The second Friday in October is ‘World Egg Day’. This is certainly fitting, because Eggs are probably the one major food that is consumed by people all over this planet. The majority of Eggs consumed are Chicken Eggs, but Duck Eggs are very popular in China and the South Eastern Asian Countries. The photo below was taken at an outdoor market in Thailand.
Also popular in Asia are un-hatched Eggs. As kids we used to love them in Chicken Soup but health laws forbid the sale of them here in the States, at least in California.
Quail Eggs are used in Gourmet Cooking, more for looks and ‘Eye Appeal’ than for nutrition as they are so small. In the picture below Quail Eggs were baked in Mini- Pate Choux Cups (Cream Puff Shells) by the Teen and Pre/Teen students in our Summer ‘Basics Culinary Camp’ at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village, CA.
Turkey Eggs are probably consumed too as well as Ostrich Eggs which definitely top off the list of ‘large’ Eggs. One Ostrich Egg would probably feed a dozen people, if not more. Since this is World Egg Day, there will follow a short list of Egg Dishes consumed Globally by people all over the world. By far, the most popular use for Eggs is for Breakfast, but Eggs are one of those foods that can be consumed for Breakfast, Lunch or Dinner. The Egg is probably my all-around most favorite food. I can eat it any time of the day.
Brazilian Omelet -this Omelet is made with Cream Cheese, Bacon, Pineapple and Avocado. Different, but tasty. The Brazilian Omelet is good for Brunch, Lunch or Dinner.
Denver Omelet (USA) – made with Bell Pepper, Ham and Cheese. A popular Southwestern Dish.
Egg Foo Young (Chinese) – a popular dish in Chinese Restaurants – made with Vegetables, Bean Sprouts, and occasionally Shrimp. Sometimes served with a Brown Sauce.
French Omelet – usually folded in half and somewhat moist inside.
Frittata (Italian) – started in the pan and finished in the oven – the amount of ingredients in the Frittata make it difficult to turn so the top side is baked or broiled.
Thai Omelet – similar to Egg Foo Young – contains Vegetables and sometimes meat – fried in oil in a Wok or pan. Results in a thin, crispy, tasty omelet.
Salami Eggs (Jewish Deli Food) – salami cooked into the Omelet
Salami Eggs Cooking
Tortilla (Spanish Omelet)– in Spain, the Omelet is called a Tortilla – usually cooked with sliced Potatoes in it – the American version with Tomatoes and Peppers is not really a Spanish Omelet. The Spanish Explorers probably named the Flat Bread ‘Tortilla’ because it looked like a Spanish Omelet.
Whichever way you enjoy your Eggs or whatever kind of Eggs you like, do indulge. Eggs are a healthy food, which contain the best complete protein. Even though the yolks may contain cholesterol, they also contain lecithin which helps to reduce cholesterol.
Lastly, don’t forget that Eggs are essential in most baked goods. For more info about Eggs see ‘The Versatility of Eggs’ under Archives June 2013.
Friday night, September 7th was our Teen Cuisine Class at Let’s Get Cookin’.
The theme this month was ‘Fire & Ice’ – grilled Appetizers and Frozen Desserts. The Students made:
Chinese Style BBQ Chicken Wings
Teriyaki Beef Kabobs
Louisiana Style Grilled Shrimp with ‘Dirty Rice’
Ice Cream Sandwiches
Tempura Ice Cream
Shown below are some photos from the class.
The week of August 13th – 17th was the Teen/Preteen Western Culinary Camp at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village. During the week, we traced the evolution of Western Cuisine from its birthplace in the Middle East and followed the trail to Greece, Italy, France and then across the Atlantic to the New England States in America.
Day One – Middle East
Lavash -Flat Bread
Spinach Borani – Spinach & Yogurt Dip
Israeli Chopped Salad
Egyptian Bread Pudding
Cardamom Cookies & Pomegranate Blast
Paige making Israeli Couscous
On Emma’s plate is Israeli Couscous & Lavash. In the small cups are Israeli Chopped Salad, Spinach Borani & Pomegranate Blast.
Egyptian Bread Pudding – contains Baked Puff Pastry, a variety of nuts and Coconut sweetened condensed milk. The ingredients were combined and then baked before being served.
