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What Manton Learned at Culinary School Today

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by Manton, Jan 4, 2009.

  1. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    yes, they are. And they're easy to find whole, I don't recall being to a Whole Foods in the past 5 months and not seen some red snapper.

    I cooked this little guy up a few weeks ago. Turned out flaky, moist, and delicious:
    [​IMG]


    unless i'm mistaken, that's Tai snapper, not red snapper (though it is a snapper and it is red). It's a very nice fish and pretty frequently available in the round at very good prices. I cook it all the time. true red snapper (you can usually tell by a bump on the forehead) is a magisterial fish, along with pompano, the pride of the Gulf coast and, along with pompano, severely troubled these days. Tai snapper is a wild-caught fish, usually taken in the far pacific.
     
  2. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    In the late '70s through the mid '80s I used to haul red snapper up by the bucketful in the Santa Barbara Channel. It was so easy. Haul out to a depth of about 1,000 feet, drop your line, trawl at about 1.5 knots, catch fish after fish after fish. Guaranteed. They were not large--about half the size of the fish that we had at school--but there were zillions of them and any fool could catch them. Last few times I have been in the SBC I have not fished so I have no idea what it is like now.
     
  3. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    In the late '70s through the mid '80s I used to haul red snapper up by the bucketful in the Santa Barbara Channel. It was so easy. Haul out to a depth of about 1,000 feet, drop your line, trawl at about 1.5 knots, catch fish after fish after fish. Guaranteed. They were not large--about half the size of the fish that we had at school--but there were zillions of them and any fool could catch them. Last few times I have been in the SBC I have not fished so I have no idea what it is like now.
    yeah, those are rockfish and they're pretty much endangered as well. it's a funny thing about fish in the US ... names are often misleading and often intentionally so. Red snapper was a prestigious fish, so fishmongers used it for anything that vaguely resembled it. same thing with sole. There are no true soles on the west coast, but we have several fish called "sole", including one that's called "Dover sole." it's a real piece of **** that usually melts to nothing, hence it's original (though much less salable) name of "slime sole".
     
  4. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]


    the plating thing is really coming along. it looks much nicer with fewer things on the plate, don't you think? the only constructive criticism i'd make on this one is that it might be nicer for the sauce line to conform a bit more to the fish and mushrooms. of course, if they'd given you plates that were better proportioned for the dish, that would have helped a great deal. those big plates almost demand too many elements in order to fill the white space. but that's a quibble. you're doing great!
     
  5. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I chose that plate myself.

    Now you have me wondering whether the fish we cooked was really true "Red Snapper." I wish I had a pic. It was at least 18" from head to tail and maybe 20.
     
  6. gomestar

    gomestar Well-Known Member

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    unless i'm mistaken, that's Tai snapper, not red snapper (though it is a snapper and it is red). It's a very nice fish and pretty frequently available in the round at very good prices. I cook it all the time. true red snapper (you can usually tell by a bump on the forehead) is a magisterial fish, along with pompano, the pride of the Gulf coast and, along with pompano, severely troubled these days. Tai snapper is a wild-caught fish, usually taken in the far pacific.

    you're probably right, my fish knowledge is pretty limited despite the fact that I eat it constantly. I know WF specifies if they're from the Gulf or not, but I don't recall for this particular one. It was quite large in size, actually, and I think $9 a pound (it ended up costing $17 or $18 ... I still ate the whole thing, even the eyes).

    I'm glad I read this particular MAnton post, the on-stove curl is the one thing that annoys me about some fish, I'll be sure to give this technique a shot. And I'd much rather have far under seasoned snapper than over seasoned, the pure taste is excellent.
     
  7. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    You can also score the skin, which looks nice and lessens curling.
     
  8. BDC2823

    BDC2823 Well-Known Member

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    Manton,

    Everything looks great. Fish is tricky and from what I see, it came out great.

