Let’s be honest, eggs can be real jerks sometimes. While they can be cooked in so many ways, many of those ways are a tremendous pain to perfect. While I like to focus on the positive aspects of food here I think it is important to
point out some flaws in my kitchen skills. Eggs are one of them. You see the picture here of this outstanding looking omelette? Ya, I didn’t make that but that is what I think the perfect omelette should look like. I have been frustrated many times over in my attempts to get this dish right that it has become pretty rare that I give it a try. Don’t get me wrong, the omelettes I make do taste great, they just don’t look like that. It is all in the flip and much like with its jerk of a cousin, the fried egg, I struggle hard at getting this flip action right. I gave it a shot again last night so without further ado let’s get cracking! Ok, seriously, who lets me write this stuff?
Eggs are a quick dinner solution that are a great idea for a busy week night which is what I have going once again. So I break out a non-stick pan, one of those bendy spatulas that are great for removing batter from bowls, some eggs and whatever I feel like throwing in there today. For this omelette I am going with some sautéed mushrooms, swiss cheese and oregano. I break 3 eggs into a mixing bowl, season them, add a pinch of dried oregano(one of the few herbs I find still works really well when dry) and a few dashes of tabasco sauce. I proceed to beat them. I know there is a high probability of failure soon to come so I relish the chance to beat them here and do so with reckless abandon. You like that you dirty little eggs? Do you?? Alright, eggs have been properly put in their place and I now move on to sauté the mushrooms. Alright, prep work is all done so I preheat the pan at a medium heat and toss in a nice hunk of butter. I let the butter melt but don’t let it get brown and pour in the egg mix.
Expert chefs say that you should be stirring the eggs a little so they cook evenly and the omelette doesn’t end up too runny. I don’t like runny eggs at all so I tend to cook my omelettes a little longer than some do. With my fancy bendy spatula I repeatedly loosen the edge of the omelette from the pan in preparation for the soon to come dreaded flip. When I see my eggs are close to the consistency that I like I add the mushrooms and the cheese to the pan. Any previous attempts at using the spatula to flip have been an unmitigated disaster resulting in a Frankenstein-ish version of scrambled eggs so I am going to go with the pan flip technique instead. Ok, here we go……
Ok, well, not too bad but not great. Smooth dismount, good hang time, clean flip but a bit of a stumble on the landing. Judges? 7.5, 7.3, 7.8, 7.5, 6.0. Wait, 6.0? Damn must be a Russian judge. Well, it looks like I cooked the bottom a bit more than I like but I didn’t need to resort to improvising some kind of scrambled egg mess so I count this as a moderate success compared to past efforts. One of my kids loves it and the other tells me it is alright but she isn’t crazy about the mushrooms in it. I like it alright too. Not bad after all. A much better reaction than when I have served what can only look like an egg version of a 3 car pile up to my poor kids.
Chef Ramsay has said on one of his 87 TV shows that a test of the skills of a chef can be determined by their ability to make an omelette and either a steak or scallops. Forgiveness, but I can’t seem to recall which of the last two he said but just know I can cook the living crap out of scallops and steak, alright!? But, as this second picture shows, my omelette skills are not up to chef standards yet. That is the lesson here though people. Failure is often times psychological. Eggs are in my head man. I open the fridge door and I can hear them taunt me. I am sure some of you out there have dishes that vex you too. I hope that you keep working on them and trying them. Will I serve omelettes to guests at this point? Um, no, not just yet. But I am going to keep at it until I get it right damnit. Whatever dish you struggle with will only make you a more skilled chef as you work on it and attempt to perfect it. If every recipe you tried worked out perfectly would you really learn how to improvise or adjust on the fly or make something up on a whim? It takes failure to succeed. Wow, that was pretty deep. Sorry about that. I just blew my own mind a little bit there.
So, in the end, while I love to eat eggs there is a part of me that still hates them. They are like a bad girlfriend that I just can’t quit. I can kick them out of my house 47 times but when they come knocking for some love all drunk and pretty at 2h am I still open that damned door. I hate you eggs. I love you.
Categories: Phood Philosophies