This recipe Courtesy of Chef Michael Tusk of Restaurant Verjus in San Francisco, California. As featured in the April 2020 edition of Food & Wine Magazine.
This beautifully basic method for a French Boursin Omelet should be added to your collection of essential recipes. Served with crusty baguette, a classic salad Frisée and a full glass of Chardonnay, it’s nothing short of impressive.
French omelets are best cooked one at a time and served immediately. For additional servings, multiply this omelet recipe as needed, preparing only as many eggs as you will use in a short time. Use 1/2 cup egg mixture per omelet. The easy scale instruction in my recipe card explains how to adjust ALL Not Entirely Average recipes for less or for more.
If you’ve ever ordered an omelet in Europe, then you know you were served something very unlike the omelets we know and love in America.
This is a story about an omelet. Whenever did you know me not to have a story to tell you? So, a story about a Boursin Omelet. Last in Europe, I meandered down a lane only a block from Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris. I happened upon a quaint little café which I have written about before in my post Cream Puffs with Jasmine Custard.
Au Vieux Paris d’Arcole is not only a resting place for “on foot tourists” to grab a coffee, but also a fabulous place to grab a bite of classic French brasserie nosh.
And it’s not only tourists who flock to this place. The day I was there also happened to be my first day in Paris. I was doing a good bit of just people watching, observing the habits of the working French on their way to the market or to work. It was actually a local who I followed to this magical place, with all of its wisteria and faux roosters.
Just magical. I was famished but coffee was all I knew how to order without embarrassing myself. On a sandwich board in front of the door was an advertisement for le petit déjeuner. In true American fashion (which is not at all chic by French standards) I pointed to the sandwich board. The waiter merely nodded and then disappeared.
Fifteen minutes later, he emerged with a plate that barely fit on the tiny purple café table I was seated at. Gracing the plate, the most beautiful l’Omelette aux Champignons (mushroom omelet) I would ever see or eat for that matter. It was NOT even close to what we know to be an omelet here in the States. This was open, very runny, and boasted many varieties of mushrooms of unique shapes and textures which I had never experienced eating.
So, travel is an adventure. Travel cuisine is an even bigger adventure. And do you know what? For somebody who shies away from runny, ‘less than set’ eggs, and is not the ‘humble mushrooms’ biggest fan, it is to date the best l’Omelette I have ever eaten. I recall glancing back at the sandwich board. “Oeuf.” Hmmm, an egg! “Champignons.” Ahh, mushrooms. Of course. “Boursin.” Boursin??
Omelet or Omelette?
Omelet is the spelling used in American English. Omelette is the spelling used in British English. The British spelling, omelette, is actually the modern French spelling. (Omelets originated in France). According to Grammarly, “The French have also had different versions of the word through time, including amelette and alemette.
The spelling that is used in the United States, omelet, first appeared early in the seventeenth century—so it is not an American invention. It is, however, the spelling that was adopted by Americans, even though the rest of the English-speaking word chose to stay true to the French spelling.” For the purposes of this post, I will use omelet.
Pro Tip: Omelet pans are shallow and have sloped sides. They are designed for ease of moving the omelet mixture during cooking and for sliding the finished omelet out. If you don’t have an omelet pan, it’s best to use a heavy skillet with sloping sides.
I absolutely promise that an omelet is not simply a quick breakfast item, but rather the basis for a filling and speedy dinner. Pair it with a well-chilled Chardonnay and a salad Frisée, and you are in business.
I have been going to physical therapy religiously for quite a while now. It is what I will call a shoulder injury for the sake of brevity. Last week, I arrived early and took a seat in the waiting area. I was happy to find a copy of Food & Wine Magazine to peruse while I waited.
The first page I saw while flipping was this recipe for a Boursin Omelet, a featured dish by Chef Michael Tusk at his French-inflected bar à vin menu at Verjus in San Francisco.
The method was nearly the same as that of Chef Ludo Lefebvre, a French chef, restaurateur, pop-up impresario, author, and television personality. He trained with the great masters in France for 12 years before moving to Los Angeles. And it just so happens I am a fan and a follower. Surely I could combine the genius of both these masters and get this omelet correct. I quickly grabbed my phone and began snapping pictures of the recipe.
And today, I bring it to you. Why? Because there was another ingredient in that beautiful Paris omelet that was so creamy and so melted into the eggs, that I did not identify it. Bet you cannot guess what it was?
A French omelet must be made in a nonstick pan, no exceptions.
I could go on about the merits of Boursin forever. I cannot get enough of the stuff. Hence the reason the caption for a Boursin Omelet captured my attention immediately. In the past, I have blogged about Boursin in my post for Chive & Cheese Cocktail Swirls. Boursin cheese is found in your grocer’s cheese case. From Gournay, France it is similar in consistency to cream cheese, soft and easily spreadable.
The first flavor and still the most popular, is Garlic and Fine Herb. It is the flavor specified for this elegant and velvety omelet. I sprung this on my family a few weeks back, preparing for a light breakfast. I was so excited at how effortless it was that I scrambled and purchased a fresh baguette and some Frisée and have been enjoying as a dinner entrée, too.
All you will need for this creamy Boursin Omelet is a gently sloped non-stick skillet or omelet pan, a rubber spatula, and some heat. Really. That’s it. Well, and the eggs of course. Boursin is the cheese specified in the Food & Wine article, so I went with it. If however you were unable to locate Boursin easily, Rondele is a next best choice.
All images and text ©Jenny DeRemer for Not Entirely Average, LLC
- omelet pan or 8 inch non-stick skillet
Ingredients for a Boursin Omelet
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter plus 1 teaspoon, divided
- 1 cup yellow onion finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon garlic-and-herb Boursin at room temperature
- fresh chives or fresh parsley chopped
- Heat 1 tablespoon butter in an 8 1/2-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add onion, and spread in an even layer. Cook, undisturbed, until onions begin to brown, about 4 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons water and 1/8 teaspoon salt; cook, stirring constantly, until onions are golden brown and softened, 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer onions to a bowl. Wipe skillet clean.
- Using a fork, stir together eggs, cream, and remaining 1/8 teaspoon salt in a medium bowl until well combined, being careful not to incorporate too much air.
- Heat same skillet over medium-high. Add 1 tablespoon butter (it should melt almost immediately); swirl to evenly coat bottom of skillet. Just as butter stops foaming but before it begins to brown, add egg mixture all at once. Cook, stirring constantly with a heatproof rubber spatula, until mixture thickens slightly into very soft scrambled eggs with thin ribbons of set curd running throughout, 10 to 20 seconds. Gently shake skillet to form an even sheet of eggs on bottom of skillet.
- Reduce heat to low. Crumble cheese over eggs. Sprinkle 1 tablespoon caramelized onions in a straight line separating the upper third from the bottom two-thirds of omelet. (Reserve remaining onion for another use.) Cook omelet, undisturbed, until filling heats and cheese melts, about 1 minute. Using spatula and starting with upper third side, gently fold omelet over, just covering filling. Starting at top of folded side, roll up entire omelet. Turn off heat, and let stand 10 seconds. Transfer to a warm plate, and rub hot omelet with remaining 1 teaspoon butter. Sprinkle with chives, and add salt to taste.
- Serve immediately for a quick and filling breakfast entrée or as a main dish entrée with salad and crusty bread.