I taught myself the right way to make French-style omelets throughout pandemic lockdown, after which largely forgot about them — to me, they denoted beautiful French cooking a la Jacques Pépin or Daniel Boulud, not one thing I’d whip up earlier than my 9 to five or to curb a case of the munchies.
However then I watched Sydney Adamu (Ayo Edebiri) make a pillowy French omelet topped with chives and crushed-up potato chips for a hangry Natalie “Sugar” Berzatto on the penultimate episode of The Bear. Aside from bringing a decidedly Gen Z power into the kitchen, Sydney’s dish paid homage to a timeless traditional. Whereas Marcus’ savory cannoli tugged at viewers’ heartstrings and the kitchen’s tackle “deep dish” resembled one thing out of a Rei Kawakubo exhibit, I couldn’t cease occupied with that rattling omelet. As a lover of custardy eggs and tacky chips, I knew I needed to instantly make one.
The adaptable recipe requires a handful of substances and lets all of them shine. I started with three of the freshest eggs I might discover and cracked them right into a bowl earlier than giving them an intensive whisk. In contrast to Sydney, I didn’t pressure them (sorry, chef!), a sin for which I’ll atone on judgment day. I then heated a 10-inch nonstick skillet over low-medium warmth and tossed in a tablespoon of butter. When it melted — however earlier than it started to bubble — I poured in my eggs. Utilizing a heat-resistant spatula, I swirled them right into a scramble, intermittently shaking the pan in a round movement to make sure that the eggs didn’t persist with the underside or brown. I folded one fringe of the omelet onto itself, about an inch, after which Googled to double-check what number of occasions to fold a French omelet as quick as I might. The reply? Three.
Subsequent I added a pat of butter to the pan, spreading it to the folded fringe of the omelet to assist carry it off the pan. I repeated this course of two extra occasions. After the primary tuck, I exchanged Sydney’s fastidiously piped line of herb-speckled Boursin for a heaped tablespoon of scallion cream cheese (which was the closest factor I had in my fridge), added it to the middle of the omelet, after which folded the sides over it. Upon tucking within the omelet’s last seam, I calmly pushed the omelet to the sting of the pan, which helped seal it. Then I gently tipped the cloud-like mass onto a plate, and swiped the highest of it with a butter wrapper.
After that, I grabbed a handful of chips, “the sort with the ridges,” as Sydney tells Carmy. I crushed them straight over the plate, marveling at my creation.
My scallion cream cheese wasn’t the one variation from Sydney’s dish, which additionally requires bitter cream and onion chips. I additionally tried the recipe with a pimento cheese filling and jalapeno Kettle chips, chevre and barbecue-flavored chips, ricotta and garlic Parmesan chips, and feta and pickled dill chips. Whereas Boursin ultimately emerged because the superior cheese to make use of, the ridge issue of the potato chips didn’t do a lot for me — as a result of they’re crushed up, the ridges don’t add that a lot to the dish. As a Kettle truther, I want Kettle-style chips, that are usually thicker and extra potato-like — they create an ideal textural distinction with the mushy omelet.
All of my experimentation taught me that with a dependable nonstick pan and a bit of consideration to element, it’s doable to realize a bouncy French omelet with a sinuous middle everytime you really feel prefer it. May Sydney’s recipe be a gateway for extra elaborate creations? Positive. May it profit from a blanket of crispy mushrooms or curls of sauteed salami? Positive. May it’s the platonic ideally suited of a summer season lunch, paired with a aspect of roasted tomatoes and a unclean martini? Undoubtedly. However for now, it’s a lot.
Mehr Singh is a meals and tradition reporter based mostly in New York. Her work seems in Bon Appétit, Food52, MR Journal, and different publications.