10 Random Facts I Learned In Culinary School This Week

Well it seems I've survived week two of culinary school and to show for it, I can now carry on a rather educated conversation on the incredible edible egg as well as feel comfortable whipping up some eclairs or a savory little appetizer made from Pate a Choux (the Frenchy French word for that light and puffy dough that makes up an eclair).  I was also ecstatic to learn how to make Eggs Benedict (well, really, more excited about learning about the art of poaching an egg and turning egg yokes, butter and lemon (essentially) into a lemony-yellow and decadent Hollandaise sauce).  Whew! It's been a big week!

A Version of Eggs Benedict with an artichoke fonds and creamed spinach

Along with showing you some pictures of what I made in class this week.  I thought it would be fun to also share 10 random things I learned this week in class and found to be crazy interesting.

1. There are over 17,000 tiny little holes in an egg shell, with most of the holes being in the top (flatter) part of the egg.  (That's why if you make hard boiled eggs, there can sometimes be an extra flat part at the top.  More air gets in and the egg might be a little older.)
2. There is no difference between a brown egg and a white egg (so apparently that "brown eggs are local eggs and local eggs are fresh" saying is a bunch of crap).  The color of the egg shell depends on the type of chicken that lays it.
3. The coagulation of a whole egg is 180 degrees.  That's useful to know in case you want to add eggs to something hot.  If that something hot is hotter than 180 degrees, you're well on your way to making scrambled eggs.
4. Egg whites whip best in copper bowls
5. Pate a Choux (or Choux Paste as it's often referred to), means "little cabbage" in French
6. Cheese Beignets (sort of like a deep fried cheese ball) just might be the most amazing thing ever invented.  EVER.
7. Pate a Choux can also be used to make gnocchi
8. Pastry cream is really just vanilla pudding (I didn't know that!)
9. Food is fun, even in culinary class (see picture below if you don't believe me)
10. Pate a Choux might be a little high maintenance and temperamental to make, but in the end, all that effort is totally worth it when you're staring down at a light and fluffy homemade cream puff.

See? Food is always fun
Petite Choux hours d'oeuvres - savory Pate a Choux with cream cheese and olive


Betsy said...

Looks like you're learning and a lot and having fun - GREAT!!

Sally said...

I am super-jealous of you taking the leap to culinary school! I'm looking forward to following your posts.

The hors d'oeuvres look gorgeous. Is there any chance you can share the recipe?

Mom said...

Wow! These hor d'oeuvres look amazing....cannot wait to try them! When did you say you were coming home again?!? Soon, I hope!! Love you, Mom

Kristy said...

Great work, they look amazing! Any tips on the best way to peel a hard boiled egg! I am horrible! lol

Sarah @ Semi-Sweet said...

Oooh - savory pate a choux with cream cheese & olive? Can you share the recipe? I'd eat a piece of cardboard w/cream cheese & olives, but this looks like it'd taste much, much better. Also - loving the food facts - keep 'em coming!

Justin said...

Looks like you're really enjoying yourself! Keep these great posts coming.

Daisy said...

you made the eggs benny in pictures 1 and 2?! I am so impressed.

Anonymous said...

These pictures are awesome. Glad you're learning so much and having a great time!

Bridget said...

I've been meaning to comment for a while now!! Ever since your announcement (and I know I'm a little overdue but) Congratulations! I'm so exciteid for you and not gonna lie, a little jealous! I came really close to enrolling at Cambridge Cullinary a couple years ago...I was looknig into their Pastry Certificate program so I could do it while still working. Then life took over...got married, house...etc haha. SO yeah still here at my job. Anyways I've been loving reading about what your learning!

I love making pate a choux! I feel like it sounds/looks a lot harder than it actually is :) Mmmmm eggs benny...making me hungry!

Anonymous said...

Now I need to make some savory cream puffs because they look delicious!

Megan said...

I can't believe how quickly you're learning all this stuff. Wow!

Alicia said...

sounds like a full day!! pate a choux its my white whale. Maybe you can help me conquer it?

Jabed Super said...

Whoa, you are seriously ambidextrous. I am beyond impressed. I have come some advice to about Culinary Certification for your success. Thanks for sharing.....

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