Day Two – Greece
Mediterranean Vegetable Salad
Beef & Macaroni Pie
Lemon Rice Pilaf
Filling for Baklava
Emma T, Paige, Emma M & Sheema
Day Three – Italy
Stuffed Shells with Marinara Sauce
Day Four – France
Coquille St. Jacque (Scallops in White Butter Sauce)
French Onion Soup
Butter Lettuce Salad
Haricot Verte (French Green Beans)
Elizabeth adding Pastry Cream that was forgotten
Day Five – New England
Rhode Island Clam Chowder
Stuffed Eggs Florentine
Sally Lunn Bread
Boston Cream Pie
Sheema, Emma T & Piper —->
For those who attended our Preteen/Teen International Baking Camp on Thursday, July 26, 2012, the Brownie Recipe that was supposed to be in the packet and the Brownie Recipe that we actually used are printed below.
½ cup shelled Brazil Nuts
2 Tbsps. Sugar
3/8 (1/4 cup + 2 Tbsps.) cup unsalted Butter
3/4 cup Sugar
½ cup Flour
1 tsp. Baking Powder
½ cup Cocoa
1 Tbsp. Milk
- Place the Nuts along with the 2 Tbsps. Sugar in a food processor and PULSE just until the Nuts are roughly chopped; set aside.
- Cream the Butter with the remaining Sugar and Eggs. Be sure to mix until all the ingredients are well-blended.
- Combine the Flour with the Baking Powder andCocoa; add to the Butter mixture and mix well.
- Stir in the Milk and the chopped Nuts.
- Grease an 8” square baking pan; spoon the Batter into to the prepared pan.
- Bake in an oven which has been preheated to 350 degrees for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
- Cut into 16 pieces and serve. Wrap any leftover pieces in plastic wrap and store in an airtight container.
Yield: 16 – 2” squares
Here is the recipe that we actually used.
INTERNATIONAL. CAMP BROWNIES
1 cup unsalted Butter 1 Tbsp. Vanilla
6 oz. unsweetened Chocolate, broken up 1 ½ cups Flour
1 cup Brown Sugar ½ tsp. Baking Soda
1 cup Granulated Sugar ½ tsp. Salt
4 Eggs Vegetable Spray
- Spray a 9 x 12” baking pan and turn the oven to 350 degree. Be sure that the baking rack is in the middle of the oven.
- Place the Butter and Chocolate in a microwave proof mixing bowl.
- Place in the microwave for 90 seconds; remove and stir until the Chocolate and Butter are completely melted.
- Stir in the Sugars; add the Eggs and Vanilla and beat lightly, just until the Eggs are blended, then stir in the Flour, Baking Soda & Salt.
- Pour the Batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes; to test the Brownies, insert a toothpick 1” from the sides. If it comes out dry, the Brownies are done.
- Cut into bars.
The week of July 9th – 13th was our ‘Back to Basics’ Culinary Camp for 10-16 year olds at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village. I teach all the Kids & Parent/Child Classes as well as Birthday Parties & Private classes. I also teach Food Processor Classes. The photos below depict the activities during this week.
Day One was introductory with all the Basics such as Safety, Measuring, Equipment, etc. being taught. We also made Breakfast food on the first day and unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures. The menu for this day was:
Almond Raisin Granola
Ginger Snap Granola
Waffles & Fruit Toppings
Cooking Bacon and Sausage
Home Fried Potatoes
All the students worked in groups and helped to make at least three different items. In addition, after a brief demo, each student made their own omelets with choices of vegetables, meat & cheeses to incorporate into them. Depending on their appetities, each student made either a one egg or two egg omelet. The omelets were eaten as soon as made, but the rest of the food was kept warm and served all at one time so the students could sit down as a group and also practice their social skills.
Day Two was a lunch menu which included Bread Product, Salads, Sandwiches and a Dessert. The dishes made were:
Tomato Basil Soup
Quick Clam Chowder
Shrimp Salad Wraps
Baby Belle Sliders
Southwest Chicken Salad
Honey Mustard Salad Dressing
Ribbon Pasta Salad
Again, the Students worked in Groups of four or five and at the end sat down and enjoyed their labors. Shown below are some photos of ‘Lunch Day’.
The sliders buns are a yeast dough that the students made from scractch. Some were finished with Poppy Seeds and some were finished with Sesame Seeds.
Provolone Cheese, Tomatoes, and Lettuce also went with the Sliders.
The Dressing was made with Mayonnaise and Sundried Tomatoes
Day Three was Dinner. For this Menu we made:
Garlic Dinner Rolls
Baby Lettuce Salad
Vegetable Garden Chili
Macaroni and Cheese Supreme
The Vegetarian Chili was made with a multitude of Vegetables including Golden Beets, Broccoli, Onions, Tomatoes, Northern Beans & Mushrooms. Since the Menu for today was quite large and tomorrow’s menu was Desserts only, we saved the Chili for Thursday so the students would have something healthy to eat along with their desserts. Also, the longer the Chili cooks, the more flavorful it is. Also, standing refrigerated overnight helps to intensify the flavors. The Chili was served the next day with shredded Mozzarella Cheese and garnished with snipped Chives.
