Rethinking The Most Important Meal of the Day

9 Sep

The first thing I do when I get up the in the morning is eat. I’m a hungry person in general, but my body feels particularly angry with me after I’ve deprived it for 8-10 hours while catching 40 winks. In fact, one of my favorite things to do with friends is to head out for a big fatty breaky with eggs, sausage, toast, potatoes, yogurt, granola, waffles…you put it in front of me and I will eat it.

But alas, this is not the French way, and although I will not abandon my breakfast obsession, I have recently learned the Parisian customs of “le petit dejeuner.”

I’m told that the French don’t eat breakfast. If anything, they may have a bite of a croissant or pain au chocolat with some very strong coffee before work or on their first break, but in general breakfast is reserved for weekends and will often only consist of light pastries and fruit. Above all, I’ve been informed that the French do not eat eggs for breakfast. Eggs are reserved for lunch, dinner, appetizers etc. Anything but what they are best known for to North Americans.

This leads me to our second lesson, which features an unbelievable egg-inspired hors d’oeuvre served in the most creative and delicious fashion.

The menu our second day:

  1. Oeufs Brouilles en Courgettes
  2. Poulet au Vinaigre de Framboise et Sauce Échelette
  3. Tarte Fines Aux Pommes

We began by cutting and slightly hollowing the zucchini. You can either cut a long zucchini into sections (as shown in the pictures) or use round zucchini, depending on what you visually prefer or what you can find at the grocery store. After the zucchini has been hollowed half way, you steam it and set it aside as it will soon become the edible vessle for your scrambled eggs.

Instead of scrambling the eggs on a frying pan with a spatula (which is what I’m accustomed to), we used a saucepan and a whisk. To the eggs we added a mix of cream and fresh basil that we began marinating at the beginning of the class. The cream gave the eggs the most wonderfully light, and well, creamy texture, and the basil added just the right amount of flavor when it was all combined with a dash of salt and pepper. Both esthetically pleasing and arguably on the healthier side of things (I’m sure one could use skimmed milk instead of cream, although it obviously wouldn’t be as tasty), this was a perfect amuse bouche to accompany our scrumptious main dish.

After cleaning up the chicken breasts’ excess fat and gibbly-bits (a professional term of fine cuisine of course), we cooked it in a large and shallow saucepan by slowly adding some water, finely chopped shallots, salt and pepper, raspberry vinegar, stock and you guessed it, CREAM! Once the chicken was cooked and the sauce reduced, we were left with the most succulent, moist and aromatic chicken breast I’ve ever tasted. According to Madame Marie-Blanche, this dish is best served with wild rice, although we were happy to sample it all on its own.

The dessert was an absolute French classic, the type you can find in almost any little cornerside bistro to accompany your “café.”

We skinned and thinly sliced some apples and delicately placed them on a thin puff-pastry bottom with a descreet coating of apple purée and brown sugar.  Of course, we then coated it all in cream, and sprinkled on top a handful of almond slices “just to say hello” (as deemed by our master chef), and baked these for about 20 minutes.

Surprise, surprise, we served these sweet treats with thick cream, but they also go wonderfully with icecream (not that that’s any better for you).

Once again, we ate all this with copious amounts of wine, and no, I have never enjoyed wine with eggs before, although I have to say they go quite nicely together. Perhaps something I will have to bring back to Canada, even if I’m still mostly eating my eggs for breakfast.

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2 Responses to “Rethinking The Most Important Meal of the Day”

  1. Noa 09/09/2011 at 3:01 AM #

    That breakfast looks delish! Actually everything does! Cant wait to sample some of these dishes!!!

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Crazy about Courgettes! « Shortt and Sweet - 11/09/2011

    […] and through ways in which I have never before dabbled . The first was mentioned in my last post (Rethinking The Most Important Meal of The Day), as the scrumptious containers for our creamy scrambled eggs. This time they were to be used for […]

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