What came first the chicken or the egg…a joke Chef J (my class instructor) made the other day and I couldn’t resist. We started the first couple of weeks off with eggs. We separated them, beat them, whisked them, we scrambled, we poached and whipped them into fluffy omelets. You name it, and I feel like we did it. We made custards, and desserts. We made mayonnaise, and hollandaise sauce (tasting raw yolk is not my favorite). I’ve never cracked so many eggs in such a short period of time. I learned that too much of a good thing is just that – too much, I’m officially boycotting eggs for awhile, the mere idea of eating one makes me a little nauseous. I’ll bounce back don’t worry.
Egg Yolks have all the power! They are the glue that allows ingredients to stay combined. We made mayonnaise to help demonstrate that yolks keep oil and vinegar from separating- The next day we turned our mayonnaise into a remoulade (French aioli) which is a game-changer for sandwiches. Hollandaise Sauce is such a delicate sauce that I have a much better appreciation for now. It took me three tries to nail it, which is a total of nine eggs. I over cooked and scrambled the yolks on the first try. The second try broke, meaning the egg yolks separated from the butter. Chef J and I tried to save it, but we ended up catching a towel and then clarified butter on fire (Yep, that’s two different set of flames) resulting in a third try. The third time was a success. It turned out so velvety and warm that I was impressed.
Scrambled, Poached & Omelettes all have a specific method to the madness. Scrambled eggs can be done to preference, but should be cooked low and slow so that they are tender, fluffy and soft. I prefer mine a little dry verses wet but to each their own. When we poached eggs, it was my first time. I had no idea that vinegar is necessary to help the egg whites wrap around to give them that oval look. Omelettes, the French way (and the IHOP way) is to use three eggs, it’s non-negotiable. You can add whatever you want in the middle, in class we used Parmesan and Gruyere cheese (Yes!). The traditional French omelets should be slightly under cooked pale yellow eggs, slightly wet inside – so exactly opposite of how I like them, and served folded in thirds.
Eggs are a personal thing, there are rules to follow to make successful dishes, however in the comfort of my own home, I will always serve slightly drier eggs. It’s probably all in my head, but the idea of wet and soft eggs, makes me cringe. Once my boycott is over, I will revisit the poached egg, and make Eggs Benedict for the Husband. I do enjoy a good egg, Canadian bacon and English muffin, hopefully he does too.