Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Breakfast Served All Day

Halfway through our Culinary Job Training Class and the students have now learned Egg Cookery. Several dozen eggs and Chef Tom's expertise allowed the students to create and try not only the basics of eggs over-easy or over-hard but also eggs shirred and eggs poached.

Three consistencies of egg: over-easy, over-medium, and over-hard

The first task the students needed to master was the art of cooking an egg to the perfect consistency. Chef Tom instructed each student to pan fry three eggs. A pan fried egg does not have to be over-easy as most people think, eggs with a slightly firmer yolk are called over-medium and pan fried eggs that have a completely solid yolk are called over-hard.

Chef Tom judges a student's pan fried eggs.

Of course, pan frying eggs also takes a bit of practice not only to create the desired consistencies but also to learn how to flip the egg as to cook both sides evenly without a huge mess or a broken yolk. Students spent extra time on this, one of the most stressful moments in cooking.

Chef Tom explains the proper way to flip an egg.

Using dry heat to cook the next type of egg the students learned was eggs shirred. Eggs shirred are eggs that are baked in individual ramekins with heavy whipping cream and flavored to taste: savory or sweet. Shirred eggs are much creamier than a normal egg however eating one plain without any spices tastes similar to a hard-boiled egg. The sweetened eggs shirred were also quite delicious and reminded many of a creme brulee dessert with their round form and golden brown tops.

Shirred eggs about to enter the oven.

The final type of egg the students cooked were poached. A poached egg is fairly simple requiring only a pan of boiling water with a little white vineagar to help eggs cling to themselves. The egg is poured gently from a bowl into the boiling water and the egg white should wrap around the yolk and cook until removed. Poached eggs, like any other type of egg, may be cooked easy or soft leaving the yolk more liquid or hard creating a hard yolk and a final product that looks similar to a hard boiled egg.

Students discuss their favorite types of eggs.

With some time to taste test the students left with new favorite types of eggs and plans for breakfast the next morning. Next week's class will focus on Meat Fabrication techniques and how to properly handle all types of raw meat.

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