Senator Riddle, of Delaware, a decided epicure, took much pleasure in his superior knowledge on this important subject. Once when breakfasting with Mrs. Crittenden, of Kentucky, a piece of omelet of doubtful appearance was presented to him. "Before we proceed with our breakfast," said he, "let me teach you a valuable accomplishment." They repaired at once to the kitchen range, where the senator demonstrated at once his qualifications as a first-class cook. My own first lesson was from Mr. Riddle, so of course I have the correct modus operandi; afterward in London, however, I heard a lecture upon omelets from a cooking professor, and was astonished at the multiplicity of dishes which could be made from this simple preparation; not only breakfast dishes, but also the variety of sweet omelets for dessert.
The fire should be quite hot. All cookery-books especially expatiate on the necessity of a pan to be used for omelets alone.
Any clean, smooth iron spider, or sauté pan, is a good enough omelet-pan. Put the pan on the fire to become heated; break the eggs into a kitchen basin; sprinkle over them pepper and salt, and give them twelve vigorous beats with a spoon. This is enough to break all the yolks, and twelve beats was Mr. Rid-dle's rule. Now put butter the size of an egg (for five eggs) in the heated pan; turn it around so that it will moisten all the bottom of the pan. When it is well melted, and begim to boil, pour in the eggs. Holding the handle of the omelet-pan in the left hand, carefully and lightly with a spoon draw up the whitened egg from the bottom, so that all the eggs may be equally cooked, or whitened to a soft, creamy substance. Now, still with the left hand, shake the pan forward and backward, which will disengage the eggs from the bottom; then shak-ing again the omelet a little one side, turn with a spoon half of one side over the other; and allowing it to remain a moment to harden a little at the bottom, gently shaking it all the time, toss it over on to a warm platter htld in the right hand. A little practice makes one quite dexterous in placing the omelet in the centre of the platter, and turning it over as it is tossed from the omelet-pan.
However, if one is unsuccessful in the tossing operation, which is the correct thing, according to the cooking professor, the omelet can be lifted to the platter with a pancake - turner. It should be creamy and light in the centre, and more firm on the outside.
I will specify several different omelets. A variety of others may be made in the same way, by adding boiled tongue cut into dice, sliced traffles, cooked and sliced kidneys with the gravy poured around, etc., etc.
Make the plain omelet; and just before turning one half over the other, place in the centre three or four whole tomatoes which have been boiled a few minutes previously and sea-soned. When the omelet is turned, of course the tomatoes will be quite enveloped. Serve with tomato-sauce (see page 125) poured around it
Omelet with Green Pease is managed as omelet with tomatoes, putting several spoonfuls of cooked green pease in the centre before the omelet is lapped, then serving with a neat row of pease (without juice) around it.