BA’s Best: French Omelet

BA’s Best: French Omelet
French Omelet

This won’t be something that looks pretty the first time you make it. Or the second time. And honestly the third one will probably suck too. Maybe by the fourth one you’ll start hitting a little groove. By the fifth you might even have an almost-good one. It took me six tries to feel like I had figured out this skill, and even then, I wasn’t really confident I had mastered it until about the eighth. The nice thing about the inevitable failure period that you will experience when trying this recipe for the first time is that a) the recipe is quick and you can get right back on that horse without having wasted more than a few minutes and b) it is also delicious, and disposing of your mistakes will soothe your bruised cooking ego, at least until the next attempt collapses.

Hopefully you’re not the type to get overly dissuaded by repeated failure. Hopefully you’re also not someone who wants to invite a swathe of people over for omelets because this recipe is a single serving kind of situation. It can easily be scaled up to make more omelets, but you really can’t make more than one at a time (unless you have two burners going and are a very skilled multi-tasker).  I also suggest either alternating burners between batches (to avoid any one burner getting to hot for successful omelet-making) or letting the pan cool down off the heat for a few minutes before making the next omelet. It goes without saying that you should not beat all of your eggs at once – just beat the two needed for each omelet prior to cooking, otherwise how on earth will you estimate how much egg needs to slide out of the bowl into your pan for each serving? You won't.

French Omelet

BA’s Best: French Omelet

Taken from BA’s Best arsenal, with the tiniest of changes and tweaks

Serves 1 (you have to make each of these individually, so scale up as you like for more servings but remember that you’ll be cooking them 1 at a time)


2 large eggs
2 tbsp unsalted butter, preferably good quality or European-style, at room temperature + more to serve
Lovely flaky salt, such as Maldon
Freshly ground black pepper
1 oz (~1 tbsp, but you can eyeball this) garlic-herb Boursin cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped fresh chives


Whisk the eggs together in a medium bowl until they are very well combined. This will mean beating the eggs for at least a good minute, but not going so vigourously that too much air gets incorporated. Basically just beat the eggs (not using your full muscle power) until they fall from the fork in an even, silky ribbon of yellow with no gloopy bits. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl.

Keep in mind that the next part will move quickly. Read the next paragraph once or twice first and try to prepare for and envision how this will unfold so that you’re not stopping to read partway through. Also, keep a rubber spatula handy along with some paper towel (for wiping the spatula down when it gets eggy). Ready? Let’s do this thing.

Heat 1 tbsp butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat (though if your stove tends to run very hot at medium, go for medium-low). When the butter just begins to foam, add the eggs and season with a quick pinch/grind of your lovely salt and pepper. Using a rubber spatula, stir the eggs very quickly and constantly in a figure-eight pattern while simultaneously moving the skillet around in a circular motion. Scrape down the sides of the skillet as you go to avoid any ring of dried egg along the edge of the omelet. You’re sort of scrambling things, but in a way where they’ll still settle into a circle that perfectly coats the bottom of the pan. As soon as the eggs begin to, oh god I’m so sorry for this next word, coagulate, shake the skillet to settle any uncooked egg and let it cook until set on the bottom but a bit runny on top (~1 minute, potentially less). The bottom should have NO colour whatsoever. Remove the pan from the heat and let the omelet sit for 1 minute.

Crumble or dollop the Boursin in a line across the centre of the omelet, working perpendicular to the handle. This sets you up to hold the handle with one hand and roll the omelet out onto your plate when serving. Starting at the edge closest to the handle, roll the omelet up in 1 ½-inch intervals using the rubber spatula until you reach halfway. Add the other 1 tbsp butter to the pan and use the spatula to keep gently rolling the omelet up, letting the butter creep under the edge to help the egg release as you roll. Continue rolling the omelet until you can gently roll it out of the pan onto a plate, seam side down. Rub a bit of butter along the top of the omelet for a lovely gloss. Sprinkle with more flaky salt and the chopped chives. Did you succeed? No? Shucks, another delicious mistake to dispose of. Remember, sixth time’s the charm.

French Omelet