Everybody thinks that it’s easy to make omelets, but the timing is very important. The perfect omelet is pale golden on the outside with no brown spots, and soft and creamy in the centre. If overcooked, an omelet will be hard and rubbery, and quite unpalatable. The secret of the technique is constantly stirring and shaking the pan during cooking, then folding and tipping the omelet straight on to a warmed serving plate so it folds neatly into three.
3 medium free-range eggs
1 tablespoon olive oil
50g grated Gruyere or mature Cheddar cheese
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1.Place a 20-21cm omelette pan over a medium-high heat. Beat the eggs in a bowl until evenly blended, but don’t add salt or pepper at this stage.
2. Add the olive oil to the pan and, when you can feel a good heat rising, slip in the butter and swirl it in the pan as it foams and melts.
3.Pour in the beaten eggs and swirl them round and round in the pan with a fork, shaking the pan frequently with one hand. The trick is to get the eggs to an even light, creamy texture at this stage.
4.When the mixture is three-quarters set, stop stirring with the fork and leave undisturbed for 30 seconds or so, until the base of the omelette is just set. loosen the edges with a palette knife.
5.Hold the pan just off the heat, tilt away from you and bang the side opposite the handle on the surface a few times. This has the effect of shaking the omelette loose from the pan so that it begins to slide on to the edge furthest away from you.
6.At this point, season with salt and pepper and scatter over the cheese. Then, holding the pan handle again, flip the third of the omelette furthest from you into the centre.
7.Now hold the pan over a warmed plate and slide the omelette out so it folds over into a neat roll. For real perfection, use your tea towel to shape the omelette roll neatly. And that’s it. The heat of the creamy centre is sufficient to melt the cheese. Serve at once.
8.The choice of pan is important. You need a frying pan about 21cm in diameter, with rounded sides that make it easier to flip the omelette. We use a heavy duty non stick pan that can take metal forks, but if yours is not as robust, then use a wooden or heatproof plastic fork for stirring.