In 1997 my father, after much begging, agreed to send me to culinary school. A kind and generous move given that I had just completed four years of college.
Five nights a week at 5pm I left my full time day job in midtown Manhattan and traveled down to SOHO, my black knife kit tucked under one arm, my chef’s uniform crisp and clean, folded like origami in my backpack slung over one shoulder. Stilettos were swapped for clunky slip-on black clogs and for the next five hours each evening I slipped into another world of tall white hats, long white aprons and the cacophony of clanging pots and pans interspersed with the obedient chorus of “Yes, Chef!”
Physically grueling, there were only a few females in what was, at the time, a predominantly male dominated career path. Just lifting an empty stock pot was strenuous activity; let alone an industrial sized one filled to the brim with bones and scalding hot stock (those hideous clunky clogs became my best friend with sloshing vats of boiling liquids around).
While the program was fiercely competitive it also was a brotherhood of sorts and after just a few short weeks my small class felt more like a family. When one person failed in the kitchen, everyone failed, when one succeeded, everyone enjoyed success. Each night we prepped together, cooked together, ate “family dinner” huddled around the massive kitchen’s gleaming stainless surfaces together, we cleaned together (where do you think I learned the magic of distilled white vinegar?), and every night, utterly exhausted and exhilarated, we walked each other to the subway station where we parted ways until we did it all over again the following night.
I FUCKING LOVED IT.
And at the end of those nine months, after rocking my four hour final exam in the kitchen and earning the coveted cut out star on top of that tall white hat, I decided I did NOT in fact want to be a full time chef. My poor father. To this day he still teases me that it was the most expensive way to learn how to make a proper French omelette.
Speaking of which, I’d love to teach you how to make one. Is that ok?
To me there is no better task mastered than a light crepe-like omelette. Besides Pasta Carbonara, in my opinion, it's the sexiest thing one can learn to make. Everyone should have a basic dish or two perfected and the omelette is in my top 3. Teach your children, teach your husband; it’s really a gift to the world! Ok maybe not to the world, but to your family! Ok, in my family, Dexie wouldn’t touch an omelette if you paid him. No really, I've tried. But at the very least it is a gift to yourself. And if you happen to be newly dating someone that you're kinda, sorta into, this could actually get you laid. Wink. Wink.
Omelettes are THE perfect complete meal; breakfast, lunch or dinner. Paired with a simple mesclun salad, and a 1,2,3 homemade vinaigrette and a crisp glass of white wine, it’s perfection on a plate.
I’m going to start by begging you not to overthink the egg thing, ok? So if you're watching me on my Instagram Stories cooking one day with whole eggs and another day with egg whites it doesn’t matter. If you’re only doing egg whites, fine! 1 whole egg and 3 additional egg whites, perfect! 3 whole eggs, go for it! As long as you don't have a cholesterol issue do what makes your taste buds sing. As a nod to my French Culinary School roots and education this ReciBEE is a traditional whole egg omelette. It is made with a touch of butter and cream. I said a touch. Relax, you’re French today, and the French don't get fat. I know it’s super fucking annoying. Anyhoo…
A classic French omelette is not stuffed with fillings the way that Americans tend to do. A small amount of veg, a little bit of cheese, the pale golden yellow of the omelette is the star and should be tasted and savored, not overwhelmed by peppers, onions and oily cheddar. For this omelette I am using baby spinach and goat cheese. You can, of course, use whatever you like, but this one brings me back to standing in that cavernous kitchen, white dinner plate in hand, leaning against that monster of a stove, talking to my schoolmates and taking a small break to enjoy a light, simple and elegant dinner before getting back to cooking for others. “YES, CHEF!”
2-3 large whole organic eggs
Baby Spinach (frozen is fine, use whatcha got!)
Goat Cheese or Chèvre
Heavy cream or ½ & ½
What you’ll need:
A small mixing bowl
A wire whisk
A silicone spatula (The one I’m using is linked here)
Any sauté pan (The one I’m using is linked here and will change your world)
Crack eggs into mixing bowl and discard any piece of shell or anything vile looking. If the egg itself is vile looking, discard egg and start fresh. I’m not kidding, you will know. DO NOT SEND ME PICS OF YOUR VILE EGGS. If you do this I will send you a picture of me throwing up.
Add a drizzle of cream or ½ & ½
Season with salt and pepper
Heat your pan over a medium low flame and add a thin pat of butter
When the butter has melted add your vegetables and sauté until soft and wilted
Add the egg mixture and start to swirl pan gently as if you are making a crepe.
Allow egg mixture to “set” continuing to swirl the pan
Once the eggs have started to set and dry out, add a dollop of goat cheese in the center of the pan (I'll probably add 3)
With your spatula start to pull back the omelette from the edge of the pan, sliding your spatula under the omelette as you go.
Begin folding the omelette cigar like with your spatula.
Remember practice makes perfect. It’s ok to make a lot of omelettes and to mess up most of them! Just keep pouring that wine.