Re-creating that restaurant magic with fluffy, puffy omelets

Ask the Chef

September 29, 2002|By Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan | By Jim Coleman and Candace Hagan,Knight Ridder / Tribune

Q. When I lived in Georgia, I used to go to a restaurant that specialized in omelets. What made them so good was that they were very fluffy. I've tried to re-create them at home, but I can never get my omelet as puffy as they were at the "omelet house." What is the secret?

A. The secret is a little thing that everybody has at home. Are you ready? It's called an oven.

When restaurant chefs want to serve a fluffy omelet, they first whip the eggs to incorporate air bubbles.

Then, they heat an ovenproof omelet pan on top of the stove over medium heat until hot. They add 1 tablespoon of butter and then the whipped eggs, and cook until the omelet bottom is light brown.

Then, they add the filling and seasonings, put the pan in a preheated 350-degree oven, and cook until done, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Then, the pan is removed from the oven, the omelet is folded in half and placed on a plate, and served to an omelet connoisseur like you. Just one piece of advice: When you put a pan with a handle in the oven, it's easy to forget that the darned thing is red-hot when the food is ready.

Even seasoned chefs have been known to reach into an oven and absentmindedly grab a scorching handle. That's when they teach the rest of the kitchen crew a vocabulary lesson they probably didn't get in cooking school.

Remember to use oven mitts.

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