So far I’m absolutely loving culinary school…my chef is French and fabulous. Hilarious and wise. My classmates are diverse…ranging from longtime restaurant industry folks to lawyers, traders and other PR pros. So far, we’ve been doing knife skills, which means lots of slicing, chopping, and julienning, but not much else yet. Even so…I’ve absolutely loved every second so far.
In the next five weeks I hope to improve my knife skills (which are surprisingly crappy), learn how to bone and filet poultry and fish, learn sauces and compound butters and much more. And that’s just the first half-quarter!
Of course, I big part of what I’m learning is about hygiene and professionalism, so I thought you’d like to see my uniform (you might also get a giggle). Between the outfit and my very serious looking knife kit, I’m already feeling like a real professional! Its all very exciting.
Of course, beyond the classes themselves, starting school has had an affect on the rest of my schedule. My employers and team are supportive and gracious and have allowed me to move to a 4-day work week (Thursdays are my homework days), and also work one additional day from home.
That means I’m spending more time at home during the week — usually Tuesdays and Thursdays. While I enjoy working from home and I’m amazed how much more I can get done without the typical office interruptions, lunch has posed an interesting challenge. As someone who tends to over-complicate any meal, I’ve had to exercise restraint during workday lunchtime. Already though I think I’ve identified a short list of simply, healthful and delicious meal ideas that come together quickly so that I can get back to my laptop.
One of my favorite combinations includes an omelet and a small green salad. Omelets come together in minutes and make use of whatever vegetables and cheese happen to be in the fridge (in this case some leftover sliced mushrooms, goat cheese and a drizzle of truffle oil). To round out my lunch, I try to keep washed baby arugula in the house. This spicy green requires little dressing up to taste good. Generally I throw a handful of greens on my plate, sprinkle on some salt, pepper and cheese then top with a squirt of lemon juice and a spritz of olive oil from a mister. Easy, healthy and delicious.
As my school adventures continue, I’ll try to showcase some additional weekday lunch ideas (which also make great quick and satisfying dinners), and I’d be thrilled to hear from you guys if you have any tasty recipes to offer up!
Easy Truffled Mushroom Omelet with Goat Cheese
1 Tbs. butter
1 tsp tap water
2-3 fresh mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 Tbs. fresh goat cheese, crumbled
1/4 tsp. truffle oil for drizzling (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste
In a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat, melt butter and spread evenly around the pan. Meanwhile, crack eggs into a bowl. Add water and whisk until well mixed. Pour egg mixture into hot skillet and, using a heatproof rubber spatula, evenly coat the bottom of the pan. Use spatula to move the egg mixture around so that the liquid egg fills any holes in the bottom of the pan. Let the mixture set in the pan for about 30 seconds.
Meanwhile, sprinkle mushrooms down the center of the omelet. When the egg mixture is set, use spatula to gently loosen the omelet away from the edge of the pan. Fold one side over the center of the omelet, then use spatula to continue folding until omelet is rolled in thirds. Gently dump from pan onto serving plate. Top with goat cheese, a drizzle of truffle oil (optional) and salt & pepper to taste. Serve with a salad and get back to work.