This is the height of culinary chic, seven-year-old Ava learns as she gently beats the eggs with a fork. It is the most essential basic skill for any budding chef and the cornerstone of French gastronomic tradition. If you can master the art of a perfect omelet, you can step proudly forward in any kitchen, knowing you can create a masterpiece out of a few simple ingredients. “I don’t know about all that,” Ava says. “I just like eggs.”
1 bunch asparagus
2 tsp butter
1/3 cup freshly grated cheese
The omelet is an oops-we’ve-run-out-of-everything lifesaver. If all you have are a few eggs sitting alone in the fridge, you have dinner, lunch or breakfast. A traditional French omelet of two-to-three eggs per person should be beaten, cooked and served in 90 seconds, the experts say. In respect of this culinary folklore, have the filling ready before you cook the eggs. An omelet should be served baveuse – cooked but still soft – and never well-done.
Beat the eggs with a fork just enough to blend the yolks and whites. Season to taste.
Meanwhile, blanch the asparagus in a saucepan of boiling, salted water for three to five minutes. Refresh under cold water, cut stems in half and set aside.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized non-stick pan over a medium heat, tilting the pan to film the base and sides with butter. When the butter starts to colour, pour in the eggs. With a fork, pull the edges of the egg towards the centre as it thickens. Let the liquid part run into the vacant spaces. Quickly repeat so there is no more liquid but the eggs are still soft. Scatter the cheese and asparagus over the eggs.
Lift the handle of the pan so the omelet rolls over itself and onto a warmed plate. Serve immediately.