Saturday, February 8, 2014

What we learned in culinary school this week: Week 5

We started dairy this week. So long stocks and sauces! (For now). We also had our second field trip, this time to The Cheese Story of Beverly Hills. It was awesome. See my previous post for that one.

Milk: Raw milk is straight out of the animal, not pasteurized. Raw milk can carry the same pathogens as blood, so unhealthy animal = unhealthy milk. Pasteurization involves heating to destroy any harmful bacteria that may be in the milk. In homogenization, the milk is subject to vibration so that fat molecules in the milk mix with water molecules, so that cream, fat and water stay mixed and don't naturally separate.

Goat milk is easier for human digestion, because it's closer to human milk than cow's milk.

Fat content: Whole milk = about 4% fat; smaller label/batches can be as high as 8%. Manufacturing cream = 40% fat. Heavy whipping cream = 35-28% fat. Half & half = 18% fat.

Always use unsalted butter for cooking. You can always add salt if needed.

The high fat content in butter gives it a long shelf life. It also means butter can sit out for a couple of days, because the fat keeps it from spoiling.

Cheese is made from the milk of cows, sheep, goats, yaks or water buffalo.

We made ricotta, paneer and mozzarella cheese in class:

Mozzarella in progress.

Ricotta is served!

Eggs: Chickens can lay up to three eggs per day (2-3 is the norm). The quality of the eggs is determined by the quality of the feed. The color of the shell isn't an indication of quality, but it determined by the breed of chicken.

A lot of food labeling is misleading, and "free range" is one of them. All it means is that at least once the chicken was given the opportunity to go outside.

We also did souffles this week. FYI, yelling or slamming the oven door won't make them fall, but they will fall eventually when they're done. And chocolate souffles are YUM.

Not related, but came up in class: Only test a recipe twice. If it doesn't work after that, toss it.

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