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"To make an omelet, you must first break eggs."
So many different methods for making omelets are given, in works of recognized authority, that it seems u if any one who had an egg and an omelet pan could hardly go amiss. Yet failures are frequent, as every omelet-maker knows.
French writers say positively that no liquid of any sort must be added to an omelet that it contains eggs and eggs alone, beaten just enough to break the yolks. American authorities add milk or water, or beat the eggs separately, the whites to a stiff froth. One of them makes a clear distinction between an omelet and a puffy omelet; the puffy omelet, of course, being made by folding in the stiffly beaten whites before cooking. Some say milk makes it tough, and others say water makes it stringy. Suffice it to say, however, that a perfect omelet is a matter of experience and a deft hand. All writers agree that small omelets are more easily made than large ones, and it is better to do it twice or even three times than to have too many eggs in one omelet. Below are given the various methods, from which the would-be omelet-maker may choose. All of them have the stamp of good authority.
Beat six eggs well, yolks and whites together. Put two tablespoonfuls of butter into a frying-pan. When it is hot, pour in the beaten eggs, which have been seasoned with salt and pepper. With a fork, draw the cooked egg from the outside of the pan to the centre. As soon as it is all thick, lift half of the omelet on to a plate, and turn the other half over it. It should be turned while the centre is still soft, and the fire should not be too hot.
Break the eggs into a bowl, add as many tablespoonfuls of cold water as there are eggs. Beat the eggs well, then season with salt and pepper, and pour into a thin, smooth frying-pan which contains a tablespoonful of melted butter. With a thin knife lift the cooked portion of the egg and allow the uncooked portion to run down into the butter, meanwhile gently rocking the pan back and forth. When creamy, begin at the side of the pan nearest the handle and roll the omelet, using a little butter if needed.
Prepare as above, using milk instead of water.
Separate the whites and yolks of the eggs. Beat the yolks till thick and lemon colored and the whites until they stand alone. Fold together carefully, seasoning with salt and pepper, and adding a tablespoonful of cold water for each egg. Have two tablespoonfuls of butter in the flying-pan. When it is hot, pour in the egg mixture and let stand until the egg is set around the edge and a knife plunged into the centre comes out nearly clean. Then set the pan into the oven till the omelet puffs. Score slightly across the middle with a sharp knife, fold, and serve at once on a hot platter.
AUX FINES HERBES
Prepare Omelet I, and mix a tablespoonful of chopped parsley and chives with the eggs before cooking.
Prepare Omelet I. As soon as the eggs are in the frying-pan, add a cupful of cooked and drained peas, arranging carefully in the outermost half so that the other portion will fold over it. Finish as usual.
WITH ASPARAGUS TIPS
Have ready one cupful of cooked and drained asparagus tips. Prepare according to directions given for Pea Omelet.
Use fresh mushrooms, if possible. Fry, and drain on brown paper. When the eggs are in the frying-pan, spread the mushrooms on the outermost half of the omelet, so that the other portion will fold over it. Finish as usual.
WITH TOMATO SAUCE
Spread the outermost half of an omelet with tomato sauce, fold, and finish as usual.
Prepare Omelet I, adding half a cupful of grated Parmesan cheese, or dried and grated American cheese, to the egg mixture.
Have ready one cupful of cooked ham, very finely minced. Spread on half of the omelet and fold the other part over it.
One cupful of cooked oysters, minced or not, as preferred. Lay on half of the omelet and fold.
See Oyster Omelet.
One cupful of cooked and shredded shrimps. See Oyster Omelet.
One cupful of minced cooked crab meat. See Oyster Omelet
One cupful of cooked and shredded lobster. See Oyster Omelet.
One half cupful of stewed and strained tome. toes, or of fresh tomatoes peeled and robbed through a sieve. Spread on the outermost half of the omelet, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and fold.
DRIED BEEF OMELET
One cupful of dried beef, shredded or minced. Cook five minutes in boiling water, drain in a cloth, spread on the outermost half of the omelet, and fold.
Cut the kidneys into inch pieces, fry, drain, and finish as for Mushroom Omelet.
One cupful of cooked chicken liven, cut in small pieces. See Oyster Omelet.
Spread the outer portion of en omelet with cooked sausage meat and fold u usual.
Rub to a paste with melted butter and lemon-juice enough sardines to make half a cupful. Spread thinly on the outer half of an omelet, and fold.
Spread one cupful of grated cheese, Swiss, American, or Parmesan, on the outer portion of an omelet when the eggs are first put in the pan. Cook and fold as usual.
Make a plain omelet. Pour over it rum, kirsch, or brandy, ignite, and send to the table blazing. Serve as soon u the fire has gone out.
Cook a plain omelet in bacon fat instead of in butter and garnish with crisp rashers of bacon.
Pry one cupful of minced bacon until crisp, drain off the fat, spread the bacon on half the omelet, and fold.
Soak half a cupful of bread crumbs in half a cupful of milk and mix with the eggs before cooking.
ΐ LA CRΘME
Make the cream sauce. Mix half a cupful of it with the omelet before cooking. Spread the rest of it on the outermost half of the omelet, finish, and fold as usual.
Spread half of an omelet thinly with jelly crabapple, currant, gooseberry, or quince, and fold.
Cook until thick one half can of tomatoes, one grated onion, one very finely minced bean of garlic, and one minced green pepper. Season with salt and paprika, spread on half the omelet, and fold.
Have ready a cupful of cold cooked tongue, minced or shredded. Spread on half the omelet, and fold.
One cupful of cold cooked chicken, shredded or minced. Spread on half of the omelet, and fold.
One cupful of cold cooked cauliflower, with its sauce. Cut fine, spread on half the omelet, and fold.
Add a teaspoonful of anchovy paste to half a cupful of melted butter. Mix thoroughly, spread on half the omelet, and fold.
One cupful of cooked potatoes, creamed
or fried, cut in dice. Spread on half the omelet, sprinkle with salt,
pepper, and minced parsley, and fold.
Almost any left-over can be advantageously used in an omelet. Fish, especially salt fish, meats, and vegetables, in quantities of half a cupful or more, preserved and fresh fruits, cereals everything but soups, salads, and puddings. Roughly speaking, any omelet mixture can be added to the eggs before cooking, but as a general rule, it is better to spread it on half of the omelet and fold the other half over it, as otherwise the omelet is more likely to be heavy.
Sweet omelets are delicious. A teaspoonful of powdered sugar should be added to the eggs before cooking, and the fruit, jam, jelly, or preserves should be very thinly spread, as flavor is desired, not a dessert. Fresh fruits are cut fine and sprinkled with powdered sugar, spread on half the omelet, and the other half folded over. In the case of juicy fruits, such as oranges, the juice of the fruit is carefully saved and poured over the folded omelet just before serving.
Among the fresh fruits suitable for omelets are Apricots, Bananas, Blackberries, Cherries, Gooseberries, Grape Fruit, Plums, Huckleberries, Oranges, Pineapples, Peaches, Raspberries, and Strawberries all crushed very fine and sweetened; the juice, if any, being poured over the omelet.
Among the stewed and preserved fruits are Apples, Apricots, Cherries, Currants, Pigs, Gooseberries, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Quinces, Rhubarb, and the various fruit jams. Rum or brandy poured over the omelet and set on fire just before serving is a pleasant addition to many of the fruit omelets, Fig especially.