Basic Herb and Cheese Omelette
2 free-range eggs
1 Tbsp water
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
10g (2 tsp) butter
1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh curly parsley
1 Tbsp chopped fresh chives
20g (1/4 cup) finely shredded Colby cheese
1. Measure and prepare all your ingredients. You can use a special omelette pan or a small non-stick frying pan to make an omelette. The main thing to remember when choosing a pan is that it should have a thick base to distribute heat evenly and have shallow gently sloping sides. A 20cm omelette pan is a perfect size to cook individual omelettes made with 2 eggs. Steel omelette pans are available and must be seasoned before using for the first time. To season, cover the base with about 1 cm of vegetable oil and sprinkle with 2 Tbsp of salt, heat until very hot and almost smoking and then set aside until almost cooled to room temperature. Pour out the oil and salt and discard. Wipe the pan clean with paper towel. Never wash the pan after using it, simply wipe it out with paper towel ready for the next time. Special omelette pans with non-stick coatings are also available and are usually made with an aluminium base.
2. Place eggs, water, salt and pepper into a jug or bowl and lightly whisk with a fork until well combined and slightly frothy. Heat the butter in the omelette pan over medium-high heat until it begins to sizzle and then tilt the pan to coat the surface with the melted butter. It is important to have the pan hot and the butter sizzling before adding the egg mixture so that the egg will cook reasonably quickly and brown underneath, while remaining soft on the top. Add the egg mixture to the pan.
3. Use the back of a fork to quickly draw the cooked egg from the edge of the pan towards the centre and then tilt the pan so the uncooked egg runs to the edge. Repeat this process until the omelette is lightly set – it will only take about 30 seconds.
4. Cook the omelette, without stirring, for another 30-60 seconds or until the underside is nicely browned and the top remains soft and slightly runny. (If you prefer, you can cook the omelette for slightly longer or until the egg is only just lightly set on the top, depending on your taste, but be careful not to overcook it.) Sprinkle the omelette with the herbs and Colby cheese.
5. Use the fork to lift one side of the omelette and fold it over the other side to enclose the filling. The cheese will melt from the heat of the omelette.
6. Slide the folded omelette onto a warmed plate and serve immediately.
# Mushroom and Herb Omelette: Before adding the egg mixture to the pan, cook 125g sliced mushroom caps in 20g (1 Tbsp) butter in the omelette pan over medium-high heat for 5 minutes or until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside. Wipe out the pan with paper towel and continue as in the basic recipe, sprinkling the mushrooms over the omelette with the herbs and Colby cheese.
# Smoked Salmon and Dill Omelette: Replace the Colby cheese with 50g thinly sliced smoked salmon, cut into strips, and 1 Tbsp sour cream or mascarpone cheese, and replace the chives with 1 Tbsp chopped fresh dill. Continue as in the basic recipe.
# Tomato and Bacon Omelette: Cook 1 rasher bacon, trimmed and chopped, in the omelette pan over medium heat for 3-4 minutes or until beginning to crisp. Remove from the pan and drain on paper towel. Wipe out the pan with paper towel and continue with the basic recipe, sprinkling the omelette with 1/2 small ripe tomato, diced, the bacon and the herbs and Colby cheese.
# Basil and Parmesan Omelette: Replace the parsley and chives with 1 1/2 Tbsp chopped fresh basil and replace the Colby cheese with 20g (1/4 cup) finely shredded Parmesan. Continue as in the basic recipe.