One Thing You Should Always Do When You’re Making an Omelet
Mise en place is more than just practical — it also makes cooking a joyous experience.
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Is it just me or do you feel a real sense of accomplishment whenever you make a French omelet? Not the American ones that are folded in half and touched with a hint of golden-toasted color — the French ones that are rich, butter-yellow and rolled into a neat little package. Every time I slide one out of my non-stick pan and onto my plate, I feel just a little bit chef-ier.
Omelets are, in many ways, easy to make (some of the best ones are as simple as egg, seasoned with salt and pepper and topped with a sprinkle of fresh chives) and yet they’re so decadent. Quite understandably, I find a lot of happiness in this this classic recipe (and a minimum-effort, maximum-deliciousness style of cooking).
As it turns out, I’m not the only one who appreciates the subtle art of omelet-making. Chef Anne Burrell shares a great story in her Ham and Mushroom French Rolled Omelet class on the Food Network Kitchen app about her culinary school days. She did her externship at a fancy hotel and got to run the omelet station for Mother’s Day brunch. She describes herself, wearing the big, white hat, cooking omelets to order while thinking, "I’m really cooking now!"
As simple as omelets are to make, she does acknowledge that they’re also a bit technical — and easy to overcook. She says that eggs "cook very fast and are unforgiving." But she has an easy fix for that: mise en place. French for "put in place," to mise en place is to prepare all of your ingredients in advance, so that everything is ready when you begin cooking. Anne says, "Do your prep work first so that you can work neatly and in a very organized way." She adds, "It actually makes cooking kind of joyous then, not bunched up."
Setting out your ingredients in advance makes it easy to enjoy the process of cooking (the color of farm-fresh egg yolks, the sound of your knife on the chopping block, the aromas wafting through your kitchen) and allows you to focus on the task at hand so that you can achieve better results. Following her advice, it’s easy to make a chef-worthy omelet — and have a moment to revel in your accomplishment before you dig in!