Easy, Delicious French Salmon Omelet Recipe
Do you like salmon omelets?
What's so different about a French omelet?
A French omelet is lighter and fluffier than its English or American cousin, and the secret is in the cooking technique. With this little trick, you can take any omelet and add Continental flair. Then you can call it an omelette!
You will use one frying pan: for a small omelet for one or two, an 8-inch pan is great. For a brunch or dinner serving four or six - or to make enough for leftovers, use a 10-inch pan. It is best if the pan has rounded sides, but that is not essential. A tight-fitting pot lid is essential.
The key is that we are going to start cooking the omelet on a high heat, then instantly bring it down to a very low heat, and let it cook on its own for 10 to 20 minutes. On a gas stove, this is easy. Simply heat the pan on high, add the olive oil, then add the omelet mixture, and turn the flame down to low. On an electric stove, it is a bit trickier. This is because electric stoves do not cool off quickly.
The solution for an electric stove top is to use two burners. Set one burner on very low, and leave it on with no pan on it, and nothing nearby. On another burner, increase the heat to high, heat the pan, add the olive oil, then add the omelet mixture. Then cover the pan and immediately move it to the pre-warmed burner on low heat. And be sure to turn off the high burner. Your omelet will be ready, fluffy, and delicious in 10 to 20 minutes.
Slicing the SalmonClick thumbnail to view full-size
Salmon or Lox?
The long, slow cooking of a French omelet allows you to use raw salmon. This recipe is also an excellent way to use up leftovers from a salmon dinner, too! Or you can steam the salmon, or use lox or any other smoked salmon.
If you use lox or salty smoked salmon, you may want to skip putting salt in the eggs, or use just a tiny bit of salt.
Slicing Roasted Red PepperClick thumbnail to view full-size
- 4 oz salmon, raw, cooked, or smoked (lox), thin sliced or broken into bits
- 1/2 red pepper, roasted, pickled, or fresh
- 1 shallot, 2 scallions, or 1 spring onions, chopped long and thin
- 8 eggs
- 1/2 cup milk or soymilk
- salt, to taste
- pepper (black, white, or varicolored), optional, to taste
- 2 tsp olive oil, extra virgin is best
- 1 tsp butter, optional
Olive Oils and ButterClick thumbnail to view full-size
Olive Oil Choices
I always use Extra Virgin olive oil - it has the best taste. It used to be an expensive specialty item, but now it is quite common and not too costly. In fact, I've been finding it at discount outlets lately, for just $3 per quart or liter. (That's where I got the glass bottles in the photo; the big canister was on sale at a green market.) I buy organic when I can, but I don't worry about that too much. One recommendation: olive oil that has a very green shade tends to taste more like olives - a delicious flavor, but a bit too strong for a salmon dish.
Butter is optional, but, as always, delicious!
Lovely Sliced ShallotsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Shallots, Garlic, or Onions?
I discovered shallots last year, and I think they are beautiful. Taste-wise, they sit halfway between garlic and onion, but are mild and only mildly sweet.
Small shallots can be a pain - as much skin as garlic, and harder to peel. Large shallots, though, peel easily and slice up in seconds.
For this dish, shallots are my favorite because the mild flavor goes so well with salmon.
Scallions or spring onions are also mild, and do well.
For a stronger flavor, use garlic, but just one large or two small cloves. If onion is all you can get, try to use a mild onion, and use only half of one.
Mixing the Milk and EggsClick thumbnail to view full-size
Easy cooking for a French omelet
- Slice the raw salmon or smoked salmon (lox) into thin pieces, or, if you are using leftover or steamed salmon, break it into bits. Slice the shallot, scallion, or spring onion in long thin strips. (Or if that's too much trouble, just chop it up!) The red pepper is optional, but beautiful. Slice it into thin strips. Set all these ingredients aside, ready to drop into the omelet when the pan is hot.
- Break all 8 eggs into a bowl or 4-cup measure, and beat with a whisk until smooth. Pour in the milk or soy milk, and the salt (if any), and beat some more.
