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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. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Well-Known Member

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    Tilapia can be good if you get fresh stuff. It just sucks that the vast majority of tilapia you'll find anywhere is shit.
     
  2. gomestar

    gomestar Well-Known Member

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    and she made it even worse for me when she started digging out the eyes to fling at me. [​IMG]

    the eyes are interesting to eat. I have only plucked them out of snapper that I've made. I've been meaning to try others, but in due time.
     
  3. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    Tilapia can be good if you get fresh stuff. It just sucks that the vast majority of tilapia you'll find anywhere is shit.

    i've always had an almost allergic aversion to tilapia after the first half-dozen tries tasted like the bottom of some slow-moving southern river. but last week i was served some without alternative and to my astonishment, it was really good. i hate it when i have to revise prejudices.
     
  4. Thomas

    Thomas Well-Known Member

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    Tilapia can be good if you get fresh stuff. It just sucks that the vast majority of tilapia you'll find anywhere is shit.

    So, you mean that the stuff I buy from Sam's that's frozen in each individual pouch isn't goor-met?
     
  5. EL72

    EL72 Well-Known Member

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    Tilapia is alright but I only buy it because my wife hates fishy fish. Freshwater trout isn't that fishy either - and even milder than salmon. I buy them fresh at Costco and they're pretty good.
     
  6. retronotmetro

    retronotmetro Well-Known Member

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    It just sucks that the vast majority of tilapia you'll find anywhere is shit.

    Appropriate word choice, given how tilapia are farmed and fed in many places.
     
  7. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    I was not that thrilled about this week so there will hardly any pics and not much commentary. We did not do any of the recipes in the book. The Chef and the rest of the class last week decided that they didn't want to, and he came up with this Thai buffet idea. I was well outnumbered so I saw no point in objecting.

    Pretty much all I did that day was process fish. I filleted and skinned a huge cod then cut it into macedoine or something like that (it's hard to cut fish in anything like a uniform way). Then it was seasoned with a curry paste that someone else had made, plus some small cut haricote vert, and pressed into fish pancakes. Really, they were more like flattish balls. These were deep fried. They were not bad.

    [​IMG]

    The other thing I did was clean and cut squid. Sort of icky. They are very slimy little bastards.

    [​IMG]

    The squid went into the fried rice (which Chef made).

    That was pretty much it. Took forever. Here is the spread:

    [​IMG]

    Lower left are shitakes and some mushroom with a Japanese name that starts with an "m" (but not matsutaki) tossed in oil, S&P and then roasted. Really very delicious. There was also a beef dish in a soy+citrus+cinamon marinade. It smelled great before cooking but then was cooked in the liquid and did not taste so good. Too salty. Probably should have been extracted from the liquid first then cooked some way other than boiled.
     
  8. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Well-Known Member

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    ^^Maitake

    Squid's too much work for how much I dislike it [​IMG]
     
  9. GQgeek

    GQgeek Well-Known Member

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    The other thing I did was clean and cut squid. Sort of icky. They are very slimy little bastards.

    [​IMG]


    I would probably wear latex gloves for this work. [​IMG]
     
  10. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    real cooks don't say "icky". i've cleaned tons of squid (well, not literaly, but LOTS) and like any other chore, with repetition, it gets less bad. real "icky" for me is cleaning fresh sardines -- notch behind the head, twist to break the spine and then pull carefully ... if you do it right, you pull almost all the guts out at the same time. that's icky.
     
  11. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Well-Known Member

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    I would've burned the fucking establishment down if they proposed to take an off day and instead make a Thai buffet in a culinary class I had paid for. What's next, stir-fry?
     
