This Week in Culinary School: Week 10

mimosa salad.jpg

Top Three Things I Learned This Week

1.  Arithmetic– We had our second midterms this week, which I am glad to say went much more calmly and smoothly for me than the first.  Instead of a cutting drill this time, we had to scale a recipe– you know when a recipe is written for say, 6 guests, but you have 8? Yes, we had to do a math exercise! We’re so dependent on calculators these days, but it’s good to remember how to do fractions.  Good thing I have a 6th grader– I’ve been reviewing fractions all year!

2.  Mimosa for Spring- We made a couple of spring vegetable dishes with a mimosa garnish.  No, not the brunch cocktail, but a garnish of chopped hardboiled egg, as on the above salad, which is supposed to resemble the flower on the acacia tree.  It’s also lovely over blanched asparagus, dressed with a vinaigrette.

We were taught a fail-proof method for cooking a hardboiled egg that’s easy to peel and has a perfectly yellow yolk:

  • place raw egg(s) in cold water in a pot of salted water
  • bring to a boil, then turn off heat
  • allow to sit in water for 12 minutes, then remove to an ice bath to cool before peeling

Pro-tip for making the mimosa: finely chop the egg white and egg yolk separately before sprinkling both evenly over your salad or other vegetables (so that it’s delicate, not an unappealing mush).

3.  Grains and Beans– for a couple of days this week, we cooked my kind of food! That is to say, grains and beans.  We made farro, quinoa, bulgur and other grains you might be familiar with, as well some you might not have had before: amaranth and sorghum.  These are both gluten-free grains (which is actually a huge variety, everything except wheat (which includes farro and bulgur), barley, rye and triticale).  Amaranth is tiny and kind of sticky when cooked.  We used it in savory zucchini pancakes, which we garnished with popped amaranth.

amaranth cake.jpg

Sorghum cooks up to be about the size and appearance of Israeli couscous.  As with the amaranth, we also popped some sorghum (in a hot, dry, covered pan). We also made the back-of-the-package Bob’s Red Mill recipe for a curried carrot and sorghum recipe.  It was vibrant and was pretty good with the addition of a squeeze of lime.

curried sorghum.jpg

If you’re interested in learning more about grains, I highly recommend the website  I also posted a few recipes from my whole grains classes a while back, including these:

bulgur with kale and sausage 

quinoa salad with kale and butternut squash

lemony farro salad with avocado and pistachios 


Thanks for coming by! If you’re curious what it’s like to be in culinary school, check out my previous posts and also come back weekly for my latest updates. I’ll be sharing tips, ingredients, and recipe ideas straight from the classroom. And for more healthy cooking and eating tips, join my community on Facebook at The Doctor’s Spicebox.

Speaking of grains, my next class is in 2 weeks, March 21st, featuring gluten-free recipes from around the world. Don’t miss out, register today:

I hope to cook with you soon!

To your health!