- Line up all the ingredients near the stove, so you're ready to drop them in. If you are using an electric stove, now is the time to pre-heat the second burner on it's very lowest setting. Heat the pan, dry, on medium-high or high heat. Add the olive oil. If it starts to smoke, lift the pan for just a moment. Add the butter (optional). It should melt very quickly. When the oil is hot, pour the egg mixture in very quickly. Then, right away, move the pan to the other burner, or, on a gas stove, turn the heat down.
- Sprinkle in the salmon and shallots (or spring onions, etc.) Add pepper to taste.
- Cover and let cook about 8 minutes on very low heat.
- Remove the cover and decorate with the red peppers.
- Cover again, and cook for 4 to 12 minutes. Cooking time varies greatly due to different cooking temperatures and pans. But this is not a problem - it's safe to check your omelet every 3 minutes, and there is a lot of leeway - a bit long or short on the cooking, and it will still come out great.
- When all the liquid egg on top is solid, your omelet is done. Slice and serve!
Everything Ready to Go!Click thumbnail to view full-size
Here are some cooking tips:
- On newer electric stoves, the second burner should probably be set between medium and low, as low may not be hot enough to really fluff the omelet.
- If the omelet is cooking very slowly near the end, you can increase the heat, and also drizzle a little water down the edge of the pan. The water will steam up and cook the top of the egg.
- If you like, you can put the shallots, garlic, spring onions, or onions in the hot oil, swirl them around for a quick shallow-fry, and pour the eggs over them. This gives a more sauteed flavor to the shallots, onions, or garlic.
- Don't worry - it's safe to take off the cover and take a look!
Smoking Olive Oil
Oops! I burned the olive oil!
I'm a better cook than this, honest! But I was trying to be a cook and a photographer at the same time, and the camera shut down, then the shutter delay went of and . . . and . . . the olive oil started to smoke.
It all came out okay - here's a photo of what not to do!
If the oil does start to smoke, lift the pan off the burner. It's okay to cook with oil that's too hot. In fact, the French have beurre brun (brown butter) and beurre noire (black butter). But health folks tell us that over-heated oil is unhealthy. For lighter flavor or health, you can dump out the oil and start over.
An Easy Cooking ProcessClick thumbnail to view full-size
When your pour the egg and milk mixture into the hot pan, the bottom of the egg will cook and turn solid right away, giving the omelet a firm bottom. Take it off the high heat immediately!
Then lay in the salmon and the shallots, and add some ground pepper if you want. (Photo #1 above.)
Cover the pan (Photo #2) and let it cook for about 10 minutes before laying in the red pepper (photo #3). If you are using raw red pepper, you can put it in a couple of minutes earlier. When the top is solid, your delicious French Salmon Omelette is ready to plate and serve (Photo #4).
French Salmon Omelet Nutrition Information
|Serving size: 1 portion, 2 eggs, 1 oz. salmon|
|Calories from Fat||261|
|% Daily Value *|
|Fat 29 g||45%|
|Saturated fat 9 g||45%|
|Unsaturated fat 20 g|
|Carbohydrates 14 g||5%|
|Sugar 9 g|
|Fiber 1 g||4%|
|Protein 16 g||32%|
|Cholesterol 400 mg||133%|
|* The Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet, so your values may change depending on your calorie needs. The values here may not be 100% accurate because the recipes have not been professionally evaluated nor have they been evaluated by the U.S. FDA.|
Nutrition Information Details
The nutrition information on the right is calculated for 1/4 of the recipe, so, as stated, the recipe serves 4. The photo of 1/4 of the dish from the 10-inch pan is one portion. You can reduce fat and cholesterol just a bit by not using the teaspoon of butter, and cooking in olive oil only, or by replacing the milk with skim milk.
I Love Salmon, But . . .
I love salmon, but I'm glad I don't have to stand in an icy river for an hour to catch it! (See video)
And I'm glad there's enough to go around. What if I had to wrestle with this guy to get my salmon!
Let's appreciate and take care of the natural world, cook great food, and have some fun eating it!