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French Cooking That Will Make You Feel Chic and Important

February 19, 2010

Bonjour! Welcome to French Cooking That Will Make You Feel Chic and Important. I am The Great Guillaume Le Fouet, former personal whisk to the personal chef of Karl Lagerfeld before he suddenly decided he wanted to wear very slim pants, and lost 92 pounds in 13 months.

Have you ever wanted to win friends and influence people with a flawless French omelet–an unblemished, sunshine-yellow affair, cooked just so and then effortlessly rolled around a wisp of filling? Quelle coincidence! It just so happens that today, I will demonstrate a somewhat fussy but delightfully cheat-tastic method for making French omelets that I learned from L’America’s Test Kitchen. This alone should make you feel chic and important. Oh là là, Monsieur Chris Kimball, with his yes-professor wire-rim glasses and his bow tie and his relentless commitment to detail. The man is so deliciously … severe …

Where was I? Ah oui. The cheat-tasticness. Think of it this way: This omelet is an $8,000 Chanel gown, and this method is your Spanx. You may have to wiggle around a little bit to get into it, but it pays off. To serve 2 people, you will need:

  • an 8-inch nonstick skillet with a lid. The lid does not have to fit perfectly, which is good, because The Girl has very few pots with matching lids. I don’t frigging know how I work under these conditions.
  • chopsticks or a wooden spoon
  • a plate and a paper towel
  • 1/2 teaspoon vegetable oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 6 eggs, chilled
  • omelet filling. The original recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of Gruyère and 4 teaspoons of chopped fresh chives, which would have been fantastique. But again, this kitchen is barely frigging sanitary, let alone well stocked with fresh herbs. I will be substituting an overpriced Herbes de Provence blend from Le Whole Foods for the chives. My finished omelet, though beautiful, will taste slightly of lingerie-drawer sachet. Let’s just focus on the method.

(1) Heat the oil in the skillet over low heat for about 10 minutes. While the skillet heats, cut the butter in half. Take one piece (1 tablespoon) and cut it into small pieces, transfer to a bowl, and put it in the freezer.

Yes, in the freez … sacre frigging bleu!

Is this where the Trader Joe’s frozen foods section comes to die? How many frigging 3-cheese pizzas can one person consume? Is that 4 packages of frozen naan? Do you see now what I am working with here? Chris Kimball, will you adopt me? Or maybe you could do some kind of telethon for overqualified and underappreciated kitchen implements? Save the Whisks?

Oh it is no use. Mort inevitable, and we cook on. (2) Reserve the other tablespoon of butter for your skillet. Combine 2 eggs and 1 egg yolk with 1/8 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Break yolks with a fork (or a handsome and talented whisk) and then mix for 80 strokes. 81 strokes, and your omelet will fall flat and you will die alone and be eaten by wild dogs. Stir half of the frozen butter pieces into the eggs.

(3) Wipe the oil out of the skillet with a paper towel, leaving a thin film of oil coating the skillet. Add 1/2 of the reserved tablespoon of butter to the skillet, heat until foamy, and then swirl it all over Chris Kimball’s body … er … swirl it around to coat the skillet. Increase the heat to medium high and add the egg mixture.

(4) Using chopsticks or the non-business end of a wooden spoon, swirl the egg mixture around the skillet using quick circular motions, kind of like you are scrittichy-scratching on the ones and twos, making sure to scrape the cooked eggs from the side of the pan as you go. Do this until the eggs are nearly set, but still a bit runny.

(5) Remove the skillet from the heat, and smooth the top of the eggs with a spatula. Sprinkle half of your toppings down the middle. Cover the skillet and remove it from the heat, letting it sit for 1-2 minutes, depending on how deliciously firm Chris Kimball’s precise grip must be … er … pardonez-moi … firm you want your omelet.

And finally: (6) Laissez l’omelet rouler! Place a folded square of paper towel on the plate you plan to present to the people you want to influence with your omelet. Slide the omelet onto the plate so that one end of it overlaps the paper towel.

Use the paper towel to get the omelet rolling into a neat cylinder. Return your skillet to low heat for a few minutes before starting again at Step (2) to make your second omelet.

All The Girl had to brighten up the plate was some roasted butternut squash left over from a failed attempt to make a squash-and-sharp-cheddar pizza, which ended up the color of L’Extreme Doritos. But you get the idea.

The finished product: Pretty, creamy, and melty. Mine, you could also use as a lavender room freshener in a pinch. But the method! Your marks for hand-eye coordination are going to skyrocket! “Oh this little thing? Ah oui, I cooked and rolled it with one hand while I dialed Lady Gaga with the other. She’s thinking of wearing something similarly shaped to the Teen Choice Awards.”

Until next time, I am the Great Guillaume Le Fouet. Bon frigging appétit!

One Comment leave one →
  1. Sojourner permalink
    February 23, 2010 10:18 pm

    Yum..just yum.. et le fouet est un outil essential dans la cusine..oui? {:>}

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