4 Levels of Omelets: Amateur to Food Scientist

We challenged chefs of three different levels - an amateur, a home cook and a professional chef - to make their versions of an omelet. And then we brought in a food scientist to review their work. Which omelet was the best? Check out the professional's recipe here on the ICE blog: https://www.ice.edu/blog/french-omelet-recipe

Released on 5/21/2019

Transcript

00:00
[bacon sizzling]
00:01
[lighthearted music]
00:04
Hi I'm Emily, and I'm a level one chef.
00:07
Hi I'm Lorenzo, and I'm a level two chef.
00:09
Hi I'm Barb, and I'm a level three chef.
00:12
[lighthearted music]
00:14
It's been a while since I've made an omelet
00:15
'cause usually I just give in and make scrambled eggs
00:17
with stuff in them.
00:18
The recipe comes from many many brunches
00:21
that I've gone to.
00:22
I'm going to be making a french omelet
00:24
with a wild mushroom and goat cheese filling
00:26
and fresh herbs.
00:29
[lighthearted music]
00:34
The fillings going into my omelet
00:36
are precooked ham stick and some green bell pepper.
00:38
When I'm figuring out the amount of filling
00:40
I should use, I just kind of eyeball it.
00:42
And that's kinda gonna be it.
00:44
So that's the first thing I'm gonna do
00:45
is actually gonna start cooking the bacon.
00:47
The vegetables I'm using today
00:49
are red bell pepper, Spanish onion,
00:52
green scallions, white button--
00:53
Mushrooms, and softened goat cheese.
00:56
With the mushrooms, we're going to toss them
00:59
with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
01:02
All right, so these are going to be roasted.
01:05
I might as well do my decor, I'm only gonna use
01:07
the green portion.
01:08
[Barb] We're gonna use Italian parsley,
01:11
chives, and chervil.
01:13
And there's our fresh herb mix.
01:15
Let's start sauteing my vegetables.
01:17
I'm gonna add a little bit of red pepper flakes
01:20
'cause I like it a little spicy.
01:21
I'm not cooking this all the way down,
01:24
I just wanted a little bit of the raw bite off.
01:27
The mushrooms have come out of the oven.
01:29
We're going to roughly chop them,
01:31
we're going to add our mushrooms in,
01:33
just a little bit of black pepper.
01:36
So as this is going, I'll add a little bit of salt.
01:38
All right, so we have sauteed the vegetables.
01:42
So I'm putting the filling into a piping bag,
01:45
so that it's gonna be easy to fill our omelet.
01:48
All right, we're going to now make the egg mixture.
01:50
So what I'm gonna do is I'm gonna crack some eggs
01:52
into this bowl, two eggs.
01:53
And then I'm just gonna mix some other stuff into it.
01:56
So first I've got egg number one, woo!
01:59
Egg number two.
02:00
Didn't get any shell in there this time,
02:01
so pretty much professional.
02:03
I actually crack the eggs in a separate bowl
02:05
just to make sure that I don't have any shells
02:07
at the bottom of the bowl.
02:09
From here I slowly pour it into my actual whisking bowl.
02:13
We're gonna start with three eggs for the omelet.
02:16
Crack the eggs away from the bowl that we're going
02:18
to be mixing them in
02:19
so that we don't chip the shell
02:21
and get it into our egg mixture,
02:23
and I always use two hands to separate the eggs.
02:25
I'm gonna be whisking these eggs,
02:27
but it needs salt. Salt.
02:28
The salt actually helps break down proteins
02:31
in the eggs, so you're gonna have fluffier omelet.
02:34
What I'm gonna do next is mix in a little bit of water,
02:38
so what I'm doing here is I'm just whisking it with a fork.
02:41
I use a fork, but of course if you have a handy dandy
02:43
whisk, go for it.
02:45
So I tend to whisk up and over in a circular motion
02:48
so that I catch all of the eggs.
02:50
Whisking side to side doesn't really do anything for you.
02:53
We wanna whisk vigorously because we wanna make sure
02:56
that the whites and the yolks are completely
03:00
homogenized so we don't end up with big white
03:02
splotches in our omelet.
03:04
I like a little texture in there, you know?
03:06
Like some of it's more yolk-y, some more egg white-y.
03:10
I just wanna get some air into the egg mixture,
03:15
and kinda incorporate all the salt that I put in there.
03:18
So seasoning wise I pretty much just eyeball it.
03:20
Yeah, that's a fine amount of pepper.
03:22
I'm gonna put just a pinch of salt in.
03:25
We're gonna add in a generous pinch of our fresh herbs,
03:30
and just mix them in, just before we start to cook.
