Well, it’s been two weeks too long since my last post and one week since I began class at FCI! I can’t believe it myself. It’s been a whirlwind past few weeks and things are only going to pick up speed. I’ve learned so, so, so much in just a single week. I have amazing chef instructors and everyone in my class seems pretty cool and eager to learn. And check out the new threads:
I’ll be completely honest, after the first couple of days I sort of had a mini freak-out-moment. School is super intense and you really are getting trained to be a line cook in culinary school because that’s what most people do after graduation. I am open to working in a restaurant (I have before and I probably will again), but my ultimate goal is to become a recipe tester and developer. This business is competitive, physical, intense. It’s so funny because I am none of those things and yet my passion is cooking and food – pure and simple. But despite all of that, I love it. I don’t see myself becoming a chef in a restaurant and working 60 hour weeks – I don’t think I’m that kind of animal. But never say never, right? I’m looking forward to what will unfold in the next few months…
New York is an absolute beast – a beautiful, scary, living, breathing beast. It’s strange because New York has always felt like a foreign, frightening land but it’s becoming my neighborhood. I already feel a part of it. There is so much. So much to see, so much to do, so much to eat! So much to taste! I think you could eat at a different place for every meal of every day for ten years and still have places yet to try. This is one of my new favorite haunts:
Today I thought I would share two recipes that I’ll be making in class tomorrow I believe – hollandaise sauce and classic sweet sabayon. Mmmm, delish! Eggs Benedict is one of my ultimate favorites.
200 g (7 0z) clarified butter or 300 g (10 0z) whole butter
2 egg yolks, room temp
30 g (2 T) water
Lemon juice, to taste
Salt, to taste
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
If not already available, make clarified butter by melting 10 oz of whole butter over very low heat without allowing it to simmer. Let the butter stand for about five minutes. Skim off the foam on top with a spoon and then pour off the clarified butter into a small bowl. The clarified butter will be very clear, bright yellow – make sure to leave behind the water and milk solids that have sunk to the bottom.
Place the egg yolks and water in a heat proof bowl and whisk together. Place the bowl over a small saucepan of gently simmering water (this is called a bain-marie or double boiler). Make sure the water does not touch the bottom of the bowl and make sure the water does not boil violently – you don’t want to scramble the egg yolks! Whisk the egg yolks for about four or five minutes. They will get foamy at first and then smooth out and become thick, soft and smooth – almost the consistency of whipped cream.
Remove from the heat and add the clarified butter, just a little at first, beating after each addition. Move the sauce on and off the heat while you do this. If the sauce gets too cold and paste like, add a bit of warm water. Add lemon juice to taste and season with salt and cayenne pepper if desired. Spoon over a fried egg and serve!
Next is sabayon or zabaglione in Italian. This sauce originated in Italy and is traditionally made with Marsala wine, which is what I’ve done here. But in France, it is often made with champagne or white wine.
3 egg yolks
50 g (3 T) sugar
50 g (3 T) Marsala wine
fruit, like raspberries or toasted almonds
Bring a small amount of water in a saucepan to a simmer. Whisk together the yolks, sugar, and wine in a heat proof bowl. Whisk the egg mixture over the saucepan until it thickens, doubles in volume and achieves a creamy, thick consistency. Remove from the heat and serve warm or cooled spooned over fresh fruit or with toasted almonds. *Note, for every yolk you use, use 1 T of sugar and 1 T of wine.
*Both recipes are from my FCI Classic Culinary Arts Course I Book