It is often said, mainly by French chefs, that the measure of a good chef can be judged by how she cooks eggs. I suppose it might be true: we can all boil, scramble or fry eggs and have done so countless Sunday mornings but the line between creamy and rubbery eggs is a  thin one. Which is why I was enticed to practice Jacques’ Pepin omelette recently.

Chef Pepin these days teaches at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park and has a new book about techniques in the kitchen. Working in a professional kitchen requires endless repetitions of the same recipes and techniques, night after night which, as tedious as it might sound, makes for eventual perfection.

So, armed with a frying pan, a bunch of eggs and butter, I set out to deliver to the table the perfect omelette and here are my observations on this apparently simple process.

I started with five eggs in a bowl, salt and pepper.You are supposed to whisk them with a fork until well combined.

The only thing I had on hand was parsley and tarragon, which I chopped and added to my eggs. Anything more interesting will do (mushrooms, pancetta, leafy vegetables, you name it).

Place a non-stick pan on high heat and add some neutral oil (such as canola) and butter. Let melt.

At this point, Chef Pepin wants you to stir the eggs with a fork continuously, for a minute or so, to ensure the egg curdles are really small for a smooth consistency.

 Once the eggs are mostly solid, let them cook for 10 seconds to form a thin crust on the outside and cook the top.

Well, I tried to photograph the part where you fold the edges of the omelette toward the center,before you slide it on the plate. End result: either my non-stick pan betrayed me or the extra few seconds on the hight heat caused some of the eggs to stick. When all was said and done, though, the outside was nicely cooked and the inside was deliciously creamy. I will keep on practicing…..


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