Omelets

The ability to make a great omelet should definitely be part of any cook's skill set. And there are a couple different styles to help you perfect your technique. A French omelet has a smooth surface with a pale yellow color. The omelet gets rolled into a cylinder and the curds in the center are very soft and custard-like. Many Americans would think this version of an omelet is completely undercooked, because omelets in the U.S. are tougher and can be slightly browned and crispy. No matter which style you prefer, find a few go-to recipes from Food & Wine's guide.

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French Rolled Omelet

At the Culinary Institute of America, Egg Day occurs during Skills II, the class that comes right after students learn how to make stock and just before they’re expected to put a whole meal together. Egg Day’s polarizing qualities elicit a variety of superlatives: “Egg Day is the WORST.” “Egg Day is the BEST.” “Egg Day made me cry.” “I drank a whole cup of hollandaise sauce on Egg Day—I couldn’t stop myself.” That single day is one of the rites of passage of culinary school; one that upperclassmen like to swap war stories about, and new students lay awake at night fearing. What makes Egg Day so momentous? For me, it was my instructor, Chef McCue. Dave McCue was a graduate of the CIA who had gone on to have a career as a “working chef,” the kind who actually cooks food every day. After many years, he came back to the CIA as a chef-instructor to teach young cooks to stand up straight and be better and faster. The school outlines a curriculum, but it’s up to each instructor to execute the lesson and uphold the standards of properly cooked food. The way to learn cooking is through practice, and Chef McCue instills repetition. “The egg came first,” he assured me. If you can cook an egg properly, then you can move on to the chicken. For Egg Day, most classes receive a case of eggs to be split among the twenty students. A case of eggs is 30 dozen. Chef McCue orders THREE. I’ll do the math for you—that’s 1080 eggs for Egg Day. Chef obviously doesn’t mess around. He hopes they won’t all be needed, but eggs are the perfect, and cheapest, way to teach proper technique. There’s cracking the eggs correctly, having a place to toss the shells, the best tool used to beat them, the type and quantity of seasoning added before, during, and after cooking, how to heat a pan, when to add the fat, all the visual, aural, aromatic clues of coagulating protein, the essentials of proper presentation, and on and on and on. To pass Egg Day and move to Skills III, each student must cook eggs eight ways, three times in a row. If your soft scramble is a little too hard on the third try, you start over and make it three times again until all three in a row are perfect. This isn’t a mild form of torture intended for Chef’s enjoyment. (In fact, he takes a bite of almost every egg to check for seasoning and temperature—joke’s on him!). He knows when the students graduate, they will be asked to cook an omelet when they stage at restaurants. How they approach the task, from prepping their mis en place to presenting the dish, will show their level of finesse and determine whether they get the job. “How they roll an omelet is like a resume,” Chef McCue says. Having submitted my edible resume countless times to (thankfully!) rave reviews, I can look back with gratitude on Egg Day, and Chef’s meticulous training.
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Rolled Japanese Omelet


To make tamagoyaki, thin layers of cooked eggs are rolled together into one delicate omelet. It’s light and a touch sweet, making it perfect for the Japanese breakfast table. Slideshow: More Omelet Recipes
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Soft Green-Herb Omelet

This bright, fresh, herb-packed omelet filled with spinach and feta is from A Modern Way to Cook by British author Anna Jones. Slideshow: More Omelet Recipes
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Omelets

These delicious recipes include legendary chef Jacques Pépin's luxe classic French omelet with sour cream, chives and diced pressed caviar.
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Open-Face Egg-White Omelets with Roasted Vegetables

Because of the film festival and holiday resolutions, January is peak season for egg-white omelets at Sundance. Although there are a large proportion of Hollywood guests who choose their own fillings, this cheesy vegetarian version is extremely popular.   More Brunch Recipes  
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More Omelets

Rolled Egg White Omelet with Wild Mushrooms

Like whole egg omelets, those made with the whites alone dry out when they cook for too long at too high a heat. Or they can get rubbery if you don't whisk them long enough to break them up. A wet omelet can be caused by one of three things—adding too much liquid to the whites (you don't need any), using wet fillings (raw tomatoes or soggy spinach) or undercooking. Tina Ujlaki called Capton Place chef Laurent Manrique and he gave her his fail–safe method. He has two secrets—first he beats a little melted butter into the egg whites before they go into the pan, and when the omelet is almost set, he runs it under the broiler to set the top without overcooking the bottom. If you're concerned about calories or cholesterol, omit secret number one but follow Manrique's broiler method.   More Brunch Recipes  
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