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…


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.


Below: Egg roulade.


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


Below: A really nice presentation of mini-quiches.


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.


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


Below: A frittata with some succulent melon balls.



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


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.


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!


Continue reading