Tuesday, March 02, 2010

I'm going fish fish, fish fish, fish fish fishing again...

After we finished with our tribute to Eire, Chef gathered class around to tell us that the next day we had someone coming in to talk to us about a trip to Italy in September. One of the other schools in the area goes every two years or so and Chef is tired of us being the orphaned step-child and wants to start having us have the same opportunity to go. There would be some sightseeing and and also some cooking school. Sounds awesome even though I don't like Italian food. For the others it would definitely be good resume padding. Mayfield kept interrupting with a bunch of question, how much? When? What is the program? Where? Finally I had to interrupt. "You know, I bet that is what the guy is going to tell you tomorrow." I'm so smart. Bunch of undisciplined, attention challenged, disrespectful people.

Afterward it was time for our Nutrition class. I had set out a piece of salmon last week but then school was cancelled and it had sat for a week in the walk in. I threw it out and started over. I did learn that the vacuum sealed fish is supposed to be thawed out unwrapped, not in the vacuum sealed package. Something about the meat gassing off.

I had not done fish yet for this class, and we all should eat more fish, so I checked with my client and it turns out she LOVES salmon. That settled it, barbecued salmon. I have not had barbecued salmon before but my niece raves about it. It is one of three foods she will eat. She was very disappointed when she came to visit and we took her to Herb's to experience true southe'n BBQ that salmon was not an option. I think it is a Midwest thing.

I received mixed advice on how to grill the salmon. Chef said he sears the outside and finishes it off in the oven. I did indeed use this technique. Another instructor told me to soak the salmon in milk, but of course that was not an option for my client. I didn't bother making a barbecue sauce from scratch. I heard once that 75% of all restaurants use Cattlemen's sauce as their own or as a base to make their own. I used some Bull's Eye that we had but added Worcestershire, honey and apple cider vinegar. I lightly marinated the filet for maybe a half hour before throwing it on the grill. I basted it a few times. I tried very hard not to over cook it but it zoomed past 145°F so fast after I had pulled it, even though I pulled it early. I wasn't too worried because I believe that most people are used to eating overcooked salmon as restaurants play it safe.

I combined a presentation and a vegetable by placing the salmon on a bed of roasted vegetables. I had intended to use yellow squash, egg plant and zucchini but discovered at the last minute that all of the yellow squash had been used up that morning. I subbed red bell pepper instead. Tossed everything in olive oil, grilled them then finished off the vegetables in the pan with the fish in the oven. I cut the veggies into strips after they were cooked. I have a very sharp knife so that was not hard to do. Because my client wanted her plate to go, I was not worried about losing heat or any of the food being cold.

For dessert I went as basic as I could get, an ounce each of fresh blueberries, strawberries and blackberries layered into a parfait with vanilla soy yogurt. I put a pinch of raw sugar on top just for effect. Wendy City loved it so much she wanted the recipe. Take that Sandra Lee!

I named my menu the Superfoods because it was loaded in nutrients.

My compadres were making oatmeal burgers. I have a reputation in my class for being a pure carnivore. It isn't true, I do like vegetables. Even more so fruit. But I have a reputation to maintain no matter how false, and it is a fun reputation to have. Most people thought I wouldn't make the oatmeal burgers because of my anti-veggie reputation. Not so. Chef said the times he has had them they tasted just like a real hamburger. My client does not, will not, eat red meat. There was no way, no how, I was serving her a food that is like red meat. You should never make your client vomit because of your food. I had to argue this point with Mayfield. He said there was no red meat in the burger so what was the problem. Sometimes it just is not worth arguing.

Unfortunately Chef couldn't find a third of the vegan ingredients for the oatmeal burgers so they had to make some substitutions. New Girl almost vomited I think after she tasted one. I had a big piece and the flavor really was not bad. The texture was awful though. Just a nasty mush. Baby food has better body than these burgers. I had planned on making a black bean burger this week, but after tasting these I changed my mind. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Morningstar Farms (formerly Worthington Foods as in Worthington OH, my hometown) spicy black bean burgers, but they are made with textured vegetable protein (TVP). Without TVP I had my doubts of making a successful black bean burger. Today I noticed that in my recipes I have a black bean burger recipe that I have made, I just forgot. Looking at my notes today, I see I commented on the texture and mush mouth feel of the burger.

I watched everybody plate up. I feel good working with Tennessee. He was making an orange sorbet and wanted something green to garnish it with. Naturally we didn't have any mint. My brain went to working and I came up with using some zest from a lime. He liked my idea, made me feel good. Mayfield on the other hand did not like my questioning his plate. Yes, your oatmeal burger is healthy and nutritious, but serving two of them isn't really a healthy concept. Can we say portion control? RK was looking for some A1 sauce for his. Blech! I never use that stuff. He asked if my Bull's Eye barbecue sauce was the same. My eyes glazed over. Then I noticed a half sheet of what looked like under cooked potato wedges. I called out, "what kind of chips are these?" I thought they might be jicama chips or yucca chips which is something I wanted to do. "Thems is just baked taters," RK replies. Yeah? Your pre-diabetic client is going to love those. If only she knew that RK NEVER EVER washes his hands. I don't eat anything he cooks.


http://abebedorespgondufo.blogs.sapo.pt/ said...

Good blog.

Brook said...

glad you resisted the urge to cut your throat. I love salmon and you are it right it goes from close to perfect to "what the hell happened" in the blink of an eye. I happen to love the original "Gardenburger" but no other. Well, Cinebarre here serves a homemade veggie burger that is pretty good-but depending on the chef du jour it has been mushy a time or two. Uuuuuummmmm. I love A-1! On my baked potato of course! Tasty and way fewer calories than sour cream and butter(both of which I dearly love too). I can't imagine that no one calls that guy out about hand washing! Seriously disgusting. I nearly barf when the french girl cooks because she is always licking her fingers-which could make her sick and also potentially make the rest of us sick. I am constantly getting on to her about that. I think I've caught her most of the time so far. God I hope so. Not that she cooks that much but you get my drift. Anyway. Sucks about school today. The snow has finally stopped here. Finally.