Ham and cheese omelet
This French café classic is a cinch to whip up at home. To go the traditional route, use cooked rather than cured ham (i.e. not prosciutto) and Comté, Gruyere or a similar cheese. Of course, you can improvise as you prefer — using cheddar, for example — and all sorts of embellishments are possible, from the addition of fresh herbs (dill, parsley, basil or cilantro, for example) to tender leaves such as baby spinach or arugula.
You will need a seasoned omelet pan (see below). The quantities here are for one omelet. If cooking for two, double the recipe and use a larger pan, cutting the omelet in half before serving. For a larger crowd, plan on turning the omelets out one at a time. They go quickly.
1 slice ham
1-1/2 ounce (40 grams) Comté or a similar cheese
1 tsp. water
1 tsp. butter
1 tsp. olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cut the ham into small squares or strips.
Grate the cheese.
Break the eggs into a bowl. Add the water. Beat with a wire whip until frothy.
Heat the butter and olive oil together in your omelet pan until sizzling (very hot). Swirl to coat the sides of the pan.
Add the eggs. Swirl the pan. Turn the heat down to medium-high. When the eggs start to firm up, use a wooden spatula to lift the edge of the omelet to let the uncooked eggs run beneath. Repeat several times, working your way around the omelet.
Before the eggs have set completely, scatter the ham and cheese over the surface. Turn the heat down to medium and allow the omelet to cook, undisturbed, for another minute or two, until the cheese has melted.
Sprinkle with salt and grind on some black pepper. Shake the pan to loosen the omelet.
Slide the omelet halfway onto a plate, flipping the pan so that the omelet folds over itself. Serve piping hot, garnished as desired. Serves 1.
To season an omelet pan, fill it when cold with about 1/4 inch (5 mm) of cooking oil. Set over medium heat. When the oil is very hot, turn off the heat. When the pan has returned to room temperature, discard the oil and wipe clean with a paper towel.
Hint: For perfect omelets every time, don’t use soap and water to wash you omelet pan after use. Instead, sprinkle it with salt and wipe clean with a paper towel.