Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nordic Ware Rolled Omelette Pan

I got a special request from a reader on what I should write about next. You seem confused. Yes, I have readers and yes I sometimes listen to them. The reader who suggested this one is a close friend so I will forgive the $40, I just spent on this pan because that is half a day's pay in my world.
Welcome to the first tool I tested that I still am riding the fence about. Let me show you the process I went through and then I will discuss why I cannot decide whether or not I like this thing.
Here is how I started this process, deciding what I want in my omelette. I decided I like salsa and cheese more than anything on my eggs. Here is where I seemingly become uncharacteristic, I make my own salsa, always.
Stuff for an omelette, if you do not know what these are or have them at home I cannot help you
I am not telling you how to make salsa, that is not what this is about. I made a roasted green salsa, my favorite. I bought some preshredded pepper jack cheese, as I do not like to feel my face after eating anything. Blend your eggs and season them with some salt and pepper, unless you have the speed of a rabid mongoose do this first. I use a fork which is a direct thumb in the eye to my culinary training. My whisk is just too big but it would provide more uniform results. I did not add any dairy to my eggs, this is what I prefer. As splash of milk or cream would help with the final results but we will get into that later. Finally, that is 2 eggs of the large variety.
1 tbsp Butter, of the unsalted variety.
I have the burner set on 4 of 10. 5 on my stove is hell and 3 is pretty much off. I used butter but I guess you could use olive oil (from my previous blog that you should go read), bacon fat (which I keep a ready supply in my fridge), or thanks to a chef I work with and if you have it chorizo drippings mmmmmm. Tilt the pan around to evenly coat it. Get all the nooks and crannies, which reminds me I should make English muffins soon. Tilting this pan is extremely awkward, and as you shall see can be messy.
Rotate your head to see the image, this I cannot help.
Add your eggs. Do your best to keep them moving by doing 2 things. Rock the pan backwards and forwards causing a wave motion and hopefully cause the center ridge to get coated. This is difficult, but it is key. This is where the dairy would come in handy, it will make the liquid more viscous and it would coat better. I used the spatula that came with the pan, which is nothing more than a bowl scraper. Using the spatula push the custard around quickly to break up the just setting eggs.
Not easy, see the very small amount of coating in the center, do your best to build that up
Here is where problem 1 comes in. I have an electric range and it does not heat that ridge efficiently, so the custard does not set the second it comes in contact with it. A flame could climb up inside there but the radiant heat does not work well. It will work, it will just kick you in the shins and call you names while you mess with it.
The custard is starting to set up, but it is still moist on top. When you see this, add your filling. You want this to be just barely set up as you roll. A slightly undercooked egg will be cooked by the time you serve and a cooked egg in the pan will be crap when you serve it. I also have no counter space around my stove so I have to rest everything on top of it. Roll away!
It lifts easily, and the bowl scraper is the perfect size to apply even pressure. Problem 2, spread the filling out evenly in the first bay and the filling cannot be too wet. If it is too wet it moves around and gets leaky, if it is not spread flat and evenly the clump just does not like to move as you will see in the final results. To roll, use gravity, tilt the pan away from you and scoop. You will get the hang of it, I have not yet.
UGLY, but tasty
Tilt the pan over your plate and slide the egg out. These are ugly little omelettes, but maybe I don't have the hang of the pan yet. How do we fix ugly, besides beer googles?
More salsa, the cure for ugly
This was just a timing and physical mess again maybe more training is needed. These are two tasty hybrid American French Omelettes, LESSON TIME! American omelette is usually a filled and folded in half in a round pan they are ok to brown on the outside and can have large set curd, see Denver Omelette for an image. A French omelette is usually not stuffed but has a creamy unset small curd center and is taken out of a round pan in a tri-fold and has no browning, not meant for being coated in salsa and hot sauce which I enjoy.
I chose to work over low heat and not to set the center to make this a true hybrid, I enjoy soft unset eggs, if you want brown and set up your heat a little bit.
Extremely happy they are still hot enough to melt the cheese

Ok here is the break down, let me get on my MC Hammer pants. Oh wait I always have them on. Ooo shiny. The pan requires you to practice, if you get it the first time you are better than I. I like the idea of this pan. I can see what the designer was getting at. For a novice or someone obsessed on uniformity, like me, this is a helpful tool. It seems to be a uni-tasker and that will anger Alton Brown (whom I love). However, I can see using this for stuffed crepes too. 2 grilled cheeses will work. Finally, fill it with custard and bake it for two subdivided frittatas.
You can buy this pan exclusively at Williams Sonoma. It is around 40 bucks, so it is not cheap. I can see its usefulness eventually, but right now it continues to kick my shins. For those of you scared of teflon, this is one of those new green non-stick coatings. So I guess the butter is not necessary, but it is delicious. The swirling of the custard can get messy, so be delicate when you start. I will still play with it because my original omelette pan is toast from years of use. Save your instructions!!!! I did not, and I cannot find them online, perhaps this is why my shins hurt. *limps away full of eggs till next time