Nov 30 2010

Eggs and More Eggs

Published by at 8:56 pm under Brunch,Cooking Classes

In French cooking, as it turns out, you only really need three ingredients to get started: butter, flour and eggs. Sugar helps, too, as does a nice Swiss cheese. Everything else is just an accessory.

After our indulgent day of soufflé making a few weeks back, I didn’t think I’d be able to stomach another egg. Then there was the workshop in omelettes and frittatas, which I reluctantly joined in on, only to feel even more put off by the end of the day. And when it was time for an all-day lesson in quiches and savory soufflés (yes, more soufflés), I thought my body and taste buds might rebel.

That was until I tasted the Quiche Lorraine.

Of course, I’ve tasted many a Quiche Lorraine — made with leeks, Gruyère cheese and bacon — during my extensive brunch “research” over the years, but this one was quite special. I used a shallow tart pan instead of a deep pie dish, which I suspect was the key to success: Instead of an egg-y mixture dotted with the occasional lardon, the result was mostly cheese and smoky bacon, with the egg acting only to keep the whole thing together. In other words, the ratio of goodies to filler skyrocketed, making for a much richer quiche.

Speaking of richness. Egg yolks and cream makes for a very rich and pretty much entirely excessive quiche. A mixture of eggs and yolks and cream and milk will make a better-balanced (and delicious) one, and whole eggs and milk will be much milder altogether. And probably a little bland.

It’s also a good idea to include one egg in your pastry dough when making a quiche, because it will hold up better against the wet filling (on the contrary, sweet pie fillings with whole fruits and other solid ingredients don’t need an egg in the crust). Again, the take-away: flour + water + eggs = an infinite number of gastronomic possibilities.

And as for the savory soufflés? This Curried Cauliflower one might look pretty fancy, but there’s a reason we don’t see these popping up on brunch menus. The consistency of the soft, fluffy inside is just much more pleasant when it’s sweet — the savory version tends to take on a gross-out quality. Or maybe it’s just my egg overload.

In any case, I’m committed to perfecting a roasted garlic and cheese soufflé, a version of which we sampled several weeks ago. I’m hopeful that an individual size served in a ramekin with a light side salad could be a huge success.

One response so far

One Response to “Eggs and More Eggs”

  1. Danaon 21 Dec 2010 at 10:44 am

    Wow! These look so yummy. I hope I can turn one of these out and enjoy it.