Friday, February 26, 2010

Day 39: All Day Brunch!

Artichoke "benny"

Today's theme was brunch and we ate like kings! (And queens!) The day was fairly nice, being Friday and all.

In the morning, a classmate gave an interesting presentation on coffee.

Things I learned about coffee that I didn't know before, (and maybe you didn't either!)

 - You know when you see the words "Arabica" and "Robusta" on coffee labels? What does that mean? Robusta is a misleading name because it sounds like "robust", but they come from completely different trees.  Fast growing trees that survive anywhere! In contrast, Arabica beans come from slow growing trees that need specific conditions to grow successfully. Arabica is the higher quality bean, so that's the one to choose!

 - The big difference between medium and dark roast is, (not surprisingly) the taste. Medium roasted beans will reflect the taste of the region they were grown in, like wine. Dark roasted beans are caramelized deeper, therefore the flavours will homogenize and so most dark roasts taste alike. Wanna be a coffee connoisseur? Stick with medium roast Arabica!

- Also, there's slightly more caffeine in medium roasts, good thing to know on Monday morning.

Ricotta stuffed french toast
We cut rounds out of pannatone we made the day before 
and stuffed them with sweetened ricotta cheese, 
(that we also made the day before). 
The sauce is mixed berries, sugar, balsamic vinegar 
and a touch of  course pepper. Yes really, pepper.

English muffins - hard as rocks

On the food front, the French toast and artichoke benny were big winners, the English muffins need another chance, although I liked how we "baked" them on the underside of our cast iron grill pans. 

I didn't get the chance to work a lot with my partner this week due to the mid-term exams, but I really liked the way he worked. He was the kind of partner you could bounce ideas and questions off easily. I know he's a strong student, but his humbleness and humility was quite refreshing. I also like someone who works hard to get work done, and this guy was no slacker!

The course takes a bit of a shift next week, it's Italian week! 

But thats next week, the Olympics end this weekend and I'm planning to get out and about a bit tomorrow.

Have a good weekend everyone!

Scrambled eggs on toast 


  1. Alright, I want to know how you made tall French toast and the scrambled eggs.

  2. The secret to both of these dishes are this set of 12 circular cookie cutters we got in our toolkit on day one.

    1. First we made Italian pannetone in a coffee can on Thursday, then on friday we cut the ends off and cut the middle into slabs the thickness of our cutters.

    2. We cut a large circular puck from the center of the slab.

    3. Next, we used another circular cookie cutter, (2 sizes smaller) and cut only halfway down the center of the puck.

    4. Then we inserted our paring knife into the side of the bread and cut along the bottom of the cookie cutter being careful not to make our slit in the side very big.

    5. The we removed the center circle, (lots of aggravation here!) and cut 1/4 inch off that for our lid.

    6. We filed the bread with our ricotta mixture, and placed the lid on it. At this point the little pucks can be chilled or even frozen.

    7. Then we dipped them in our egg and milk royale and friend them in clarified butter, lid side first. They browned very nicely and when plating I couldn't even tell which side was the cut side!

    For the eggs, we lightly sauteed thin zucchini slices and then laid them inside our cookie ring, cooked eggs spooned in next and the English muffin spread with ricotta on op of that. Then carefully flip the whole thing!

    The scrambled eggs were the European type, (eggs and butter whisked continuously while cooking, finished with a spoon of cream), you know very creamy and barely cooked. Not my favorite way to have eggs.

  3. Again, I got lost - at Step 1.