Friday, May 08, 2009

Scallion, Mushroom, and Shrimp Custards (Page 77)


  • Date: Saturday, April 25, 2009 -- 8pm
  • Location: Bloomington, IN
  • Kitchen: My Apartment
  • Dining Companion: Matty
  • Recipe Rating: C-

This recipe came off the list generated by the random number generator. I started by lightly beating some eggs, then adding chicken broth, mirin, soy sauce, lemon zest, and salt. After letting it sit for a bit, I strained the mixture and added chopped raw shrimp, scallions, and mushrooms. I divided the mixture among ramekins, and covered each tightly with foil. Then I steamed them on a steamer rack until set. I don't know what went wrong here, but these custards were bad. The flavor was pretty ok -- I neither loved it nor hated it. But the texture was a disaster. I was skeptical of 3 eggs being able to properly set so much liquid. And indeed this was the problem. The custards came out very watery. They sort of separated -- with a part of each custard reasonably set, and then some liquid floating around. It was a very gross texture. The texture disaster made it hard to appreciate the flavor, which was a little bland, but otherwise unobjectionable. We ended up throwing these custards away, and needless to say it is not a recipe I would make again.

The recipe is here.

My final exams are graded, and this evening I submitted my final course grades, so my semester is over!!! I enjoyed teaching a graduate course quite a bit this semester, but I also found it slightly stressful. Up until now I have always taught undergraduate courses. Teaching undergraduates can have various frustrations associated with it (students cheating, for example). And there are certainly aspects of it that aren't enjoyable (writing and grading exams comes to mind!). But I don't find it particularly stressful. As long as I am prepared for class, the process of standing in front of the room explaining calculus is generally enjoyable, not stress inducing. And preparing calculus lectures is also not a particularly stressful task.

Teaching a graduate course was different though. I had a big sense of responsibility teaching a room full of students who love math and want to be professional mathematicians. I feel responsible for my undergraduate students too, of course, but in that case I suppose I feel more confident in my ability to do a good job. Having never taught a graduate course before, and only being a few years out of graduate school myself, the experience made me nervous. Despite the stress, it was fun. My class was very engaged, and for the most part they worked hard. Generally people did well on the final exam, which is always nice. I am looking forward to the next time I teach a gradaute course -- hopefully then I will feel more relaxed about it, and hence enjoy it more!

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