- A ‘dozen’ eggs is a retail term. Restaurants use eggs delivered in 30 egg flats. They’ve never heard of ‘a dozen eggs’.
- Egg whites can foam to 8 times their volume.
- Spin an egg on the counter, if you stop it and release it and it starts spinning again its raw, if it stays stopped it’s hard boiled.
I think I’m going to skip breakfast tomorrow, I’ve never eaten eggs so many different ways today. The chef prepared scrambled eggs which may not sound exotic, but he made them the French way, which was more like thick egg soup, with lots of butter and cream. They were delicious, much better than traditional scrambled eggs, but quite runny by North American standards. If I received those at a restaurant, I would be tempted to send them back, but I’d be missing out.
The best dish of the day was definitely the baked eggs with cream. This was simple but incredible – chopped chorizo (sausage) in a buttered ramekin, with a whole egg, topped with reduced heavy cream, in the oven for 8min. What a perfect delicious combination.
The fanciest dish of the day was the Oeufs Farcis Chimay, the ‘haute’ equivalent to deviled eggs. This consisted of stuffing hard boiled with a duxelles (mushrooms and shallots), cooked egg yolk, parsley, and a bit of béchamel. We then took the béchamel (roux + milk), added grated gryere, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper, which now makes it a Mornay Sauce, and ladled this over the eggs, and broiled them. The plate looked amazing, and tasted good, but not quite as good as the baked eggs.
We also learnt the ‘proper’ way to make an omelet. An omelet can be ‘rolled’ or ‘flat’. The rolled version is the ‘proper’ way. You whisk your eggs with a fork (no milk or butter), then basically scramble them, and when they’re about two-thirds done, you tilt your pan up, roll over the upper edge with a spatula, then, in the air, ‘tap tap tap’ the panhandle, and like magic this moves the omelet down the pan and up the lower side so that the other side rolls over – so now both sides are rolled into the center. Then grab the pan using an underground grip, and flip onto a plate. A quick touch of butter to lend a luster, and…voila – a perfect omelet (no browning). We cooked a ‘flat’ omelet too – the Omelette Basquaise. This consisted of making a ‘basque’ stew (onions, green peppers, garlic, tomato pulp, herbs), adding half of this to whisked eggs, and into the pan basically making an egg pancake. Once one side is partially browned, a quick blitz in the oven (so that it will flip more easily). Flip. And serve with a garnish of the reserved stew. I believe these omelets are the only dishes we use non-stick pans for, but mine was pretty sticky, so my ‘flip’ was a disaster – only half of it went in the air. Oh well, I rescued it and it looked great on the plate. We also did poached eggs, which tasted bland in contrast to these other dishes.
I got into trouble today. In order to honor the victims in Paris, I thought it would be an appropriate idea if we all wore a tri-color (French flag) on our sleeves. So I taped one on my sleeve, then one and Joe’s and was about to do another, when the chef ordered both Joe and I to meet him out in the hall, now! ‘No politics in the classroom’. I argued a bit, but most of all I was disheartened – particularly as this is a French based school. Let’s all hope there are no more occasions to have to wear a flag on our sleeves.
ps: Thanks Dalal for the pics used in today’s post (I forgot my phone at home).