I was one of those kids who grew up never knowing the joy cable television could bring. It’s okay — my childhood was still awesome, so you don’t have to feel too sad for me or anything. But when I left home to go to college and the dorms had free cable, I discovered the Food Network.
This wasn’t the point at which I went from “average Korean-American adoptee” to “food addict to the max,” mind you. But it altered my life — not only could I watch television shows, day or night, about how to cook food and create recipes, but suddenly there were cooking competitions and “Unwrapped” (which was, as we all know, the best part about “Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood”) and in years to come, “Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives.” I joke with a friend that the cooking shows haven’t taught me a lick about cooking (primarily because I don’t care to watch them) but rather those additional programs that allow me to get into someone else’s kitchen, by way of video camera, and learn how to put stuff together in an organized manner and make it taste delicious. But I’m getting ahead of myself.
Because before I figured out all those other programs really existed and were the good bits of the FN, I was watching Jamie Oliver. Or maybe it was Rocco DiSpirito. At any rate, I was watching a fairly good looking man with tousled brown hair make food that, for the most part, I would neither attempt nor eat. And then there was the eggs episode. I’m a sucker for eggs. I recently read that, for good health, you should eat two eggs per week, for the protein of course, but to also ensure your cholesterol levels don’t go flying through the roof, into the atmosphere, and land on the moon. To laugh. I eat two eggs per day, if I’m really lucky, and my cholesterol is just as good as it always has been. I like them scrambled, poached, basted, over-easy, and omelettized. And in a flash of real brilliance, (fill in the blank here) instructed me to keep the eggs on low heat, stir them around slowly, and then for the last few minutes, pop the pan into the oven and let them finish there. Well, that sounded ridiculous to me, at that point, when I was using cheap pots and pans and didn’t have the sort of time to spend, stirring my eggs around slowly over low heat.
About six months ago, however, I decided it was time to take the plunge. Since the Jamie/Rocco eggs incident, I’d seen pans placed in ovens multiple times and realized perhaps all these professional chefs actually knew what they were talking about. I kept the heat medium-low, I let the eggy omelette cook most of the way, and then I stuck it in the oven. Never mind my pan is most likely not oven-safe. Never mind I didn’t have aluminum foil for the rubber handle. I was going to have perfect eggs at any cost. And perfect they were. I have attempted omelettes the old way once since then and will never, no never, go back.
That’s really the key — the whole point is to make sure your eggs don’t get burnt (which is so disgusting in flavor and awful in texture it could easily put you off eggs for life) and that the insides get evenly cooked. An omelette with a gooey, non-cooked center is an unhappy omelette, after all. But the second key is copious amounts of cheese. Anyone who says an omelette is a health food is just kidding you (and don’t try just egg whites, please, for all our sakes), so you might as well go all out. Use heavy cream. Add bacon. Add cream AND bacon, with a side of bacon fat — the sky’s the limit. In fact the only food I have put inside an omelette that tasted bad to me was, oddly enough, breakfast sausage and I am still trying to figure out why because breakfast sausage should taste good with everything. Finally, the third key is prepping your innards before sticking them on those fluffy half stovetop/half oven cooked eggs. This is a pretty time consuming undertaking, I’ll admit that, but the results are entirely worth it. You can either end up with a partially burnt mess or you could end up with the world’s most perfect omelette — it’s up to you.