Omelet(te)s They're easy to cook, right? We'll see. The first thing to remember is that you need the right size of frying pan. This is more important than you may think.
Too large, and the omelet will dry out; too small, and it will not cook through. As a basic guide, you need a 15 centimeter pan for a two-egg omelet and a 25 centimeter pan for a four to six egg omelet. That is, 6 in. and 10 in. respectively.
Which, handily enough, is pretty much the size of pans you should have in your kitchen anyway. The second most important thing is not to beat the eggs. I'll repeat that for all of those chefs out there who think they can cook omelets: do NOT beat the eggs. Instead, abandon the habits of a lifetime and stir the yolks into the whites using a knife blade.
Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Warm your empty pan through on a moderate heat, add a good knob of butter, turn up the heat and swirl it round to coat the bottom and sides of the pan. When the butter is foaming pour some into the egg mixture, stir it in and then immediately pour the eggs into the pan. Shake the pan to spread the mixture evenly. Now, using a fork or thin spatula, draw the cooked egg away from the edge of the pan and let the uncooked liquid run into the space created. When the omelet is almost cooked, but the surface is still soft and liquid, flip one edge of the omelet towards the center of the pan so that it folds over.
Then slide the unfolded edge onto a warmed plate, rolling the folded edge over the top of it as you do so. An omelet cooked in this way requires no filling, except perhaps some fresh, chopped, herbs added to the egg mixture about 15 minutes before cooking. What's that? Oh yes, all right; if you must you can use olive oil instead of butter. .
Michael Sheridan was formerly head chef of the Pierre Victoire restaurant in London's West End, specializing in French cuisine. An Australian, he is a published author on cooking matters and runs a free membership club and cooking course for busy home cooks at http://thecoolcook.com