Wednesday, May 13, 2015

The McCheeser 3000: The Ultimate Omelet Showdown

This week we had a little friendly competition in our foods class to see who could design the best omelet. By the time class was over, we had omelets made with Nutella, whipped topping, strawberries, bacon, ham, cheese, and everything in between. It was very interesting trying everything out. 

In this post I'm going to share my omelet: The McCheeser 3000! This is an omelet that I designed myself. It was a simple egg omelet with a macaroni-and-cheese mixed with sausage filling. Then it was topped with parsley for color. Many people were very skeptical about it, but I though it turned out pretty well :) The winner's have not been announced yet, but I think I might have a pretty good chance.

1. The first step is to prepare a box of mac-n-cheese. The specific instructions on the box include boiling the water, cooking the noodles, draining the noodles, and adding milk, cheese, and butter.

2. After making the mac-n-cheese, set it aside for a moment and get out 2 microwavable sausage patties. Microwave these patties and cut them up into small pieces once they are warm. 

3. Put the sausage pieces in a bowl with about a cup of mac-n-cheese. Mix it together. This is the filling.

4. Set this aside for a moment and make the omelet. The omelet that I made was very simple. Start by putting 2 large eggs, 2 T of milk, and a dash of salt and pepper into a bowl. Whisk them together and pour into a greased frying pan.

5. After the omelet looks cooked, carefully take it out of the pan with a spatula and put in onto the desired serving plate. 

6. Add the filling to half of the omelet and fold it over. Add parsley or sprinkle cheese on the top for decoration. Enjoy!!
The finished product - Delicious!!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Conclusion of the Egg Unit

After doing all those labs, I'd have to say that the most interesting on was the egg emulsion and the mayonnaise. I was surprised that the egg combined the liquid and oil into one mixture. As we whipped the ingredients, they completely changed texture, and it was kind of cool. There are definitely a lot of things that eggs can do to be helpful when cooking.

Angel Food Cake

We observed 4 different types of angel food cake. The first one was a box mix that had one step. The second one was also a box mix, but it had 2 steps. The third one was made from scratch, and the fourth one was a yellow sponge cake. Here are our observations:

Hard Boiling Eggs

- 2 large eggs
- 2 medium sauce pans
- Tongs
- Plate

1. Place one egg in a pan, cover with water and bring to boiling.
2. Allow egg 1 to boil (not dry) for 10 minutes.
3. Place egg #2 in a pan, cover with water and bring to a boil.
4. Turn off heat when boiling begins.
5. Let stand, covered for 15 minutes
6. Run cold water over both eggs to stop cooking process.
7. Crack eggs once cool to handle and cut open.
8. Taste and observe.

Texture and appearance:
- The white is white
- The yolk is yellow
- Both the yolk and the white are solid - nothing runny
- The white is smooth, slippery, and shiny
- The yolk is not shiny, it's a little dry

Which strategy was better?
- If this lab would have gone perfectly, the texture and color of the eggs would have been different according to how long they were cooked. However, something didn't go quite right and the eggs both looked exactly the same. Therefore, we can not conclude which strategy is better because both eggs turned out the same. However, in this case the 10 minute strategy would be better because it cooked the eggs faster. :)

Monday, May 4, 2015

Coagulation of Protein

In this lab we learned that an egg coagulates (Turns from a liquid to a solid/semi-solid) when it is cooked. We explored this concept by making our own fried eggs. There are many different ways to fry eggs, but we chose to make an over-easy egg and an over-hard egg.

1. The first step is to get out a medium-sized frying pan and spray it with cooking spray. Then put it on the stove on Low/Medium heat and allow it to warm up.

2. For the first egg, the over-easy egg, just crack the egg into the pan and let it cook. Make sure to start the timer and record how long it takes for each of the eggs to cook.Take it out with a spatula when the white of the egg is firm and white. Put it on a plate.

3. As soon as the egg is off of the pan, stop the timer and record the time. Observe the texture and appearance and record.

