Leftover Tamale Omletes

Oh how I love omelets. I’ve been making them since the first day I was old enough to touch the stove (I think I was 17). My style of omelet creation has been through many changes, funnily, each time I learn a way of making them I never go back. My first method was to put a greased pan on low and pour the eggs in early, as they cooked I would lift up the edge with the spatch and let the liquid part run underneath. When the egg was thoroughly scorched on the bottom and still somewhat raw on top I would put the ingredients (mostly if not entirely cheese) in the center, fold it and half and scorch it some more. This is how I made them when I somehow tied omelet making into our novel group in High School english and made 24 omelets during class on a burner in the back. There was also bacon.

One day Megan showed me that our Mom had this tiny little pan that made the omelets small and thick instead of wide and flat (mind-blowing). She also taught me to start with the ingredients in the pan so that they would cook or heat up and than be cooked into the eggs instead of folded in the center. Finally the cheese would go in the middle and the omelet folded in half and served. Thick as these egg slabs were, they had to be flipped once before folding. Megan’s method was to use a spatula, but I ended up training myself to flip it in the air with a deft flick of the wrist. A little egg splatter never hurt anyone.

Eventually I discovered Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and have ever since been attempting to perfect Julia Child’s rolling technique, which she says to practice with some dried beans in the pan. I’ve instead opted to practice with lots and lots of omelets, making plenty of them into scrambles on the way. I like this technique for a few reasons: ¬†First off its fast, you heat the pan up all the way and your omelet goes from cold eggs in a bowl to being stuffed in your face in under a minute. Second the filling can be nearly anything, which is always the case, but since I’ve adopted this method I’ve become much more experimental, plus the cooked in method seems to tame a lot ingredients in my humble opinion. I’ve made omelets with leftover pizza, pasta, fish, hamburger, and eggplant parmesan.

Julia Child’s technique is unbelievably simple. Crack two eggs in a bowl, add a tiny bit of water, salt, pepper, and optional herbs and beat. Heat arguably too much butter on all the way high until its just about to burn, then dump in the eggs. If they don’t immediately begin to bubble and hiss the pan isn’t hot enough. Wait about 10 seconds and then start sliding the pan back and forth gently, you want to keep the egg mass loose on the pan, but not tear it. Before its cooked all the way through (about 20 seconds in) put the filling in and shake the pan violently fore and aft so that the omelet slides up the wall of the pan and folds over on itself, then roll it onto a plate. Here’s me trying to perform this technique:

As you can see I’m close, but not all the way there. I started to move it a tiny bit too soon, as evident in the small tears that you see form on my first few jerks. Then on the finish, I wasn’t quite violent enough, and couldn’t get it to roll all the way over. This is any easy fix as you can see, you just have to roll it as you put it on the plate, but a true master wouldn’t have this issue. Yes, I DID go back and eat that bit of egg that landed on the stove if you were wondering.

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