03:33
All right,
03:35
now I'm actually going to start heating up my pan.
03:38
I'm gonna put this over medium heat.
03:40
We're gonna use two teaspoons of whole
03:43
[All] Butter.
03:44
This is gonna add some flavor to our omelet,
03:46
and help the omelet not stick.
03:48
It's a pretty fast process.
03:51
And
03:54
swim.
03:54
Ah, don't burn.
03:56
Soon as the eggs go in the pan,
03:58
we start to stir.
03:59
And I'm making little circles around into a big circle.
04:04
I move it around a little bit.
04:05
You can see as I'm doing that,
04:07
it's starting to wrinkle a little bit,
04:09
that means it's cooking.
04:10
The reason I'm doing this is because I want the eggs
04:13
to cook evenly.
04:14
If I let them sit,
04:16
the eggs that are touching the bottom of the pan
04:18
are gonna cook more than the ones on top
04:21
even though this is thin.
04:23
I'm just gonna give it like one more second,
04:25
obviously this is an exact science.
04:27
I personally like it loose like that,
04:30
it's still a little runny.
04:31
So I'm gonna cook the eggs 'til they're about 85% done.
04:34
I'm gonna cut off my heat, and then I'm gonna spread
04:38
this back out.
04:39
I'm gonna toss some fillings in here now,
04:41
so I'm just gonna put my ham and my peppers
04:44
on one side of it.
04:47
Let's start with my cheese,
04:48
this is freshly grated cheddar cheese.
04:51
And I put it right smack in the middle,
04:52
and then you take your veggies,
04:55
you do the same thing in the middle.
04:56
Oh my goodness, that looks good already.
04:59
Then what I'm gonna do is take my filling,
05:02
and add a nice generous amount in the center.
05:07
And then I'm just going to take this side,
05:09
and then just flip it like that.
05:11
I'm gonna fold omelet one third of the way,
05:15
slide it towards the end of my pan.
05:17
Now I'm just gonna roll it onto a plate.
05:19
Life up and roll.
05:21
[Barb] And then roll.
05:24
Kind if a plop. [laughs]
05:29
So I like to put hot sauce on my omelet.
05:31
I still have a little topping to go with.
05:34
My fresh scallions 'cause I love the bite
05:37
of that onion-y flavor of a scallion.
05:39
And then don't forget the bacon folks.
05:41
I like tearing and placing the bacon on top,
05:45
And then we're gonna take
05:46
a nice generous pinch, and just garnish
05:49
our omelets at the end.
05:50
All right, so this is our omelet,
05:51
and I think it looks pretty good.
05:54
It looks actually really delicious.
05:57
So I'm really happy with how this turned out.
06:00
[lighthearted music]
06:05
I can't wait to dig in.
06:07
Still really nice and moist.
06:10
Mm. Mm!
06:12
That's a good omelet.
06:13
Mm, the vegetables with the sharp sharp cheddar cheese,
06:16
it's so good together.
06:18
I get a little bit of tanginess from the goat cheese,
06:20
a really nice roast-y flavor.
06:22
It's great, I told you I could make an omelet.
06:25
We saw three different chefs
06:26
make three different omelets
06:28
each with their own filling, cooking method, and toppings.
06:31
[pan sizzling] [dramatic drum music]
06:35
Let's start with the filling.
06:36
Emily used raw bell peppers in her omelet.
06:39
Lorenzo sauteed his vegetables,
06:42
and Barb used roasted mushrooms.
06:44
What Barb and Lorenzo did was remove some of that moisture
06:48
from the vegetables so that the filling isn't too moist.
06:52
Boo ya!
06:52
When we have a really moist filling in our omelet,
06:55
we can see a process called syneresis or weeping.
06:58
When the eggs weep liquid out,
07:01
and create something a little bit more soggy
07:03
as oppose to light and fluffy.
07:07
Lorenzo and Barb both filled their omelets with cheese.
07:10
Lorenzo chose cheddar cheese
07:12
which is a low moisture cheese.
07:13
I just like the sharpness of cheddar cheese.
07:16
And Barb chose goat cheese
07:18
which is a high moisture cheese.
07:19
The goat cheese helps bind our mushrooms together.
07:22
High moisture cheeses like goat cheese
07:25
melt at the same temperature our eggs
07:27
will coagulate at
07:28
whereas our low moisture cheeses
07:30
like our cheddar cheese melt at a higher temperature
07:33
than we need to cook our eggs,
07:35
so they might not completely be melted
07:37
when we go to roll or fold our omelet.
07:41
[dramatic drum music]
07:45
Next our chefs blended their eggs.
