Sunday, September 9, 2012

Breaking Eggs

Real chefs judge each other not by how well they can cook an elaborate dinner, but how well they can cook an omelet. This, the most simple of dishes, requires every real skill a good cook needs: confidence; the ability to cook an egg;  a light hand with seasoning; working with the right tools and heat; strong arm muscles to heft the pan while cooking, and to tip the omelet out at the end. If you’ve ever ballsed up something so simple, you’ll know how difficult it actually is.

Here’s the delicate flower of American cooking, Julia Child, showing us, in her inimitable way, how it’s done.

You can tell that the omelet is important because in her classic, Mastering The Art of French Cooking, she devotes many pages to breaking down each step, complete with illustrations. Note how the lady in this picture holds the pan. Now, go to your kitchen, and grab a pan just like it. That is, big and heavy. Hold it with one arm just like that.

Now, grab a plate.

Now, pretend you have a fragile omelet in there you have to quickly turn out, without breaking the omelet, the plate, the pan, or your arm.

Mastering The Art of French Cooking, Julia Child, Knopf, 1961

Also from this book: A Spot of (Batter) Bother
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