Last night I made a delicious mushroom omelet with the fresh shiitakes Gerard bought from Matt and Kristen Anderson at the Farmers Market—the same people who make the mushroom spread that, coincidentally, I highlighted below—and some fresh eggs I bought at the market as well. My husband and friends consider me an “Omelet Queen,” but I just have a few secrets that make it easy to make a perfect omelet every time.
Secret # 1—I make an omelet per person, never a large one to be split up. Individual omelets are fast to make, easy to handle and easy to make as “baveuse” (the French-style) or well cooked as the individual eater prefers.
Secret # 2—I use two pans, one for the fillers (not cheese, which would go into the omelet when half cooked so as to melt into the eggs) and a 9-inch nonstick pan for the eggs.
Secret # 3—I cook the fillers first. In this recipe we are using shiitake mushrooms and shallots, but I also make chopped ham or ham, onions, and green peppers for a western omelet, and so on.
Secret #4—Heat up the plates on which you will serve the omelets (I do this in the microwave) and serve each one as it is ready, encouraging the diner to start eating immediately.
For two mushroom omelets:
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms
3 tablespoons cream
Eggs (per person, 2 jumbo, 3 medium, or 2.5 large eggs)
3 tablespoons butter
Peel and cut off the ends of the shallots. Slice them lengthwise so as to get long, thin slices.
Wipe the mushrooms with a damp cloth. (Do not soak, or they will get soggy). Cut off and discard the stems. Slice the mushrooms.
Heat a pan. Add the olive oil and allow to heat but not burn. Add the shallots. Sauté until they become translucent, and then add the mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Stir and continue to cook until the mushrooms get a bit of color. Add the cream and sauté for two more minutes. Turn off the heat, cover and set aside.
Crack the eggs into a glass mixing bowl and beat them until they turn a pale yellow color. Add two tablespoons of water (one per omelet). Season to taste with salt and pepper. Then whisk vigorously.
Heat a heavy-bottomed, nonstick sauté pan over medium-low heat. Melt the butter in the omelet pan, and when hot enough to make a drop of water hiss, pour in half of the eggs. Don't stir! Let the eggs cook for up to a minute, or until the bottom starts to set. With a heat-resistant rubber spatula, gently push one edge of the egg into the center of the pan while tilting the pan to allow the still-liquid egg to flow in underneath. Repeat with the other edges, until there's no liquid left (for well-done omelets) or until there are just a few spoonfuls of liquid left in the center for French style “baveuse”omelets.
Now spoon your filling over one half of the omelet. With your spatula, lift one edge of the egg and fold it across and over, so that the edges line up. Cook for another minute or so, but don't overcook or allow the egg to turn brown. Serve on the heated dish, and quickly make the second omelet.