4. Now it's time to cook the second egg. Prepare the frying pan in the same way as the first.

5. Crack the egg into the pan and let it cook for awhile. (Don't forget to set the timer). After a few minutes, flip the egg over. We don't want any runny spots.

6. Once the egg is firm and fully cooked, take it off of the pan using a spatula and put it onto a plate. Observe and record the texture and appearance.

Here are our results and observations:

Egg #1 (Over easy)
Time to Cook: 2:41
- Cream-colored
- Yellow, runny yolk
- Shiny middle
- Crusty, dark edges
- Smooth yolk
- Smooth
- Some parts slightly runny
- Some parts a little crispy
- Slippery

Egg #2 (Over hard)
Time to Cook: 5:05
- Light brown/yellow
- White specs
- Oddly shaped
- Egg yolk was yellow
- Dry (Not gooey or shiny)
- Spongy
- Slippery
- Smooth
- Rubbery

This is an example of the Coagulation of Protein. 

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Mayonnaise: Emulsifier

Continuing on with our unit about eggs, we learned that an egg is an emulsifier, which means it mixes together foods that would normally not be able to stay mixed together. We learned this concept when we made our own homemade mayonnaise.

However, before we started making the mayonnaise, we learned about oil and water (or other liquids). We mixed oil and water and saw that they don't blend together. Instead, the oil just bubbles up in the water and makes its own little blobs separate from the water. (We'll get back to this concept in a minute).

Just oil and water = not mixed!

- Glass bowl (2)
- Whisk
- Dry measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Liquid measuring cup

- 1 egg yolk
- 1/2 teaspoon fine salt
- 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard
- 2 pinches salt
- 2 teaspoons fresh squeezed lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 cup oil

In a glass bowl, whisk together the egg yolk and the dry ingredients. Combine lemon juice and vinegar in a separate glass bowl then thoroughly whisk half into the yolk mixture. Start whisking briskly, then start adding the oil a few drops at a time until the liquid seems to thicken and lighten a little. Once you reach that point you can relax your arm a little bit (but not too much :) ) and increase the flow of oil to a constant stream (but still thin). Once half of the oil is in add the rest of the lemon juice mixture. Continue whisking until all of the oil is incorporated.

You're done! Keep refrigerated and enjoy!

During the process of making this mayonnaise, we witnessed emulsion. As one can see, we had both oil and liquids similar to water in the mayo. At first when we added oil and water together they didn't mix together. However, when we were making the mayonnaise, we had oil and liquids similar to water  plus an egg. The egg is what made the substances fully mix together. It's an emulsifier. Eggs are very important when it comes to making recipes like this.

Oil and liquids with an egg = fully mixed!

Egg Foam

In this unit we are learning about eggs. Eggs, including the white and the yolk, can do many different things and be very helpful in the kitchen. This week we are exploring the different qualities that an egg has in cooking. We started with the egg white in this lab entitled, "Egg Foam". We explored the different stages of an egg white when it is beaten: soft peak, stiff peak, and over beaten.

- Egg separator
- Small bowl (to store egg yolk)
- Medium-sized bowl (2)
- Electric hand mixer
- Hand mixer
- Stopwatch
- Egg

1. The first step is to separate the egg using the egg separator. Put the egg yolk in a small bowl and store in the fridge to use later. Let the egg white fall into a bigger bowl to be used in the lab.

2. Start first with the electric hand mixer. Start the stopwatch and begin beating the egg white on high speed. The egg white has reached the soft peak stage when the mixer is lifted out of the bowl and the peak folds over like a wave. Record what time it took to get to this. 

3. Continue beating the egg until it has reached the stiff peak stage. The stiff peak stage is reached when the mixer is lifted out of the bowl and the peaks stand up straight. Record the time it took to get to this stage. 

4. Continue beating the egg until it is over beaten. When it is over beaten it will start to look grainy and dry. Record the time it took to reach this last stage. 

5. Put the electric mixer aside and get the hand mixer out. Continue this entire process with the hand mixer, and make sure to record the times to compare them. 

Our Results: