Classic French Omelette (Cooking School)

Folding the french omelette

Welcome back to Cooking School, friends! Today, we’re going to discover (or rediscover) a truly classic recipe: the French omelette!

What makes a French omelette so special, you ask? Well, let me tell you.

Some of you might have sampled a French omelette before. They’re served quite often at higher-end brunch places. If you’ve tasted one, you’ll be very familiar with the extremely tender and soft texture, the glossy butter coating on the outside, and the typically simple, but effective fillings.

As with a large proportion of French recipes, butter (and lots of it!) is the star here. It’s really what makes a French omelette a French omelette. Copious butter lends a smooth and silky texture to the eggs, making them pliable and easy to work with.

Chives in whisked eggs.

The method of whisking also distinguishes French omelettes from other types. You can make a really fantastic omelette by just quickly whisking a couple of eggs in a bowl, but you’ll notice that they puff up a lot as you cook them, and that the surface might appear slightly marbled where the whites and yolks are not quite marrying together, making them slightly chewier.

I should say here that there’s absolutely nothing wrong with a classic omelette. But, sometimes you just want a silky French one. The key to getting that texture is literally beating the ever-loving schneikies out of your eggs until all the strings of white are broken apart and the whole mixture actually looks quite thin. In other words, you’ll want to emulsify the eggs. This just means you should temporarily, but fully incorporate the watery whites of the eggs with the fatty yolks to form a homogenous substance.

Why make a French omelette instead of a classic omelette?

Chives on a cutting board.

My favorite thing about French omelettes is their simplicity. Sometimes the best recipes are the ones where the individual ingredients and textures are allowed to shine through. For this recipe, we just used Boursin Garlic and Herb cheese and some finely chopped chives. However, you can pick your fillings and use either a little or a lot!

The whole thing is the perfect combination of key ingredients that produce a delectable, creamy, and elegant dish. This recipe truly is a kitchen staple that I turn to for everything from a date-night culinary experience to an effortless and quick weeknight meal.

How to make your French omelette:

A lot of people are intimidated by making French omelettes. This is such an unfortunate thing! They’re so easy! Seriously, everything comes together in just about fifteen minutes, and if you keep the fillings simple, you only need four ingredients.

The folding is the most difficult thing to master because the eggs can be fragile. However, I’ve provided a simple workaround below to help you out until you become more practiced.

The rest of it is a piece of cake…or a piece of vigorously whipped egg. 🙂

Step 1: Beat your eggs.

Whisking eggs.

Add two eggs to a medium mixing bowl. Using a metal whisk, whip them vigorously for about five minutes. You’ll know you’re there when you lift up your whisk and notice that there are no strands that cling to it.

Whisking eggs.

It should look homogenous and very liquid.

When you get to this point, toss in a palmful of roughly chopped chives for color.

Step 2: Begin cooking your French omelette.

Melt a generous portion of salted butter in a nonstick skillet over low heat. Heat it until it is foamy but not sizzling. I used Vermont Creamery Cultured Salted Butter for a little extra zing and creaminess.

Foamy butter in skillet.

It’s important to keep the heat low so that the eggs don’t set too quickly and become dry. Adopt the motto “low and slow!” for this recipe.

Eggs and chives in skillet for french omelette.

Add your eggs to the pan. Let them sit over the low heat until they are just beginning to set on the bottom. You can test this by inserting your spatula gently into the mixture and moving it very carefully from side to side. You should feel the pillowy, cooked egg at the bottom.

Eggs and chives in pan.

Step 3: Swirl your pan.

When you get to the point where the eggs are congealing on the bottom but the top is still very runny, pick up your pan and swirl it in gentle circles.

Swirling eggs in pan.

This will help create that super-thin and silky French omelette texture.

Keep alternating between letting the eggs congeal and swirling the pan until the eggs are fully set but the top is still very soft, custardy, and slightly runny. You can test this by carefully lifting up the edges to see how the surface of the eggs moves.

Testing set eggs with a spatula.

Step 4: Add your fillings.

Omelet filling in a line down the skillet.

Add the fillings of your choice in a line down the center of your egg.

Step 5: Fold your omelette.

Folding one third of the french omelette.

If you’re worried you’ll break the eggs during folding, use two spatulas on either end of the eggs. No shame!

Folding one third of the omelette.

Now do the other side using the same method.

Folding other third of the french omelette.
Folding other third of the omelette.

You can also roll the whole omelette over to make the last fold. This is a more traditional way of doing things, but in the interest of keeping it simpler for you French Omelette Virgins out there, we’ll do it this way.

Step 5: Plate it and garnish it!

Putting omelette on a plate.

Now, dump that beautiful omelette lengthwise out onto the plate. If you’re worried about breaking it, keep the skillet low to the plate as you turn it out and go quickly. Rip that omelette bandaid right off!

Fully plated and garnished French omelette.

Then, garnish it with some more chopped chives and a generous pinch of black pepper. A quick note about salt: taste the omelette before you add salt after cooking! The salted butter and savory cheese should do the trick, but add more salt if you’re still not satisfied.

And there you have it! A delicious, elegant French omelette for any occasion!

I’d love to know if you all tried this recipe and how it worked out for you! Also, I made our first Savor + Harvest (with Karl) video for this recipe, and I’m stoked! Watch it if you want the tl;dr version of this Cooking School lesson.

Bon Appetit, friends!

French omelette garnished with chives and black pepper.

LM’s French Omelette

A simple and elegant French omelette for any occasion.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Course: Breakfast, Entree, Brunch
Cuisine: French
Keyword: quick, Omelette, Chives, Cheese, date night
Servings: 1 omelette
Calories: 819kcal
Author: LM

Equipment

  • Whisk

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp salted butter *we prefer salted cultured butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp chives chopped and divided
  • 1/2 cup Boursin cheese *substitute chevre or other goat cheese if you can’t find Boursin

Optional:

  • salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions

  • Heat butter in medium skillet over low heat until foamy.
  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs vigorously until they are totally combined and emulsified. The texture should be very thin without any lumps or strands.
  • To the whisked eggs add 1 tbsp. chives.
  • Add egg mixture to pan.
  • Let stand for about 2-3 minutes until eggs begin to set on the bottom but surface is still very runny.
  • Swirl pan to distribute runny top up the edges of the pan.
  • Let stand again for 2-3 minutes until most of the egg is set, but a thin layer on the surface is custardy.
  • Working quickly, add cheese or filling of your choice in a line down the center of the eggs.
  • Fold one third of omelette over the filling using two spatulas on either end of the set egg.
  • Repeat for the other side. Press the seam gently with your spatula to secure.
  • Remove the omelette to a plate and garnish with remaining chives and black pepper. Be careful while seasoning with salt after cooking, since the butter and cheese should provide enough saltiness for most palettes.

Video

Notes

*For a dairy free version, use Earth Balance vegan butter and Kite Hill almond ricotta or cream cheese.

Nutrition

Serving: 1omelette | Calories: 819kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 80g | Saturated Fat: 50g | Cholesterol: 510mg | Sodium: 1059mg | Potassium: 121mg | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 2790IU | Vitamin C: 5mg | Calcium: 131mg | Iron: 2mg
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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