I feel like I am the last to know that IHOP puts pancake batter in their omelettes. (Did you know? Why didn’t you tell me?) Usually I’m pretty good about this kind of thing, but somehow this particular chain restaurant hack slipped right past me. Luckily, this oversight was easily remedied. I just had to eat an omelette.
Actually, I ate a scramble as well, but that was not very good, as the eggs cooked faster than the pancake mix, giving the scramble a dense, undercooked-batter vibe. It made my stomach hurt, actually.
An omelette makes more sense as a vehicle for pancake batter. It is shaped like a pancake (round and flat), and cooks much like a pancake (it sits very still for a while in the pan). The pancake omelette was much more successful than the pancake scramble, is what I’m saying.
If you google “pancake omelette” you will find a few articles and recipes claiming that IHOP does this to make their omelettes “fluffier.” I have not been to an IHOP in some time, and I don’t remember their omelettes being remarkably fluffy, but I guess a case could be made that the addition of leavening agents and flour could add some air-capturing structure to your eggs.
Most copycat recipes recommend half a cup of mix for two eggs, but when I tried even a quarter of that (one tablespoon per egg), I found myself in a valley of confusion with my brain toggling between “weird pancake” and “sweet eggs.” I eventually settled on one tablespoon of mix for three eggs, and found this to be quite enjoyable.
It was not, however, fluffy. There were some structural and textural differences between the pancake omelette and a traditional one, but it was springy and (a little) spongey, not fluffy. But that’s ok. Culinary semantics aside, this omelette is enjoyable. It’s got a nice bounce to it, it’s slightly sweet, and the little bit of colour it gets on the outside tastes toasty, not burnt. It was also a bit more durable during cooking, and flipped and folded more easily than any other omelette I’d ever made.
To make a pancake omelette, you will need:
1 tablespoon pancake mix (I use Krusteaz)
1 tablespoon of butter
Fillings, such as cheese
Whisk the eggs and batter together until the eggs are an even yellow. A couple of little lumps of pancake mix are ok, and will in fact give the omelette more bounce. Set the mixture aside. (Just like when you’re making pancakes, it helps to give the batter in the eggs a little bit of rest before cooking, otherwise they come out kind of flat and dense.)
Melt the butter in a nonstick pan over medium heat. Once the butter is melted and foaming, pour the egg mixture into the pan and let the eggs cook undisturbed for a minute or so, then gently tilt the pan to coax uncooked egg over the side of the cooked egg.
Once the omelette is fairly set (it will slide around the pan) and slightly damp-looking on top, add the cheese, then roll the omelette around the cheese and let cook for another 30 seconds or so. Serve and enjoy immediately.