Mise-en-place is the religion of all good line cooks. Do not fuck with a line cook’s ‘meez’ — meaning his set-up, his carefully arranged supplies of sea salt, rough-cracked pepper, softened butter, cooking oil, wine, backups, and so on.
That's from Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. Unless the timings in a recipe allow for otherwise, I always like to have all the ingredients of a dish prepared and set-up before starting to cook. At no time is this more crucial than when making an omelette. At the risk of appearing condescendingly pedagogic can I ask: do you know how to make an omelette? Here's no less an authority than Michel Roux Sr cooking a perfect example in a matter of seconds:
This recipe is a riff on the simple cheese omelette that Elizabeth David used to eat at the restaurant Molière in Avignon, as immortalised in her marvellously evocative 1959 article 'An Omelette and a Glass of Wine' (which begins with a lovely tale of Gallic omelette obsession from before the first World War).
Comté is a gruyère-like cheese from the Jura region of France; the creamier, unpasteurised Beaufort would be superb here too. Otherwise, of course, just use Gruyère.
Whenever I've previously made this, I'd oven bake the croutons in a little groundnut oil (olive oil would be too overpowering for this recipe). But I happened to have a spoonful or two of leftover chicken fat, used it instead, and the result was glorious. If you've got a jar of goose fat left over from Christmas I reckon that would make for a fabulous crouton too.
1 tbsp finely chopped chives
salt + black pepper
a knob of butter
3 tbsps finely grated comté
1 tbsp double cream
a small handful of tiny sourdough croutons
If you keep your eggs in the fridge, remove and allow them to come to room temperature. Crack them into a bowl, add the chives, a pinch of salt and a good grind of pepper and whisk briefly with a fork. Get a small (about 200mm in diameter) non-stick frying pan nice and hot. Add the butter and allow to melt and froth, then pour in the eggs and cook as per the video above. When the omelette has barely set (the point in the video where M. Roux says "I like my omelette a little runny in the middle"), scatter the cheese all over it, then pour on the cream and then strew with the croutons. Fold and tip onto a plate and serve immediately, accompanied perhaps with nothing more than a salad of lightly dressed cos or romaine leaves.
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