07:47
Eggs are composed of two different parts.
07:50
Our egg white which is mostly protein and water,
07:53
and that cooks at a lower temperature,
07:55
around 140 degrees fahrenheit,
07:57
and our egg yolk which is mostly lipids with a little bit
08:01
of protein and carbohydrates,
08:03
and that starts to cook at a higher temperature
08:05
around 149 degrees fahrenheit.
08:08
Blending those two homogeneously
08:10
will ensure that we have an even cook in our omelet.
08:13
Emily and Lorenzo used a fork to blend their eggs,
08:16
and Barb used a whisk.
08:18
Either of these are good options
08:19
to create a homogenous mixture,
08:21
but when using a whisk, be sure not to
08:23
over aerate your eggs.
08:25
We can over beat the eggs, and produce a foamy mixture
08:28
that won't cook at the same rate as the rest
08:31
of our eggs.
08:32
All right.
08:33
All of our chefs added salt to their egg mixture
08:36
before transferring that to the heat.
08:38
The salt will help to dissolve all of the proteins
08:41
in the egg mixture which will create
08:43
a fluffy final product.
08:44
Emily added water into her egg mixture.
08:47
That's what I was taught to do,
08:48
so that's what I'm doing.
08:49
Some people think that you have to add liquid
08:51
into your egg mixture, but this isn't necessary.
08:54
Eh.
08:55
Adding a liquid like water is gonna increase
08:57
the temperature that we have to cook
08:59
or coagulate our eggs.
09:01
If you are choosing to add a liquid into your egg mixture,
09:04
choose heavy cream or whole milk
09:06
to add an extra rich flavor to your eggs.
09:09
[dramatic drum music]
09:12
Emily used a moderate heat when cooking her omelet.
09:16
Lorenzo cooked his omelet at a low temperature,
09:18
and Barb chose a higher temperature to cook her omelet.
09:21
When using a low or moderate temperature like Lorenzo
09:25
and Emily did, it's okay to spread your omelet
09:28
throughout the whole pan to ensure even cooking
09:31
within the omelet.
09:32
When choosing a higher temperature,
09:34
move your eggs around just like Barb did
09:36
so that we're not overexposing our eggs to heat,
09:39
and we have an even cooking without
09:41
damaging or toughening the protein in our eggs.
09:44
Like I'm frosting a cake so it's nice and even.
09:47
When we heat eggs, we see two different protein reactions.
09:51
The first protein reaction is called protein denaturation
09:54
when we uncoil or unravel the egg proteins.
09:57
Next the proteins coagulate, or aggregate
10:01
into something we call a curd.
10:03
This is the main protein reaction
10:05
we see when we're cooking an omelet.
10:07
[dramatic drum music]
10:11
Today we saw our chefs make two styles of omelets.
10:14
The french style omelet,
10:15
and the diner style omelet.
10:17
Emily made a diner style omelet where she browned
10:20
the bottom of her omelet.
10:22
She created a light and fluffy texture,
10:24
and folded it in half.
10:25
Barb created a french style omelet
10:27
with no browning on the bottom,
10:29
she left it a pale yellow color
10:31
with a tender inside.
10:33
Lorenzo created something kind of in between the two.
10:35
It is though, it really is.
10:37
[Food Scientist] He created a tender filling,
10:39
and browned the outside
10:40
to create a crust, and then folded it in half.
10:42
That makes sense?
10:43
The french style omelet leaves moisture
10:45
on the top of the eggs giving them plasticity
10:48
so that we can roll it into a cigar-style shape.
10:51
The diner style omelet is cooked longer
10:54
as evidence by the browning on the bottom
10:57
of Lorenzo and Emily's omelet.
10:59
Cooking our eggs longer draws out more moisture,
10:59
and we don't have the plasticity that we need
11:04
to roll it into that cigar-style shape.
11:07
That's why it's better to fold our diner style omelet.
11:10
[dramatic drum music]
11:14
Everybody has their favorite way
11:15
to top an omelet.
11:16
Emily chose hot sauce which is gonna help
11:18
to balance the salty flavor from the ham
11:22
in her omelet.
11:23
Ha. [laughs]
11:24
Lorenzo chose bacon
11:25
which is gonna give a nice crunch and texture
11:28
to his omelet while also providing a deep flavor.
11:31
Who doesn't like bacon?
11:32
Barb added herbs to her omelet
11:35
which is gonna give an earthiness,
11:36
and a freshness to her final product.
11:38
This is one of my favorite things
11:39
to make for dinner.
11:40
Hopefully you can incorporate some of these elements
11:43
and techniques into your own recipe.
11:45
[lighthearted music]