Culinary School: Week 8 (of 12 weeks)
Last Week's Diary: What Are Sucs and Should We Care?
This week in culinary school we had an entire class dedicated to eggs. Now, I've already talked a lot about eggs in these culinary school posts – the make-ahead egg trick for brunch and also eggs as nature's perfect canned food. But what if you don't like the taste of eggs? Even I, an egg-lover, sometimes find the taste of the yolk to be too fresh or gamey.
Well this week my instructor taught us an interesting trick for getting rid of that gameyness – add some zest or lemon peel into your egg dish!
Lemon zest and juice are used a lot in our class. Even when our textbook doesn't always call for it in a recipe, the instructors will always have them on hand. We squeeze a little juice over apples to keep them from turning brown, or to add a little brightness to things. One of my instructors went to so far as to say he uses lemon just as much as he uses salt. Now that's a lot.
Our instructor, Chef Guido, said his mother loved using tiny bits of lemon peel in her quiches as a nice surprise for guests. You're not expecting that bit of chewy, tangy lemon, but it's a welcome addition. When I tried it at home I immediately fell in love with the idea. It really does transform your standard omelette.
You only need a small teaspoon of lemon zest or lemon peel on scrambled eggs, an omelette, or a quiche, to really brighten the dish. Anything more than that will overpower your eggs with lemon. It's a simple and effective trick.
Last Week in Culinary School
This week was an interesting one in culinary school. We concluded our study of meat with beef on Monday night, and then went straight to a class dedicated to eggs (six different ways!). Here's everything we made.
Grilled Steak with Pomme Frites. Broken Bernaise.
Blanquette de Veau a l'ancienne, riz pilaf
Poached, scrambled, omelette, eggs cooked on a plate
Stuffed Eggs, Chimay Style
Next week we start pastry! So. Excited.
After dreaming about culinary school for the last five years, I finally signed up for a course this summer at the International Culinary Center in New York. The course, "Culinary Techniques," is a three month class that meets two nights a week, and focuses on classic culinary traditions and methods like knife skills, stock-making, classic recipes, and some pastry.
(Image credits: Ariel Knutson)