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Easy steps to a perfect omelet, plus great filling ideas.

Omelet Making GuideThe fastest meal on the planet is a simple folded French-style omelet. Once you have mastered the technique, as long as you have a few eggs on hand you will be able to whip up a healthful, satisfying repast that’s perfect anytime.

Here are the basics:

Use 2 eggs to make an omelet for one serving, 4 eggs to make an omelet for two. Never make an omelet with more than 5 eggs. If you are serving four people, make two omelets back to back. They’re that fast.

Use a heavy 7- to 10-inch nonstick or well-seasoned skillet with low, sloping sides and a comfortable sturdy handle that won’t get hot. A small flexible spatula is essential; we like a heat-resistant rubber spatula.

Have the filling all prepared and warmed, if it was refrigerated. Don’t overstuff: figure 1/4 cup filling for a 2-egg omelet. The filling can be just about anything (see "Filling Ideas," below).

Step 1. Gently whisk the eggs or mix with a fork just until blended. Add about 1/2 tablespoon water per egg, if desired: the water will turn to steam as the eggs heat and make the omelet a little fluffier. The classic omelet is made without any additions other than a pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper.

Step 2. Heat 1 teaspoon olive oil in a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Tilt to coat the pan with oil. Pour the eggs into the pan and immediately stir with a heat-resistant rubber spatula or fork for 5 to 10 seconds. Then push the cooked portions at the edge toward the center, tilting the pan to allow uncooked egg to fill in around the edges. When no more egg runs to the sides, continue to cook until almost set and the bottom is light golden. (The omelet will continue to cook as it is filled and folded.) This whole step takes about 1 minute.

Step 3. Remove the pan from the heat and spoon filling onto the center third of the omelet perpendicular to the handle. Use the spatula to fold the third of the omelet closest to the handle over the filling. Then, grasping the handle from underneath and using the spatula as a guide, tip the omelet onto a warm plate so that it lands folded in thirds, seam-side down.

Omelet Filling Ideas

Grated cheese and chopped cooked broccoli (use frozen for convenience)

Sautéed mushrooms

Vine-ripened tomatoes, diced, and slivers of fresh basil

Sautéed chopped onion and Canadian bacon

Sliced smoked salmon, reduced-fat cream cheese and dill

Sautéed potatoes and onions

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