Week two of school done, haayyyooooo!
If you remember last week I told you that classes last 9 days, so this week was the last week of actual content of the class, and then our last day is just our final exam! So this week we finished up the rest of the meat proteins, learned about cheeses and how to classify fruits and vegetables.
We started off the week with seafood. Everything from lobster, shrimp, scallops, bay scallops, roundfish, mussels, oysters and clams. We learned how to shuck an oyster (I felt like Bradley Cooper in the movie Burnt), which essentially involves taking a special knife and applying pressure on the joint to crack the top off.
To cook them we coated them in cornmeal and deep fried them. This was my first time ever having fried oysters (I had them grilled and raw recently in Charleston, but not fried) and oh my gawwwssshhhh it was delicious. Would definitely recommend.
We learned how to get the sand out of mussels and clams. Mussels and clams are bottom feeders, meaning they sit on the bottom of the ocean and eat off the ground, aka they have a bunch of sand in them. You have to get that sand out, because when you bite into one of these, you’ll get a sandy crunchy bite and that is no bueno. So what you do is fill a big bucket with water, put them clams or mussels in and then add some cornstarch. The mussels/clams will try to eat the cornstarch but choke a bit and spit it out. When they spit out the corn starch they also spit out a bunch of sand! Super cool. Let them sit in the bowl for about a half hour, and you will be able to see all the dirt and sediment that has come out of them.
To cook them, you sautee them and then add a sauce, maybe white wine, maybe tomato sauce, and as they heat up in the pan, the shells will open and they will cook super quickly.
For the lobster, chef really emphasized killing them the most humane way possible. Bring a big pot of water to a boil and then place the lobster inside to kill them as quickly as possible. To keep their tail from curling up in the water, chef inserted a skewer up its behind right before he put it in the water. Once it is dead and fully cooked, you remove the shell and sautee it
We also learned how to filet a whole fish. It came with the innerds removed, so all we did was cut a filet from the two sides of the fish and de-skin it. Super easy.
Tuesday was beef day. Every group got a different cut of beef and we prepared them for the class to taste the different cuts.
My group had flank steak and we made a bulgogi recipe. Bulgogi is a korean dish where you slice the beef super thinly and then marinate it in a sweet and spicy sauce. It was SO good, I think I might prepare it for my fam over Christmas cause I liked it so much! This is a good recipe, similar to what we made.
Wednesday wasn’t a super exciting day. We were learning about the different groups of fruits and vegetables (pommes, tubers, roots, exotic, etc) so we grouped and identified a bunch of produce.
A tip you might find helpful is how to know when a melon is ripe: bring the melon close to your ear and shake it. If it is ripe, you should be able to hear the seeds shlosh around. If you hear that, buy that melon! If not, keep shaking until you find one that shloshes.
Part of our final exam is cutting a chicken, so we practiced cutting chickens. If this is something you would be interested in learning, tell me in the comments and I will do an IGTV showing you how!
Thursday was a gooood day. Last week when we had cut up the pork and the lamb, we saved the usable trim to turn into sausage. So today we pulled out that trim, put it in the meat grinder and turned it into sausage. I had never done anything like this before, so it was pretty neat to see how the process works. We taste everything we make, so we tasted both the pork and the lamb sausage- the pork won in my opinion.
After the sausage we did a cheese tasting. Chef did a lecture on the cheese making process, the different groups of cheeses (hard, firm and soft) and then we tasted them all. I learned that asiago is nasty, pure parmesan reggiano is beyond delicious, and cheddar and white cheddar are the exact same cheese, only with food coloring added to get the orange color. I was surprised to be able to taste such big differences in all of the cheeses. When tasting for flavor identification, you put a little bit in your mouth, smack your mouth together while breathing out your nose, and you will get a more intense flavor.
Monday is our practical and written exam, so I have a bunch of studying to do! After Monday we go to baking and pastry- I have a feeling I’m going to have a LOT to share with you from that class! Thanks so much for reading, friends!!
P.S. Leaving a comment is SUPER helpful to my blog!! So if you read this and enjoyed it, I would love you forever if you just wrote a quick comment! You tha realest.