Make a Perfect French Omelette with Chef Jon Beyreuther of Meritage
Photos by Joy Summers
On a recent Sunday morning, the day broke warm, like sweet breath on my ear. Sun streamed through the tree leaves and gently warmed the asphalt. I was seated inside Meritage, surrounded by the black and white tile, the hushed tinkling of silverware settling on plates and the aroma of fresh brewed, black coffee. It was there that I placed upon my tongue the most perfect presentation of eggs I’ve ever encountered: their omelette. Silky, light, creamy and utterly divine, it’s the sort of dish you would assume is best left to the experts. However, when I stopped by the kitchen this week and spoke with Chef de Cuisine Jon Beyreuther, he explained that the technique is shockingly simple.
There are several ways to cook an omelette and the only general consensus seems to be that you’ll have to first break a few eggs. In this case, it’s between three and four. You’ll then want to whisk them vigorously for 1-2 minutes. You’ll want to make certain that the yolks and whites are as combined as possible. Season with a pinch of salt.
Next, take a small nonstick skillet and melt a tablespoon of butter over medium-low heat. Add the eggs before the butter begins to foam or turn brown and gently mix them with a plastic spatula. You’re in essence gently scrambling them. You don’t want to rush this. Just as the curds begin to form and set, take it off the heat.
Now, is when you can add your desired fillings. (Although, it’s rich enough that you could just leave it plain.) Place the pan inside a 350 degree oven for 30 seconds to finish, or just use the carry-over heat by leaving it in the pan on the turned off burner (if using a gas stove. For electric, leave the pan near the turned off burner to pick up just a bit more residual heat). The goal is that the eggs are just barely set, but the bottom has no brown spots.
Finish the omelette by folding it once on the quarter with your spatula, and turning it over onto the plate. At Meritage they then use just a bit of room temperature butter on the back of a spoon and slide it over the top of the omelette to give it an irresistible sheen. Garnish with minced chives. Voila! The perfect, evenly cooked, utterly delicious omelette.