    In the late '70s through the mid '80s I used to haul red snapper up by the bucketful in the Santa Barbara Channel. It was so easy. Haul out to a depth of about 1,000 feet, drop your line, trawl at about 1.5 knots, catch fish after fish after fish. Guaranteed. They were not large--about half the size of the fish that we had at school--but there were zillions of them and any fool could catch them. Last few times I have been in the SBC I have not fished so I have no idea what it is like now.

    yeah, those are rockfish and they're pretty much endangered as well. it's a funny thing about fish in the US ... names are often misleading and often intentionally so. Red snapper was a prestigious fish, so fishmongers used it for anything that vaguely resembled it. same thing with sole. There are no true soles on the west coast, but we have several fish called "sole", including one that's called "Dover sole." it's a real piece of **** that usually melts to nothing, hence it's original (though much less salable) name of "slime sole".

    I don't buy one bit that rockfish are anywhere near endangered. When I used to fish for them up in Morro Bay as a kid with my grandfather, we used Penn Senator 10/0 reels with 60 lb. dacron on a gangion (3 hooks). It was legal to fish to 600 feet. This was early to mid 90's. Nowadays, it is restricted to 300 feet and 2 hooks maximum. As a result, the fish are generally smaller than what I remember. My last few trips to Morro Bay/Channel Islands I brought along 15lb, 20lb, 25 lb, 30lb, and 40lb setups. I still have those old 10/0 reels but there is no need for them anymore. I also did things differently than everyone else and decided to stick with irons and plastics only, foregoing a 2 hook setup and caught at least one fish on each rod and reel setup I brought. It never took long to get the 10 fish limit. As far as I'm concerned from my experience, besides baitfish and junk fish like mackerel, rockfish are just about the most plentiful and easiest to catch fish in the CA waters.

    Also, Foodguy's right that people call a host of various rockfish 'red snapper'. Most often Vermilion rockfish are called red snapper due to their similar look and color.
     
  9. BDC2823

    BDC2823 Well-Known Member

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    Manton,

    For reference, here's a pic of some Vermilion rockfish that I caught up in Morro Bay on a trip last year.
    The second pic has a couple different rockfish in it.
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  10. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Oh, those bulgy eyes bring back memories. I guess this is like torturing cats, so I should be ashamed of myself (and I sort of am) but when I hooked one I used to haul it up super, super fast--as fast as I could--because the "bends" would cause that eye bulge, which I thought was really cool. At least, that is what I believed.
     
  11. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    Actually, I chose that plate myself.

    Now you have me wondering whether the fish we cooked was really true "Red Snapper." I wish I had a pic. It was at least 18" from head to tail and maybe 20.


    oops. sorry.
    i'm pretty sure it wasn't true red snapper. in fact, i'd be disappointed if it was. stocks area REALLY down. i believe the commercial fishery may even be closed (not sure, though and too lazy to look it up). i know it's a big AVOID on the monterey aquarium list.
     
  12. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    Manton,
    I don't buy one bit that rockfish are anywhere near endangered.

    that's a common reaction among sportsfishermen. it's a very controversial subject (and for the record, "endangered" is a legal definition and they're definitely not that ... "threatened" is the preferred terminology for this. IIRC, there are more than 100 different species of rockfish and they are more or less troubled depending on the specifics.

    Oh, those bulgy eyes bring back memories. I guess this is like torturing cats, so I should be ashamed of myself (and I sort of am) but when I hooked one I used to haul it up super, super fast--as fast as I could--because the "bends" would cause that eye bulge, which I thought was really cool. At least, that is what I believed.

    yeah, and it's REALLY cool when the swim bladder comes up out of their mouths!
    Seriously, the last time i went out on a day boat, our biggest "snapper" was about 6-7 inches. and we were using live anchovies and squid for bait. at that point, i figured i'd had enough. i would much rather have been cooking the bait than the fish.
     
