Eggs & Stocks

I can’t believe it has only been a week since I last posted about my progress. The past week consisted of a focus on eggs and wrapped up with learning how to properly make stocks and broths (yep, there is a difference).

After wrapping up techniques for vegetables, I moved on to learn more about eggs. Eggs are fascinating as an ingredient. Not only can they be made into very different forms as the main ingredient, but they are essential in so many other things such as pasta and baking.
I started with scrambled eggs. Traditionally I’ve preferred fried eggs over scrambled, but a few months ago I learned Gordon Ramsey’s technique. The one taught at Rouxbe is very similar with pretty much the same result.

I also worked on making omelets. Now this one I have struggled with, but I really never knew the technique. Nor did I have a non-stick pan. I do now and it has made a TON of difference. Not only with my omelets, but any time I cook eggs. Listen, if you don’t have a non-stick pan and you cook eggs, just go get one. To be fair, I have a well-seasoned cast iron pan, but it isn’t quite the same.
I think the omelet came out well, albeit way too flat. The flatness is due to the fact I made a 4-egg omelet in a 12-inch pan. That’s way too large of a pan. For as rarely as I make omelets, I don’t have intentions to buy a smaller one. I’ll just make 1 8-egg omelet instead of 2 4-egg ones.

Finally, I poached some eggs. They suggest using a touch of vinegar and salt to get the albumen (whites) to coagulate quickly. This turned out pretty well, but the water was a little too vigorous and the whites lapped over themselves, causing it to not be quite as pillowing and perfect as it could be.

The really time-consuming part of this week was working with stocks. They really are so much more flavorful when you make them yourself, but it does take several hours. In the case of a dark chicken stock, “several” means 8-10.

I made stock on Saturday, but it didn’t turn out quite as gelatinous as I needed it to. As a result, I had to remake the white stock on Sunday. One of the next assignments was making a dark chicken stock, so I did both. It was an entire day in the kitchen but ended with a fabulous meal.
Starting off with the right ratio of ingredients is important. In this one, it probably would have been helpful to have a little more bones, but it worked.

White and dark stocks simmering away.

And the final plated submission for my assignment. A nicely gelatinized stock with a warmed version beside it.

I finished the dark stock by following a class recipe to turn the stock into French Onion Soup. I’ve never had it with chicken broth before and it was wonderful. Seriously one of the best I’ve ever had.

That was the gist of what I had to do for class, other than some practice recipes like fried eggs and frittata. I didn’t get pictures of all of those. In looking back at the week, I realized I still have a long way to go with eggs. Mine aren’t as pretty as I would like. Good thing I like them because I’ll be practicing every weekend for breakfast until I get it perfected.

I’ll leave you with a little treat for dessert, pan-fried chocolate-hazelnut ravioli, topped with a simple chocolate sauce and powdered sugar.

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