A recent lesson we had in Level 2 was an introduction to eggs. Prepping for this lesson, I thought it was going to be a pretty easy day. How hard can scrambled eggs be? However, learning about eggs and how to prepare them was very interesting and challenging at times. I’m happy to say that I now know how make some traditional French egg dishes.
We first made a basque-style omelet. It is not a traditional rolled omelet that most Americans are used to. It is rather flat and filled with peppers and onions. To prepare this omelet, you cook it on medium heat until it has set, then with a swift flick of the wrist, you flip it over so the other side can cook evenly. You then finish it off in the oven, and top it with additional peppers and onions to serve. It was a delicious and easy way to prepare an omelet.
The second egg dish we made was baked eggs with cream. This dish is very classical French where you put one egg, cream, parsley and seasoning in a ramekin and bake it, resulting in a custardy egg dish that is rich a decadent. I honestly didn’t think I was going to like it because I imagined runny yolk, runny white and runny cream…way too slimy for my palette. But it was actually delicious! Culinary school has really pushed me to try new things and open my food horizons, and I couldn’t be happier about it.
We then moved on to the rolled omelet. When Chef V demonstrated how to make this dish, it seemed pretty easy! Just a quick scramble in the pan, letting the egg ever so slightly set up. Then a simple fold of each side, and a colorless, perfectly cooked omelet slides onto the plate. However, after a few attempts of my own, I realized it wasn’t so easy. If the pan is too hot, the omelet will get color (brown) and the inside will still be too underdone. But if the heat is too low, the eggs won’t set fast enough and it will still color before you have time to fold it over. After about four or five omelets, I finally had one omelet worth presenting. All I can say is the traditional French omelet is harder than you think, but well worth the time (and frustration).
We made a few other egg dishes such as traditional scrambled eggs and poached eggs with a hollandaise sauce. It was a busy day going through countless crates of eggs. But by 3:00pm, we all had a better appreciation of the incredible, edible egg!