  13. RJman

    RJman Well-Known Member

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    I was thinking that too. This is definitely the best plating I've seen from you so far. Keep it up dewd. I haven't really given myself time to do "real" cooking at home recently but I try to do decent plating, even at home. My plating probably sucks too though, and I also feel like an idiot taking pics at restaurants, even though I am often very tempted. [​IMG]

    You know, for a guy who basically has done everything he can to climb back into the womb, you really have a tendency to bad-mouth other people who actually leave their houses to do new things and work on new skills that don't require hit points or pretending to be a female fantasy character online. Manon's putting himself out there by putting up pictures and regular accounts of his progress, and you just swoop in and pull your potshot as if this was a more advanced forum. This isn't the same as chopping some supermarket Brie and making smug comments about some awful computer language you are teaching yourself in the bowels of the earth.
     
  14. GQgeek

    GQgeek Well-Known Member

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    ^^ What are you talking about? I wasn't insulting him. I was saying that his plating is getting better and better.
     
  15. GQgeek

    GQgeek Well-Known Member

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  16. BDC2823

    BDC2823 Well-Known Member

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    Oh, those bulgy eyes bring back memories. I guess this is like torturing cats, so I should be ashamed of myself (and I sort of am) but when I hooked one I used to haul it up super, super fast--as fast as I could--because the "bends" would cause that eye bulge, which I thought was really cool. At least, that is what I believed.

    [​IMG] Rockfish just can't handle the pressure of coming to the surface.

    that's a common reaction among sportsfishermen. it's a very controversial subject (and for the record, "endangered" is a legal definition and they're definitely not that ... "threatened" is the preferred terminology for this. IIRC, there are more than 100 different species of rockfish and they are more or less troubled depending on the specifics.

    yeah, and it's REALLY cool when the swim bladder comes up out of their mouths!
    Seriously, the last time i went out on a day boat, our biggest "snapper" was about 6-7 inches. and we were using live anchovies and squid for bait. at that point, i figured i'd had enough. i would much rather have been cooking the bait than the fish.


    "Threatened" is probably a better term but I don't really buy into that either. If I recall, Chilipepper and depending on the time of year, Bocaccio (with 2 fish limits when legal) are on the illegal to keep list. Both of which live with other rockfish and are commonly caught, but have to be released. Problem is, like Manton and yourself stated with the eyes bulging and swim bladder coming out their mouth, they are practically dead anyways with a very low survivability rate. They just end up being bird food anyways.

    I assume you went out of Long Beach or Redondo when you encountered those juvenile fish? I don't really ever fish for them around there as they don't give much of a fight and tend to be small (plus with Horseshoe Kelp, Palos Verdes Peninsula, and Catalina all within range there's better fishing to be had). If I do fish for them it's because nothing else is biting or they are really the only fish fished for in the area that time of year. Santa Rosa Island and out of Morro Bay are the general spots for the larger rockfish.
     
  17. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    SR Island is where we used to go. Out of Oxnard or Ventura mostly, sometimes SB (but it's hard to keep a boat in SB unless your family got a slip as a grant from the Mexican government in 1821).
     
  18. BDC2823

    BDC2823 Well-Known Member

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    SR Island is where we used to to. Out of Oxnard or Ventura mostly, sometimes SB (but it's hard to keep a boat in SB unless your family got a slip as a grant from the Mexican government in 1821).

    Rosa still has some really good fishing for larger rockfish as well as Halibut, White Sea Bass, and Ling Cod among others. It's been a couple years, but when I've fished that area it was out of Oxnard and Ventura as well. They have some really good captains out of those harbors and it's still a rather large recreational fishing community. A lot of really good people up there and it's a pretty tight knit community. This summer I'll have to go back and fish there again as I'm getting tired of seeing pics of nice fish caught up there by friends I haven't seen in awhile.

    Channel Islands Harbor is also a really good spot for lobster as well. A friend of mine routinely gets limits on them when in season with some large 8-10 lbers mixed in.
     
  19. SField

    SField Well-Known Member

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    Manton, I think that looks much better this time.

    I would have scored the fish.

    Also, try using a tiny bit less heat or lift the pan and you'll get a bit more of an even caramelization.
     
  20. kaxixi

    kaxixi Well-Known Member

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    Manton, thanks for continuing this thread. I get tons of ideas from your posts.
     

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