A Dish Towel Is The Key To Bobby Flay's Rolled Omelet

Making the perfect omelet requires a bit more finesse than scrambled eggs, but even an imperfect one will taste delicious. With some practice and the right tools, anyone can learn to make a restaurant-quality omelet in minutes. But be forewarned, once you master the technique, household members may frequently request them.

For those aspiring to elevate their omelet-making skills, Bobby Flay offers a tip for creating a French-style omelet that's rolled instead of folded. Place the cooked omelet on a plate, seam side down, cover it with a clean dish towel, and use both hands to gently shape it into a perfectly symmetrical cylinder. The towel can also help adjust the omelet's position on the plate, allowing space for a side salad or home fries. It's an 'extra' step, but like adding a sprig of fresh parsley, it can enhance the omelet's taste.

Alternatively, if you struggle to get the rolled omelet out of the pan, you can use a similar method. Slide the flat omelet onto a dish towel or paper towel-lined plate, and use the towel to roll it. Lift one edge and allow the omelet to fold into itself, then remove the towel. Bakers will find this technique similar to making a jelly roll.

Tips for making the perfect rolled omelet

To make a great omelet, start with three large eggs. Using more makes the omelet difficult to flip, while fewer eggs result in a too fragile and tear-prone dish. Beat the eggs with a pinch of salt until they are fluffy and no longer streaky. This process may take longer than expected with a fork or whisk, so if you have an immersion blender, this is an excellent time to use it. If you lack a blender, professional chefs often use a fine-mesh sieve to strain the beaten eggs, ensuring a smooth consistency. It makes a big difference in the omelet's texture.

Melt butter until foamy in a seven or eight-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Using a nonstick surface is essential, as eggs easily stick while cooking. Pour in the eggs and stir them rapidly but gently to form soft curds. At this stage, you aren't trying to form an omelet yet. Once the eggs are mostly set but still slightly wet, use a rubber spatula to scrape the sides and form a flat omelet. The slightly uncooked eggs will help glue the omelet together, maintaining its shape. Turn off the heat and let the eggs rest for one minute before adding fillings or rolling. The eggs will continue to cook with residual heat, so acting quickly is key to preventing them from overcooking and turning rubbery.

French vs American omelets

Each culture has its technique and style of omelet (or "omelette"). Two popular versions, French and American omelets, differ in more ways than just their spelling. French omelettes are rolled and delicate, with the eggs cooked quickly to remain pale and custardy, without any browning on the surface. They are often finished with a little butter on top for shine and fresh herbs, and are usually served without a filling, unlike the overstuffed versions common in the U.S.

In contrast, American omelets are thick, fluffy dishes often brimming with vegetables, cheese, and meat. They are cooked more slowly, allowing the eggs to fully set and the outside to brown. American omelets are folded in half, with the fillings peeking out from their half-moon shape, providing a preview of what's inside.

Home cooks don't need to choose strictly between these two styles. You can certainly blend elements from both to create your version of the perfect omelet. Try a simple cheese omelet using the French technique, but remember, since the inside remains slightly runny, it's crucial to pre-melt the cheese before adding it. Use about an ounce of your favorite melting cheese, like cheddar or American, and warm it in the microwave for a few seconds. Likewise, warm any meats or veggies you plan to include.