Day Four was Desserts. For this Activity the students were asked to make requests on the first day of camp. From the requests that were made, the following were chosen to best represent all the students desires.
Vanilla Bean Cheesecake
In Oreo Cookie Crust
Chocolate Lava Cake
With Raspberry Sauce
All the desserts turned our really good, but the one of the best ones was the Raspberry Covered Cheesecake.
The Tiramisu was also very good as were the Cream Puffs made from the Pate Choux. The Cream Puffs were filled either with Lemon Curd or Vanilla Pastry Cream. The ones with the Pastry Cream were glazed with a Chocolate Glaze. Looking at the photos, you will see that the Chocolate Glaze turned out to be much more than a glaze. The Chocolate Lovers, loved them though. And everyone in the group was a Chocolate Lover!
We did not have time to bake all the pies so, they were taken home to be finished baking by the students. They were purposely made in individual pie tins as we made a lot of desserts and I knew from experience that we probably wouldn’t have time to completely bake the pies.
The Chocolate Lava Cakes were made in individual ramekins and they of course had to be eaten right away to experience the molten chocolate inside.
Day Five was our Mystery Bag Day. Each team of students were given a bag with a Protein, a Starch and a Vegetable. In addition, they were allowed to use any spices and herbs available plus a number of vegetables, fresh herbs, eggs, butter and other ingredients that were put our for their use. The rule was that they must use all the ingredients in their bags. The students were very creative and came up with some very interesting and beautiful. When they were finished, each group had to present what they made to to the other students and describe in detail what they made. In the end, the food was served buffet style and all the students sat down together and enjoyed their lunch. (See photo at beginning of this blog)
Friday night, 11/13 was our Teen/Preteen ‘Winter Comfort Food’ Class.
Twelve young people between the ages of 10 & 16 gathered together to learn how to prepare and cook a menu for cold Winter nights.
Creative Vegetable Soup
Jeweled Meat Loaf
Garlic Mashed Potatoes
Cheesy Broccoli Casserole
The students were divided up into groups depending on their skill level. Four students who had never made yeast dough before were put in charge of the Foccacia with of course, a supervising adult to guide them through the process. They made the Dough and then set it aside to rise. The actual Foccacia was made from a risen dough that had been made before the class started. Once the Dough was fitted into the Baking Pans and topped with Olive Oil, Herbs and Tomatoes, and Cheese the Bread went into the oven for baking.
The Dough that the students made was divided up and given to the students that made it to take home and finish. They were told that they could make either Pizza, Foccacia or Breadsticks with it.
Two of the girls made the Apple Crisp. This involved peeling, coring and slicing about 10 Apples and combining them with spices and other ingredients. A streusel topping was made to go on top of the Apples. This dish was baked while the rest of the food was being made.
Two other students started the Soup. This is a wonderful Vegetable Soup that can be made with most any kind of Vegetables and Beef, Chicken or Vegetable Broth. Even though we generally advise the students to mise en place their recipes before they start cooking, the rule was changed for this recipe so that the soup would be done in time for the students to eat it. The Onions and Mushrooms were prepared first so that they could start sautéing them. While the Onions and Mushrooms cooked, the other Vegetables were prepared. After the Onions and Mushrooms were sufficiently cooked to start caramelizing them, the Stock was added and the whole mixture was allowed to simmer for about 45 minutes. Then the seasonings were added along with the remaining Vegetables. Once the Vegetables were almost cooked sufficiently, the tiny pasta was added.
While all this was being done, the Meatloaf was prepared by two different groups of students. One group put all the Vegetables into their Meatloaf and one group who preferred not to have Bell Peppers, put all the Vegetables, except for the Bell Peppers into their loaf.
While the Meatloaf was baking in the oven, the Cheesy Broccoli Casserole was prepared and baked. This dish does not take too long to bake. Once the students were done cooking, the tables were cleared and set with placemats and dinnerware and the soup and Foccacia were served. After the first course, the Meatloaf, Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli was also served and of course, dessert finally came at the end.
The beverages for this meal were fruit juices and water. All in all, everyone had a good time and learned how to make several different dishes. Everyone took home recipes so that they could practice at home on family members. Keep an eye out for our next Teen/Preteen Class at Let’s Get Cookin’. February will be a Dim Sum Menu to celebrate the Chinese New Year ‘The Year of the Dragon’.
