up on the table, but they make a very nice meal at any time of the day.
If you separate the eggs and whip the egg whites, you’ll end up with a dish that’s not much more work than a regular omelet but is much airier and quite impressively “poofy.”
An omelet can be served plain or be filled with anything you like: blanched asparagus and curls of Parmesan; salsa; caprese salad of ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil; caramelized onions, crumbled blue cheese and thyme; crumbled crispy bacon; grated cheese; finely minced herbs; or whatever leftovers you can find in your refrigerator.
This recipe makes an omelet to serve one, but it can be doubled on and on to make more servings. An eight-egg omelet in a 12-inch skillet could easily serve four to six, adjusting the oven time for the larger volume of eggs. To serve, gently saw the omelet into wedges using a serrated knife.
While an omelet is most often served folded, this omelet can be slipped out of the pan flat onto a serving plate. This works especially well if you’re making a larger omelet.
Serve it immediately for its most cloud-like texture. It may sit for a minute or two if necessary but will begin to deflate. It will still be delicious but not quite as ethereal.
A Souffléd Omelet can also be served as dessert, swapping out the salt in the eggs for sugar. Fill it with your favorite seasonal fruit, sweetened as needed and with a bit of liqueur if you like such things. Dust the omelet, flat or folded, with powdered sugar before serving.
Serves 1 very generously.
- 2 eggs, separated
- 1 teaspoon water
- Pinch of salt
- 1 piece of butter (1 tablespoon or less)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Separate eggs. Beat egg whites to soft peaks. Set aside.
Whisk yolks with water and salt.
While you’re whisking the egg yolks, place a small saute or omelet pan (7 inches across with an oven-safe handle) over low heat.
Add butter and let it melt.
Gently fold the whites into the yolks.
Swirl the pan so the butter goes up the sides of the pan. Return to heat and let the lightened eggs slide lazily into the pan.
Shake the pan gently to even out the eggs. Let cook undisturbed for 3 to 4 minutes.
The edges of the omelet with have begun to shrink from the side of the pan. If you lift it and peek at the bottom, it should be starting to turn golden.
Place in the oven and let cook for another 4 to 5 minutes. The omelet will be very puffy and the top will look set. If you touch it in the middle, it will have a bit of spring, and a knife inserted into the center will come out fairly clean.
Score the omelet through the center but don’t cut all the way through to the bottom.
Place any filling on the downhill side. Season with salt and pepper.
Tilt the pan and prod the uphill side of the omelet over the filling. Because of its puffiness, it will have the half open look of a Parker House roll.
Ease onto a plate and serve immediately.
Variation: To make a sweet omelet, omit salt. Cut fresh fruit into pieces or slices to make 1/3 cup. Leave raspberries or blueberries whole. Toss with a bit of sugar and let sit while making omelet.
Whisk egg yolks with water and 1 teaspoon sugar.
Continue with recipe. Fill omelet with fruit. Dust top of folded omelet with powdered sugar.