Culinary School Week #1: Omelet, Soup and Stock

This was my first week attending professional culinary program at SF Cooking School and I’d like to share a few highlights. My head was packed full of culinary and pastry knowledge and I’m using this time at school to get more hands-on experience. This is blog is going to be my place to post some of my revelations in a consumable format.

“What’s important is what’s happening in the pan.” — Chef Kirsten Goldberg

Omelet and salad. This omelet makes me sad on the inside.

Omelets zen: omelets should have an even colour, fluffy on the outside and runny on the inside.

  1. Mix egg yolks and whites until fully incorporated with a fork (otherwise we get white spots like you see on the side).
  2. A good cook can make a french omelet in 30 seconds. Cooking on high-heat means we always keep the omelet moving with big circular pan shakes. And use a rubber spatula on clean the edges of the pan.
Omelet recipe: 1:1 egg yolks : whites forked until fully incorporated, S&P, 1–2tbsp of cream. 30s high-heat non-stick. The cream helps combine whites and yolk.

Soups: Carrot & Tomato, Chestnut, Butternut Squash & Apple, Mushrooms

We made so many creamy soups! Butternut Squash & Apple soup, Tomato soup, Celery root soup, mushroom soup, curried carrots soup, chestnut soup and others.

Creamy soups zen:

  1. Thickener: e.g. onions/celery sautéed and softened -or- rice in falling apart consistency.
  2. (optional) Infusion: e.g. milk infused with lime.
  3. Aromatics: e.g. butter, spices, garlic
  4. Main ingredients vegetables: squash, mushrooms, carrots, tomato, celery r00t, chestnuts, etc.
  5. (optional) white/dark stock
  6. Combine 1–5, puree (in blender or vitamix), S&P, add cream for flavour

Stock zen: Cover bones in 2" of water in a high stock pot with bouquet garni and mirepoix (2:1:1 ratio of onions : celery : carrots). Let simmer for 4 hours while skimming and strain.

Roasted chicken

Roasted Chicken Zen: It’s easy to make super delicious roasted chicken.

Roasted Chicken recipe: Salt chicken on the inside and outside. Keep refrigerated for 1–2 days (bottom shelf to avoid cross contamination from falling liquids). EVOO skin. Roast in convection on 450°F for 40–50 minutes (or 300°F for 1.5h) on a bed of sliced onions.

Field trip to Greenleaf: Friday morning 9am we went on a field to greenleaf. They store and provide 1,250 different types of produce and products to bay area restaurants and stores. Their produce is sourced from local bay area growers depending on seasonality; and from mexico/further if the product is out of season.

Incoming bay is kept at 40°F.
Produce is stored at 55°F and 30°F. 
Freezer kept at o°F.

Bakery I visited: Glutless.

Fun little gluten free bakery a few blocks away from SF Cooking School. All of their muffins and savoury cakes are gluten free. Overall most of their baked goods have amazing classical taste combinations and the same texture I’d expect from their wheat-based counterparts. That’s high-praise for gluten-free pastries. Recommendation: their banana bread and citrus muffins are the bomb.

Other highlights:

  • Making a béchamel by combining all the roux and hot milk at once instead of in small portions.
  • Three different types of salads with a 3:1 fat:vinegar ratio.
  • Dicing and slicing all the things.