The students who made the Bisque had an interesting time removing the meat from the Crab. Fortunately, the Crabs were purchased cooked, so we didn’t have to deal with live crabs.
The Crab Bisque and Crab Sandwiches represented the state of Alaska. Unfortunately, when we were in Alaska, the restaurants that we ate at had no King Crab available. Evidently, most of it is shipped down to the lower 48. We never seem to have trouble getting it here in California.
The Mushroom /Potato Soup and the Potato/Cheese Spoon Bread were representative of the state of Idaho which everyone knows is famous for their spuds. Spoon Bread is more a casserole than bread and is served as a side dish and of course is dished out with a large spoon.
The salads were the Corn Relish and Cucumber/Sour Cream Salad. Oregon was represented with the Oregon/Blueberry Rolls which are very similar to Cinnamon Rolls. We also made Ginger Snaps and Rhubarb Cake, both of which were enjoyed by the students. All the students went home with some of the baked goods as there was too much food to be eaten at one time.
Day Four was Southern Cooking and for this day the menu was Southern Fried Chicken, Chicken Fried Steak,Scalloped Potatoes, Succotash, Ambrosia,Weeping Salad, Buttermilk Biscuits, Sweet Potato Pies, Pecan Bars and Sweet Mint Tea.
The last day of camp was Pacific Rim Food and this entailed the Pacific Rim States of California and Hawaii. Unfortunately, we were short TA’s on Saturday and did not have time to take many pictures. The Menu was California Rolls, Chicken Fajitas and Hot Artichoke Dip. The Artichoke Dip represents the area of Monterey where Artichokes have been grown for a long time. Noweadays, the growing fields near the coast in Oxnard also grow Artichokes, so Monterey is no longer alone in that area.
We also made a Hawiaan Grilled Shrimp Salad that was served with a Papaya/Mango Marmalade, Oahu style Potato Salad. This Potato Salad contains bay shrimp, crab meat and corn. We also made a corn pudding. Needless to say, corn is grown in many areas in Southern California and Hawaii also grows some. We made Strawberry Pie and Macadamia Nut Brownies for dessert. For the beverage we made and served a Pineapple Punch. Strawberries are grown year-round now in California. They usually ripen in serial order from the San Diego area being the first crop on up to the Santa Maria area in Central Coast being later ones to ripen. In the Oxnard, different types are grown and one type or the other is available year round.
All in all the camps were a great success and the students thoroughly enjoyed themselves and learned some new techniques and we hope a few facts that they can use during the school year.
The week of August 8th, 2011 was US Regional Foods Camp for the Teen/Preteens who attend the Culinary Classes at Let’s Get Cookin’ in Westlake Village, CA. The camp lasted five days which included Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The time was from 11 – 2 making each camp day 3 hours long. Just long enough for the participants to learn and practice new skills without becoming too tired.
The Regions that we visited were New England, the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, the South and the Pacific Rim States.
Monday was New England and different breakfast dishes were prepared; blueberry pancakes, Johnny Cakes (or Journey Cakes), Skillet Apples, Molasses Doughnuts, Cranberry Muffins, Deviled Eggs Florentine and a Broccoli Cheese Fritatata. Since it was breakfast, the beverage that was served was milk. The Blueberry Pancakes were served with Butter and Blueberry Syrup. The Johnny Cakes were served with the Skillet Apples. The Deviled Eggs Florentine were an Appetizer and the Fritata was served with the Cramberru Muffins. The Molasses Doughnuts were dessert.
Day Two was the Midwest and luncheon items were prepared. Since the midwest is known for Beef and Corn, these items were the main focus, but not the only ones. Early in the morning before class I went out to Underwood Farms in Moorpark and purchased a box of corn. Needless to say, corn has been a mainstay of the United States, not just in the midwest but almost in every region. The box contained about 46 ears of corn and by the end of the week, most of it had been used. One of the unique things about Corn from Underwoods is that it retains its sweetness far longer than corn purchased in the supermarket.
The Appetizer was Asiago Cheese Puffs and these were passed around during prepartion time so the students wouldn’t get too hungry. The taste buds can be quickly activated when the aroma of good cooking is around. We made a Corn Chowder and Cheese Stuffed Burgers along with a Midwestern Potato Salad. The Midwestern Potato Salad is very similar to a German Potato Salad and for good reason. Back in the early days of immigration to the US from Europe many German immigrants and Scandinavians settled in the Midwest.
We also made Taffy Apple Salad, Apple Pie and Peanut Popcorn Bars. The beverage that was prepared and served was Blueberry Lemonade, which of course was very popular.