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Recipes and Stories

6 October 2016: Fall Omelet

A classic French-style omelet with mushrooms

In all of cooking, the one thing that never ceases to fascinate, amaze, and comfort me is the little bit of culinary alchemy that makes an omelet. Using a hot, well-seasoned pan and a very simple technique that even a child can master, anyone with any coordination at all can turn a couple of eggs, a lump of butter, and a little salt and pepper into pure gold.

And when the world is pressing too close, either by way of professional changes, hurricanes, or family crises (or a couple of those all at once), nothing seems to comfort and calm me quite as well the process of making a perfect omelet—well, except for eating the finished product.

With change, storm, and a couple of writing deadlines looming yesterday, the handful of mushrooms, fresh rosemary, and sage left over from a recipe test turned that omelet into the perfect autumn lunch.

Mushrooms are usually tucked into an omelet as it’s rolled, but I’ve discovered that it’s simpler, and more effective to simply spoon them over the top of it.

Fall Omelet with Mushrooms

Serves 1

About 5-6 ounces small brown (crimini) mushrooms
2½ tablespoons unsalted butter
½ tablespoon minced shallot
½ teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
½ teaspoon chopped fresh sage
Salt and whole black pepper in a mill
3 large, very fresh eggs

1. Wipe the mushrooms clean with a dry cloth, trim the stems even with the cap, and thickly slice them. Put a tablespoon of the butter and the shallot in a heavy-bottomed 8-inch pan over medium heat. Sauté until the shallot is translucent and softened but not colored, about 2-3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and sauté, tossing frequently, until they are browning at the edges. Add the rosemary and sage and toss until it’s fragrant. Season well with salt and pepper, give it one last toss, and turn off the heat, but keep warm.

2. Break the eggs into a 1-quart mixing bowl. Season with salt and pepper and beat with a whisk until the yolks and whites are well mixed – about 30 to 40 strokes.

3. Put about 1½ tablespoons of butter in a seasoned 9-to-10 inch omelet pan or non-stick pan and turn on the heat to medium-high. When the butter stops foaming and is just beginning to color. Give the eggs 4-5 more strokes with fork and pour them into pan. Let them sit for about 5-10 seconds to form a film on the bottom.

4. Start shaking the pan in a circular motion so that the eggs are always moving, and keep at it until they form a soft, slightly runny curded mass, about 15 to 20 seconds. Stop the circular movement and jerk the pan quickly in a back-and-forth motion, throwing the eggs toward the sloped backside of the pan so that they start to fold in on themselves. Work quickly, and tip the pan a little if the omelet isn’t folding as it should.

5. Take up a serving plate in your free hand. Holding it at 45 degrees, put the side of the pan where omelet is resting against it. Tip pan up and let omelet roll over on itself onto itself onto the plate, making an oval. Gently shape it with a spatula and spoon the mushrooms to one side and over the top. Serve immediately.

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