Wednesday, May 9, 2012

JC100: Omlette Roulette (Rolled Omelette)

I've talked about her here before.  She is the fearless, the amazing, the wonderful- Julia Child.  She is an inspiration, not because in recent years it has become "fashionable" to know who she is, and not only because of her ability to cook or her ability to teach.  No, Julia Child is an inspiration because of her very personality.  She was a woman who didn't know the word "can't"- she put her heart and soul into everything she did, she took risks, she tried new things, she put herself out there and because of those traits she is who we all revere.  Flip the eggs in the pan, if they fall apart- they can be pieced back together.  Make up your own words and stick with them -why not?  She was every bit who she was, and made no apologies. 

I was first introduced to Julia Child in my living room as a child.  My mother and I watched her show, on our local PBS station, and were keenly aware that it was filmed not so far from our own home.  Even as a kid I knew this woman was something special.  I remember, well, being ever so impressed that this famous chef, this celebrity, would list her phone number for the world to use.  She welcomed all questions from her fans and was known to spend hours on the phone with a desperate amateur cook hoping to impress with a roasted chicken or Beouf Bourginon.  She was truly a lady, and the world suffered a big loss with her passing.

This year Julia Child would turn 100 years old.  Her publisher, the fine folks at Alfred A. Knopf who took a chance on her original publication- Mastering the Art of French Cooking, is hosting a bit of a celebration, by looking at some of her most influential recipes and asking a team of bloggers from all over the United States to make them.  I was asked to participate, and with every ounce of reverence appropriate for this type of honor, I accepted.  So for the next few weeks, once a week I will post a recipe from the amazing Julia Child.

This weeks was one that often causes us home cookes trouble.  The always enjoyable, ever adaptable Omelette.  The thing with Omelettes is that they normally fall apart.  They look messy, they are overcooked or they are undercooked.  They are a simple food, but not so simple to make.  They are a dish that I always struggle with and end up with a "scramble" rather than an omelette.  However today, as I followed Julia's implicit instructions, I made a real omelette.  It was pretty, if slightly too brown, it folded correctly and it tasted delicious.  Julia - you continue to teach even from beyond.

Omelette Roulee (Rolled Omelette:

For 1 omelette, 1 to 2 servings. Time: Less than 30 seconds of cooking.

2 or 3 eggs

Big pinch of salt

Pinch of pepper

1 tbsp butter

1.Beat the eggs and seasonings in [a] mixing bowl for 20 to 30 seconds until the whites and yolks are just blended.

2.Place the butter in [an omelette pan 7 inches in diameter at the bottom] and set over very high heat. As the butter melts, tilt the pan in all directions to film the sides. When you see that the foam has almost subsided in the pan and the butter is on the point of coloring (indicating it is hot enough), pour in the eggs. It is of the utmost importance in this method that the butter be of the correct temperature.

3.Let the eggs settle in the pan for 2 or 3 seconds to form a film of coagulated eggs in the bottom of the pan.

4.Grasp the handle of the pan with both hands, thumbs on top, and immediately begin jerking the pan vigorously and roughly toward you at an even, 20-degree angle over the heat, one jerk per second. It is the sharp pull of the pan toward you which throws the eggs against the far lip of the pan, then back over its bottom surface. You must have the courage to be rough or the eggs will not loosen themselves from the bottom of the pan. After several jerks, the eggs will begin to thicken. (A filling would go in at this point.)

5.Then increase the angle of the pan slightly, which will force the egg mass to roll over on itself with each jerk at the far lip of the pan.

6.As soon as the omelette has shaped up, hold it in the angle of the pan to brown the bottom a pale golden color, but only a second or two, for the eggs must not overcook. The center of the omelette should remain soft and creamy. If the omelette has not formed neatly, push it with the back of [a] fork.

7.Turn the omelette onto [a plate...], rub the top with a bit of butter, and serve as soon as possible.  (I topped mine with some torn parsley- I love parsley and eggs together)

Excerpt from Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. Copyright 1961 by Alfred A. Knopf. 



Jen said...

I'm doing JC100 too! I wasn't able to make the omelette this week but I'm hoping to make something soon enough...

Colleen @ Culinary Colleen said...

I love a good, simple omlette. This might motivate me to break out my copy of the book and try some new recipes...

Laura Leigh Goyer said...

Lovely opening tribute to Julia! My attempt came out the same golden brown as yours, but I hid mine under mornay sauce and mushrooms :-)

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