- the first meal of the day; morning meal:
Here at Clemente the students are cooking up some great things. The culinary students have been learning the basics of how to prepare breakfast. Before heading into the kitchen, students learned why breakfast is such an important meal of the day. When the human body is at rest during the night, it is essentially fasting. The first meal of the day is breaking the fast after a period of 12 hours or so—assuming there has been no food consumption since dinner. When the body goes a long period of time without eating, it believes it’s in starvation mode and so it slows metabolism in order to hold on to the nutrients from food previously consumed. When you consume breakfast in the morning you are essentially jump starting your metabolism for the day, making it easier to burn the calories later in the day. Students are taught not only how to prepare breakfast but the nutritional value of it as well.
This week, our young chef’s learned numerous ways to prepare eggs. As we prepared to execute the lesson in the kitchen, we had an engaging and quite enlightening dialogue about what breakfast looks like in our homes. Students discussed how their upbringing influences how they eat. After our discussion we voted on which egg dish to make first, and with the majority rule, first up was the Denver omelet.
A traditional Denver omelet consists of ham, bell pepper, onion, and cheese. As students prepared their omelets, they learned how to proportion the ingredients; too much of one ingredient or another would overwhelm the palate, while too little would leave the dish with very little flavor. Students then learned how to make eggs over easy. This dish is a bit more tricky to master. The students learned how to temper their nonstick pans to cook the egg perfectly. Most overcooked their first egg but got it right on the second try. Once finished, the only thing to add was salt and pepper to taste, and Bon Appetite! The last egg dish we prepared was the classic scrambled egg; we kicked it up a notch, adding sharp cheddar and a parsley garnish.
While some would agree that eggs are great all by themselves, students also learned to make other breakfast items, specifically quick bread variations. Quick breads are any breads made with leavening agents other than yeast or eggs. Several foods that we consider to be traditionally—and perhaps exclusively—for breakfast, such as biscuits, pancakes, waffles, and scones, are quick breads. To accompany their eggs, our students made blueberry muffins and cinnamon rolls from scratch, which were deliciously amazing!