An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (For Dinner)

Elizabeth David has a famous book called An Omelette and a Glass of Wine that, I’m embarassed to say, I’ve never read. Still: I’m aware of it.

So aware, in fact, that last week when I came home from the gym, exhausted, I decided to put that title into action. I had eggs from the farmer’s market in the refrigerator. I had half a bottle of red wine leftover from the previous night’s dinner. I also had some celery and walnuts. Ok, Elzabeth David, let’s do this thing.

Now I need to tell you something important about my omelette making. First of all, I prefer to spell it “omelet” because there are fewer letters. Second of all, I learned how to make an American omelet in this video a few years ago:

While I still really love that video (especially my sad attempts at flipping eggs), a reader at that time took exception to this style of omelet-making. She felt that a far superior omelet to make is the French omelet which she demonstrated here:

At the time, I was offended at the idea of this video: I learned how to make an omelet from an accomplished chef-in-a-box, why would I use a technique someone posted as a rebuttal on YouTube?

But then I started watching old Julia and Jacques episodes on PBS and the technique demonstrated in the 2nd video is pretty much the technique Jacques uses when he makes a French omelet. As the woman in the video explains, by cooking the eggs quickly you get a creamy, decadent center that far surpasses the dry eggs you get when you brown the omelet and stuff it like they do in American diners.

So on this particular night, I made my first French omelet. My non-stick pan has a sticky spot–I really need a new one–but I worked around it. Essentially, I just melted a tablespoon of butter in my nonstick skillet, whisked up 3 eggs with salt and pepper, poured it into the hot foamy butter then shook the pan aggressively while moving things around with a rubber spatula. As she shows in the video, you make little holes which you fill up with egg. As the omelet begins to set, let it sit until the whole thing slides. Then you can top with cheese (I didn’t use any) and fold it up in the skillet before unloading it on to a plate.

To balance things out, I made a quick salad of leftover celery and toasted walnuts which I dressed with olive oil and lemon juice. And though this dinner would’ve been way better with a glass of crisp white wine, the red wine I had worked fine.

All-in-all, even if you make an American omelet, this is a very satisfying and sophisticated way to feed yourself at night without spending a lot of money. Elizabeth David and Julia Child and the woman from that YouTube video would agree.

10 thoughts on “An Omelette and a Glass of Wine (For Dinner)”

  1. hi adam — thanks! this is the method that the chefs always use during the ‘omelet challenge’ segment on Saturday Kitchen (longrunning cozy saturday-morning cooking show on the BBC); after watching the show for a couple of years it sort of suddenly occured to me that I might actually want to try it myself and you know, it’s not hard at all and you get an omelet SO FAST. hey, if you’re on the market for a new nonstick pan, I’m SUPER satisfied with the “evatrio” pans from evasolo that we’ve got here in denmark. surely available in LA, too. have a good day!

  2. Adam, you just described my go-to dinner, to the point that when I order an omelet (note: O-M-E-L-E-T) out, I wonder why the waitress asks me if I want a glass of OJ with it, instead of a glass of vino! Also, I need to find that book….

  3. Dorothy Stainbrook

    As a new convert to the 4-Hour body diet, I’m cooking eggs every single day. To date they’ve mostly been scrambled with different spices, but the way you made omelets looks like something I could handle. Omelets tomorow!

  4. Oh really amazing and latest style to explain cooking . I really like your idea to explain with video I will refer it in my blog.

  5. Oh really amazing and latest style to explain cooking . I really like your idea to explain with video I will refer it in my blog.

  6. Wait! Forget the omelet, why is “Amateur Gourmet” not on my TV every week? The comedy of the fake neighbors, the real chef, and Adam doing it 3 times is way better than any hidden restaurant show. My question is why did “Good Eats” steal your opening?

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