The Omelet. The novice should see an omelet made, as there is a "knack" in the motion not to be conveyed by words. The omelet is a French dish, and is made to perfection by the French cook. A perfect omelet is rolled or folded over, and is creamy within and a golden brown without. "Omelet pans" are made for the purpose, but a small frying pan may be used. The pan should be perfectly smooth. Do not attempt to make an omelet with more than two eggs until you become expert. This is one method, and others are used by different French cooks. The first stage makes the whole mass creamy, the second browns one surface.
(1) Have the pan warm enough to melt two teaspoonfuls of butter, but not hot. Beat two eggs with a fork until they are creamy but not foamy, and add two teaspoonfuls of water, with two shakes of salt.
Put the mixture into the pan, standing the pan where it has a medium heat. If over gas, the flame should be low, and covered with asbestos. Proceed as with the scrambled egg, with great rapidity, and when the mass is creamy, lift the pan, tip it slightly, and push the whole mass toward the handle end of the pan. Put two teaspoonfuls more of butter in the pan, and set it where the heat is intense. Smooth the mass of egg over the whole surface of the pan that the omelet may become brown underneath. Shake the pan gently back and forth, lift the omelet at the edge with a knife to see if the browning is accomplished, take the pan from the fire, fold or roll the omelet from the handle end of the pan to the front, and turn it out upon a hot plate.
A method easier for the novice is to accomplish the first stage in a bowl set into a teakettle, beating into the mass as it thickens a teaspoonful of butter, or a tablespoonful of cream. When the mixture is evenly creamy, turn it into the hot buttered pan and proceed as with (1).
This is not a true omelet, but in reality a souffle cooked in a frying pan. It is somewhat insipid in flavor and is not easier to make well than the French omelet. As commonly served it is apt to be underdone or tough.
With the light omelet, the eggs and whites are separated and the whites beaten until light and dry. Beat the yolks until creamy, adding water and salt as in (1). Pour this mixture over the white, and cut and fold the mass. See page 63. Pour this into a buttered baking dish and set in a moderate oven. The oven should not be more than 300° F. Serve in the pan.
When gas is used, the souffle may be set in the oven with the flame low, and browned for a moment under the flame turned high.
Both of these omelets may be varied by the addition of chopped parsley or chopped ham, or grated cheese.
Laboratory management. When the price of eggs is high, some of the experiments can be demonstrated by the teacher. Eggs should be used when the price is at its lowest, even if this interferes with the logical sequence of lessons.