Cooking an omelet is a terrifyingly deliberate process. So we enlisted veteran food scribe Manny Howard to teach us the ins and outs of the world's most challenging single-ingredient meal. In the above video, and in the recapped recipe below, Howard explains his five-step process – as you'll see, it's all about temperature and timing.
• 1 tbsp corn or peanut oil
• 3 eggs at room temperature, beaten
• Salt and pepper
• 1 tbsp cold butter
• Diced chive for garnish
Over medium-high flame (but not high), preheat seasoned skillet or nonstick pan.
Whisk eggs well, season with salt and pepper. Add oil to pan. Whisk eggs one last time and pour into pan.
Stir eggs using rubber spatula as they coagulate, continuously drawing from edge back to the center of pan to prevent sticking. Cook until it has consistency of soft, wet scrambled eggs.
Raise pan and tap it with a little force flat onto burner, so eggs settle and release from pan. Lift pan off burner, tip it forward at 45-degree angle and using spatula fold top third of the egg disk toward the center. Straighten pan and fold lower third over first fold.
Lay pats of butter over egg and around pan. Shake pan so that folded eggs and melting butter swirl around. Continue till butter has melted and foamed a bit but hasn't browned.
With one hand hold serving plate to the side of pan at an angle, then flip pan over so omelet half-somersaults onto the plate, arriving seam-side down. The omelet's filling shouldn't be completely cooked. Garnish with chive and place final pat of butter on egg.