Monday, August 6, 2018


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Eastside Road, August 6, 2018—

I SET THE WORDomelette — in French, because I make them the way an Italian taught me to: and when I look up the term in Italian, it is frittata, which is slow cooked, although reference is made to the French omelette, quickly cooked over high heat, in burro e olio, butter and (olive) oil.

The Italian was Primo, the chef brother in the movie Big Night. (The actor is Tony Shalhoub.) In the closing scene he simply makes an omelet, as I will spell the word henceforth, gently beating three eggs with a little salt and frying them quickly in olive oil. The scene is five minutes long and it is achingly beautiful, even if you haven't watched the action that leads up to it. (You can read about the scene, and follow a link to watch it, here.)

For each omelet I break two eggs into a stainless-steel bowl, rinse my hands, scrape the little water remaining on my hands into the eggs, whisk them with a fork, and turn them into a hot iron omelet pan liberally coated with olive oil. I use the pan for nothing else, never wash it, and keep it free of dust in a paper bag.

I lift the edges of the omelet with the fork to let uncooked egg run under. I flip the omelet partially, twice, to fold it into three layers, and let it brown while leaving the inside relatively uncooked.

I turn it onto a warmed dinner plate, unroll it, a little salt, black pepper, and, usually, a small handful of grated Parmesan cheese; then roll it back folded shut again.

With it, tonight, buttered toast; afterward, green salad.

     🍷Rosé, La Ferme Julien, 2016

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