I know what you're going to make for breakfast tomorrow. Or maybe brunch this weekend. Or maybe dinner tomorrow. Probably not too late to think about a midnight snack, either: omelettes, a surprisingly easy dish that is maybe the best thing to eat in the world.

First, get some eggs—three per omelette will do the trick—and take them out of the refrigerator for a while to let them come to room temperature. If you're in a hurry, you can do Alton Brown's trick—put them in a bowl of hot tap water for five minutes, which will warm them up nicely. Of course, if you do that, you might forget to take some butter out of the refrigerator to let it come to room temp, which you should do (if you're in a hurry, do not put butter in hot water; that is a bad idea).

When you're ready to cook, put an 8, 9 inch nonstick pan over medium heat and let it warm up for a couple of minutes. While that happens, crack your eggs into a bowl or cup and add some fine salt (kosher is out, table is better, popcorn salt is best) and use a fork to beat them with vigor. When that's done, put some butter (about a couple of teaspoons) into the pan, let it melt and foam up, then spread it around the pan with either a pastry brush or paper towel. Give the eggs another couple of stirs, then pour them in.

For the first 30 seconds or so, stir the eggs vigorously with a spatula—you want to keep the curds as small as possible, and the best way to do that is to keep everything in motion for a while. After that, take a look in the pan—you should have a number of small egg curds floating around, but nothing that looks like scrambled eggs.

At this point, do nothing. Put down the spatula and just watch. Pretty quickly, you should start to notice that the color of the eggs is changing, they're getting opaque, and things start looking, well, cooked. Pick up one end of the pan, however, and note that you'll still have a good deal of liquid moving around. This is as it should be. If you want to, you can run your spatula around the edge of the eggs to make sure it's not sticking, but for the most part, just keep tilting the pan, letting the remaining liquid move around, etc.


After another minute or so, the liquid should be crawling around the pan. Think sap on a cool day or tar that hasn't yet set. At this point, you can put in your fixin's. Think it through, though—this ain't an IHoP six-egg/half a steak/three cups of cheese omelette; it's a simple, French-style omelette. Technically, you don't need a single fixin', as the eggs are good on their own. Me, I like a nice dusting of cheese (parmesan or cheddar) and some sauteed onions and garlic—light on the onions and garlic, more generous with the cheese.

Now, the dismount. It is possible to roll an omelette out of the pan and have it turn out beautifully. I've done that exactly once in my life. Most of the time, I run my spatula under one side, flip it kind of gracefully up, then try to roll it out on the plate, and it ends up flopping out into a vaguely burrito-like shape. That's fine with me. Toast up a couple pieces of bread, butter it up, and depending on what time of day/meal you're eating it for, pour a cup of coffee or a glass of wine, and you're good to go.


Oh, and here's a video with some no-name making one (the most relevant bit begins at 3:08, if it doesn't cue up right). Great job, whoever you are.