Nancy Mitford, one of my favourite writers, wrote about trying to boil an egg for her invalid father. Unfortunately, she ruined quite a few eggs, and eggs were rationed at the time. What the divine Miss M did not know was that you cannot boil an egg by putting it into boiling water. You have to put the unbroken egg into a pan of cold water and then bring the water to a boil.
It is wrong, I think, to assume that everyone, even a talented novelist, knows the absolute basics of cookery. And that is why I am, without guilt, going to post my cheese omelette recipe. This recipe, another gem from Susan Mendelson's Let Me in the Kitchen, is so simple, it could be made by the 60-something husband of a stay-at-home mother of five. I think. Normally if left to his own devices, Daddy makes a jelly omlette.*
The secret to the perfect omlette, I believe, is a pan of the right size (small) and temperature (medium hot). Toast some bread while the eggs are cooking.
Chummy Cheese Omlette for One
3 dashes of salt
1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp water
1/4 cup grated cheese
1. Make sure the cheese is grated already.
2. Break the eggs into a small bowl. Add salt and water. Whisk until well mixed. (If you don't have a whisk, use a fork.)
3. Put a small frying pan on medium heat. Wait a bit, add the butter and let it melt. When it starts to bubble, pour in the eggs.
4. The eggs will start getting hard along the edges first. Take a spatula and gently run it along the edges, tipping the pan a bit to let the uncooked egg run under the cooked egg at the side. Keep doing this until the centre is no longer runny. Be gentle, or you won't have an omlette but scrambled eggs.
5. Sprinkle the grated cheese on top of the egg.
6. With the spatula, lift half the omlette and fold it onto the other half. Turn heat down and wait for the cheese to melt.
7. Flip the half-moon shaped omlette to warm up the other side a bit.
8. Tilt the pan and slide the omlette onto a hot plate. Serve to self with toast and eat at once.
*If you want to make a jelly omlette, eliminate the salt and cheese and spread jelly on top of the eggs before flipping. I have no idea why you would want to do this, but Dad likes it. My grandmother used to eat scrambled eggs with tomato ketchup. I've put a dollop of salsa along with the grated cheese and enjoyed the result very much.