Does anyone remember that commercial from….oh 20 years ago? I can still hear the tune in my head…
I took a class at the local community college called “Egg Cookery” last night. I was a bit dubious about how useful it would be, but I love eggs, eat lots of them, so I figured there would be SOME good information! I actually really enjoyed it. It really wasn’t Eggs 101 or anything – the chef presumed most of us could cook (which wasn’t as true as he or I would have hoped). He made quiche, omelets, frittata, hard boiled eggs, poached eggs, mayonnaise, hollandaise, and zabaglione over fresh strawberries.
Now, a lot of these things were not primal, even in the vaguest sense of the imagination. However, I was there to enjoy myself and enrich my daily life, so I decided it would be one of the rare occasions where I would not let myself sweat a bit of wheat and sugar. As you can see with the new header – this blog is about keeping it real! The quiche was splendid, though he saw fit to put sugar in the crust which I did not enjoy. The quiche had leeks, shallots and onions in, with shredded swiss cheese. I could totally rock this without a crust! He made a good point about the ingredients you use with eggs, and the fact that they should be as dry as possible. Not to say that you need them to be bone dry – onions and the like fry down nicely. However when you get into things like spinach or mushrooms, it’s advisable to squeeze them out in a paper towel before adding them. I’ve experienced the “wetness” of these vegetables in my previous crustless quiche endeavors so I was glad to hear this tip. This man also LOVED his butter, and I think I am going to make the switch to butter (from bacon fat) for my eggs full time. The butter adds SUCH a good flavor.
The hollandaise was delicious, but he took a super long time to make it! I love Joyful Abode’s recipe for this, and I make it very often. His hollandaise sauce was a bit silkier due to the LONG time he took to whisk the egg yolks, so I think I’ll change my tack a little and whisk the egg yolks for however long it take for the butter to melt…or till my arm gets tired. Ultimately, I think I’ll stick with Emily’s method for the everyday, but I might try using the method the chef used for a special occasion. Of course, he made us eggs benedict with this and the poached eggs. First time I’ve had an English muffin since last year, and it was tasty! He didn’t put ham in the dish because he said pork was too tricky for large groups of people (allergies, religious beliefs) so he put brie instead. Yummy!
The hard boiled egg demo didn’t contain much new information, but it was still fun to watch some of the (seriously stupid) people in the room absorb this information. Some claimed that NO MATTER WHAT THEY DID, the yolks always came green. The chef was deadpan when he said “You need to cook it less”. I confess I would have bust out laughing at them, because, duh. He made the mayo while the eggs were boiling, added some chopped basil and served us half a hard boiled egg with a nice dollop of that on top.
Then it was omelet and frittata time! He had a dozen pre-chopped ingredients, and made 3 or 4 of them for us with various combinations. He even made one an egg white omelet and I think the butter is what made it edible. Considering most egg white omelets are for “healthy” people, they’re usually cooked in a non-stick pan or with some spray stuff…and usually overcooked to boot. I’m so glad I know better now. Gimme da yolks people! I think if I ever needed a quick side dish and had the egg whites to spare, I could conceivably make an omelete with whatever vegetables I am eating. With lots and lots of butter.
Finally was the dessert. The zabaglione was as difficult as the hollandaise, in terms of epic whisking. The sugar content and the whisking made an almost syrup-like consistency that was delicious. He flavored it with Grand Marnier, orange zest and vanilla, which is an unfortunate combination in my opinion. It was edible, but orange and vanilla just taste weird together. The fresh combination of these was MUCH more palatable than the grotesque extract they sell that I forget the name of! Even orange extract mixed with vanilla extract…just yuck. Fresh orange zest IS a different story. It was tasty on the strawberries though!
So that’s it! It was well worth the 3-for-$40 pricetag. The next class is a seafood class – the featured dish is poached salmon with a white wine butter sauce. Yes please!
In other news, I decided to learn Welsh. If I stick with it, I might blog about it. The course I discovered is very followable and so far it’s quite addicting! Part of Project Me, I suppose.