First things first:
Woo Hoo! Tonight the Bruins begin the final stage of their quest for the Stanley Cup, against the Chicago Blackhawks. 12 wins so far, 12 bottles. Hey, It’s June 12th-kismet!
So, as you may know, I’m taking cooking courses online through America’s Test Kitchen. I’ve been at it for over a year now, and moving right along, having a great time and learning things that have made my cooking better in so many ways. I felt pretty good in the kitchen before I started them, but now I feel I could cook almost anything with confidence and flair.
Enter the egg.
It’s a simple, basic food, the egg. Most of us have been eating them, and cooking them our whole lives. So when I reached the lesson on eggs, I thought, no problem, I can cook eggs.
1. The French Omelet
Getting the pan the right temperature, and keeping it there for just long enough, but not too long, proved to be my downfall repeatedly during this lesson. I can’t tell you how many of these suckers I made (and ate-can’t complain about that, though) before I got one that rolled up perfectly, no cracks, no dark brown spots, and cooked just through and no more. Of course, I was so impatient to move onto the next lesson that I was messy with my knife skills and the chives are not as delicately minced as they could be.
2. Salade Lyonnaise
Featuring the poached egg, this is seen on a lot of restaurant menus as a Bistro Salad. I love an egg on top of a salad, and I got to eat a LOT of salad with egg on top for this lesson. Poaching eggs is as tricky as it gets, because the yolk and the white set at different temperatures, and they can get away from you in the blink of an eye. A runny yolk is heaven on a salad, a runny white not so much. An overcooked yolk doesn’t blend with the other salad ingredients to complement the dressing, so it’s really not what you’re looking for.
3. Asparagus, Ham, and Gruyere Fritatta
The upside of the first two techniques was they made single-serving sized portions, so I could manage to consume them if no one else wanted any. Not so with this lovely, flavorful fritatta. The Husband and The Boy do not like asparagus, so I was on my own here. Luckily, I found a friend to share it with the first time I made it. I was hoping I could make it once and be happy with it, but nope. I (again) overcooked it. The second time, I begged The Husband to try some, because the asparagus was really mild and tender. But after two bites, he couldn’t go on. Having overcooked this one as well, I knew one more try was necessary. I cut the fritatta into wedges, wrapped them in plastic wrap, and filled a freezer bag with future fritatta. The third time, I watched it with intense scrutiny, fueled by caffeine and raw determination. It came out done to perfection, although not quite as brown on top as I would have liked.
At last, I can move forward in my quest for better cooking skills-Stir-Frying! Heck, I’ve been stir-frying for years. How hard can it be?
Go check out the Cooking School at America’s Test Kitchen (the link is at the beginning of the post), eat some eggs, and I’ll see you soon on down the Road.