Souffles and Quiches

How I Learned to Make Crust

Quiche and souffle class started with my team being assigned a deep dish quiche recipe. The dough had been made in advance, so I rolled it out and put it into the springform pan below…

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But…the dough began to fall apart in the oven. It was too greasy. So…even though it was going to put us behind, I had to make a crust from scratch. Luckily, we had the recipe. A cup of flour, a half-cup of corn meal, a stick of butter (Earth Balance, in this case), and some salt and sugar. I made up the crust but it came out too oily. We consulted the recipe and realized we’d made a mistake with our ingredients and added too much Earth Balance. So…I made a second crust, which turned out great. The result: I can make a quiche crust with no recipe. Repetition is a great way to learn!

Below: Some nice mini-quiches with purple carrots.

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Below: Egg roulade.

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Below: Chocolate souffles made by my team. Very delicious!

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Below: A really nice presentation of mini-quiches.

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Omelets and Eggs II

Eggs are really common in the culinary world – baking, breakfast, brunch, desserts, soups, etc, so it’s not strange that we’d spend a good bit of time working with them. So, we made frittatas and omelets on Wednesday to continue perfecting our technique.

Green Cookware

The school purchased some new non-stick cookware for our omelets class. The Cuisinart hard anodized “green” pans were super slick and apparently can tolerate high heat without emitting dangerous fumes, unlike typical non-stick cookware which must be used at low to moderate heat levels. They were really nice to work with.

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Below: Chef Rosa did an omelet demonstration before she let us loose making our own.

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Below: A frittata with some succulent melon balls.

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Below: A really nice herby omelet with a spinach salad.

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Eggs Demonstration

In the afternoon, Chef Alex demonstrated several recipes for us Wednesday and gave us some hands-on work, as well. I got to try my hand at using a blow torch to finish off some crema Catalana, which is similar to creme brulee.

Below: Chef Alex demonstrated plating a poached egg with some toast dusted with za’atar, a middle Eastern blend of dried sumac and sesame seeds.

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Poaching, Scrambling, and Frying Eggs

A Bit of Perspective

Monday started week seven at The Natural Epicurean. Week seven falls about one third of the way through the 22-week classroom portion of the program. It’s amazing that time has passed so quickly. In 15 weeks, I will be starting an externship and my new life as a food professional. Yikes!

I have been thinking about what my life will look like when I finish. How will I earn money? Will I enjoy my work? Will I make enough money? How can I have control over my work? How should I start networking? What kind of services should I provide as a cook?

I am only starting to figure out some answers to these questions, but I need to think more about it. I am planning to develop a personal business plan and even a branding plan complete with website and logo, but there is a lot of meat left to put on the bones of my post-school life. It’s very exciting!

Below: My week got off to a dubious start…my name was on the list of forgotten homework assignments. Ooops!

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