Lesson 44: Egg Cookery

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Yesterday we cooked eggs in every way you could think of--fried, boiled (hard & soft), poached, etc.  I recently watched Julia Child make a perfect rolled French omelet and was intrigued by her technique.  I couldn't wait to learn how to make one in class.  While my omelets are always very tasty (and a favorite breakfast request from my dad), they sometimes brown on top and fall apart.  

Shown above is my very first french rolled omelet.  Not perfect, but at least it didn't fall apart and didn't brown.  It wasn't as smooth on top as I wanted it to be, but I tried to cover it up with some sauteed peppers and onions :)

To make a French omelet, the key is to have a very hot pan.  Once the [3] eggs go in (that were slightly scrambled with a fork and mixed with a drop of milk and some fine herbs), you can lower the heat a bit, but the pan must be very hot at first.  You must keep the pan in motion while using a fork or spatula to bring the raw eggs to the bottom of the pan.  

When the eggs are just beginning to set, but are still a little wet, you add your fillings (cheeses, vegetables, etc) in a line right in the center.  You fold half of the omelet over and get the eggs to the very edge of the pan.  Then, you roll the omelet on the plate and hope for the perfect fluffy French omelet.

We also learned how to perfectly poach an egg.  I love poached eggs, mostly because of its texture and because its not coated in grease and butter.  To be honest, I really stink at poaching eggs.  If I don't have my fancy william sonoma egg poacher, then my eggs fall apart in the simmer water.  However, in class we used simple metal rings to shape the eggs in the water.  These were the perfect device for making poached eggs because the whites stayed in tact with the yolks.  No fancy egg poacher needed!!  We held the poached eggs in ice water and simply heated them up in boiling water for a few seconds before plating them.  

To assemble our eggs benedict, we sauteed canadian bacon, toasted english muffin halves, and made our hollandaise.  Eggs benedict is a dish that has to be timed perfectly so that the hollandaise doesn't break and the other components are warm and ready to be served.  Unfortunately, our timing was not perfect and our hollandaise solidified.  Here is a picture of the eggs benedict without the hollandaise:

Still looks pretty tasty, huh?  

My favorite part of class was making the fried eggs.  We learned how to flip the eggs over easy using a slight flick of the wrist.  When Chef Karen demonstrated the flip, I immediately knew that it would not be as easy as it looks.  

I was nervous for my first flip and was not successful.  The yolk didn't break, but it didn't look like the perfect fried egg.  My second flip was definitely a success!  I was so excited when it flipped perfectly without the yolk breaking and creating a big mess in the pan.  Check out my glorious fried egg:My team also prepared a frittata.  Frittatas are great for a crowd because you can add a variety of fillings and just slice it into wedges.  For our frittata we just grabbed a bunch of fillings like sauteed peppers and onions, chopped sausage links, crumbled bacon, and sauteed potatoes.  We started the frittata on the stove and then covered it and placed it in the convection oven for about 10 minutes.  When the eggs were set, we flipped it over on a plate and sliced it up!
While cooking eggs was fun, I am even more excited for breakfast cookery part 2 on Monday.  We will be making waffles, pancakes, crepes, and breakfast cereals!


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