The composition and nature of a souffle are altogether different, but there is no difficulty in making good omelets, pancakes, or fritters, and as they may be expeditiously prepared and served, they are often a very convenient resource when, on short notice, an addition is required to a dinner. The eggs for all of them should be well and lightly whisked; the lard for frying batter should be extremely pure in flavour, and quite hot when the fritters are dropped in; the batter itself should be smooth as cream, and it should be briskly beaten the instant before it is used. All fried pastes should be perfectly drained from the fat before they are served, and sent to table promptly when they are ready. Eggs may be dressed in a multiplicity of ways, but are seldom, in any form, more relished than in a well-made and expeditiously served omelet. This may be plain, or seasoned with minced herbs, and a very little eschalot, when the last is liked, and is then called an "Omelette aux fines herbes;" or it may be mixed with minced ham, or grated cheese; in any case, it should be light, thick, full-tasted, and fried only on one side; if turned in the pan, as it frequently is, it will at once be flattened and rendered tough.
Should the slight rawness which is sometimes found in the middle of the inside, when the omelet is made in the French way, he objected to. a heated shovel, or a salamander, may be held over it for an instant, before it is folded on the dish. The pan for frying it should be quite small; for if it be composed of four or five eggs only, and then put into a large one, it will necessarily spread over it and be thin, which would render it more like a pancake than an omelet; the only partial remedy for this, when a pan of proper size cannot be had, is to raise the handle of it high, and to keep the opposite side close down to the fire, which will confine the eggs into a smaller space. No gravy should ever be poured into the dish with it, and indeed, if properly made, it will require none. Lard is preferable to butter for frying batter, as it renders it lighter; but it must not be used for omelets.
From four to eight very fresh eggs may be used for this, according to the sized dish required. Half a dozen will generally be sufficient. Break them singly and carefully; clear them in the way we have already pointed out in the introduction to boiled puddings, or when they are sufficiently whisked pour them through a sieve, and resume the beating until they are very light. Add to them from half to a whole teaspoonful of salt, and a seasoning of pepper. Dissolve in a small frying pan a couple of ounces of butter, pour in the eggs, and as soon as the omelet is well risen and firm throughout, slide it on to a hot dish, fold it together like a turnover, and serve it immediately; from five to seven minutes will fry it.
For other varieties of the omelet, see the observations which precede this.
Separate, as they are broken, the whites from the yolks of six fine fresh eggs; beat these last thoroughly, first by themselves and then with four tablespoonsful of dry, white sifted sugar, and the rind of half a lemon grated on a fine grater.* Whisk the whites to a solid froth, and just before the omelet is poured into the pan, mix them well, but lightly, with the yolks. Put four ounces of fresh butter into a very small delicately clean omelet, or frying-pan, and as soon as it is all dissolved, add the eggs and stir them round, that they may absorb it entirely. When the under side is just set, turn the omelet into a well-buttered dish, and send it to a tolerably brisk oven. From five to ten minutes will bake it; and it must be served the instant it is taken out; carried, indeed, as quickly as possible to table from the oven. It will have risen to a great height, but will sink and become heavy in a very short space of time: if sugar be sifted over it, let it be done with the utmost expedition.
Eggs, 6; sugar, 4 tablespoonsful; rind, 1/2 lemon; butter, 4 ozs.: omelet baked, 5 to 10 minutes.
A large common frying-pan will not answer for omelets: a very small one should be kept for them, when there is no regular omelet-pan.