  12. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt Well-Known Member

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    real cooks don't say "icky". i've cleaned tons of squid (well, not literaly, but LOTS) and like any other chore, with repetition, it gets less bad. real "icky" for me is cleaning fresh sardines -- notch behind the head, twist to break the spine and then pull carefully ... if you do it right, you pull almost all the guts out at the same time. that's icky.
    Only one thing ever gave me the creeps in the kitchen. During my aborted career as a cook (before I learned better,) every day around four o'clock, my chef would plop himself next to my station, start chatting and cutting foie gras for saute. It was the only mise en place he ever did, and we served probably 60 seared foie on an average night... literally everybody ate it. Anyway, he would get his knife smoking hot, and cut several livers one after another, each slice smelling like slightly cooked liver. After he was done, I would have to clean the scraps for other preparations. To this day I cannot eat seared foie, since the smell became so imbedded in my nose that it started to make me feel ill. Cold or poached I love, can't get enough, but put me anywhere near the smell of sizzling foie gras, even on a plate, and I go practically white. Oddly, cleaning the stuff of veins is no problem at all. Anything else gory, as you have seen, is not an issue.
     
  13. foodguy

    foodguy Well-Known Member

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    that's kind of the definition of a SF-endorsed delicate sensibility, isn't it? going pale at the scent of seared foie gras?
     
  14. kwilkinson

    kwilkinson Well-Known Member

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    M-
    I think you will be pleased to know that FCI was just awarded "Vocational Cooking School of the Year" award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Big feat to win an award like that over the CIA.
     
  15. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    This was a fun day. First, the FCI was all abuzz because on of their Chef-instructors had won on an episode of "Chopped." He was some haughty frog I had seen around but never had for a class. Second, the food was mostly good.

    The four courses were:
    "¢\tShrimp and mussels in herbed emulsion
    "¢\tCod and smoked salmon "wallet" in soy butter sauce
    "¢\tMedallions of pork with wild mushroom jus, soft polenta and truffle oil
    "¢\tHot Chocolate cake with espresso sauce

    I did 2 and 4.

    Once again I had to filet and skin a cod. I am getting reasonably good at it, though on one piece my knife when through the skin and I had to start again. Didn't really lose any fish, though. I do find getting the bones out to be a pain. There is really no way to do it without tearing the fish. Last week it didn't matter because I was chopping it up anyway. This week I needed nice portions. But thankfully the filet was large enough that I could just cut it down the center line and trim the bones out. Then it was easy to cut sever 1x2" or so pieces.

    This was fun to do. I took some leek greens, cooked them a l'anglaise and shocked them. Then cut into long ribbons and let dry. The smoked salmon was already sliced thin, which saved us considerable time and headache. Now, you lay out a piece of salmon and put in a piece of cod, presentation side down. Then wrap the salmon around the cod. Then tie it with a leek ribbon. Voila:

    [​IMG]

    You present it with the bow down on the plate, though honestly I thought the bows looked rather nice.

    The sauce was delicious. 1:1:1 soy sauce, red wine vinegar and fish stock or clam juice (we used the latter). Clam juice substituting for fish stock is a nice trick to know. We did it today because Chef could not find any fish stock. He also said he doesn't really like it. Well, I don't know if it would have been better with fumet or not, but it was delicious as it was. Since I never make fish stock at home and never have fish bones, and clam juice comes in cans, this is a great trick.

    Also you want a little Tabasco and (no joke) ketchup. Also some minced ginger. Reduce by half. Then whisk in lots of butter (very cold, cut small), the same amount of your soy/vinegar/stock total. Whisk in like you are making a beurre blanc. Add a small dollop of molasses. Strain. Keep over a water bath to maintain temp.

    When it's time to cook the fish, sear them in oil on medium high heat. It takes less than one minute on each side. Then into a 350 oven for about eight minutes.

    The garnish was a medley of julienned green and red peppers, yellow squash, mushrooms, and diamond cut snow peas. All but the shrooms are cooked a l'anglaise; the shrooms get sautÃ[​IMG]ed and then you add the reserved veg at the end. Sprinkle final plate with chopped cilantro (which I forgot to do at school but did remember to do at home.)

    [​IMG]

    The yin-yang thing was really just an attempt to do something other than the typical sauce circle or sauce stripe. Here all the plates I did:

    [​IMG]

    I did not make the pork dish and did not love it. I did make the polenta, which was not bad probably because it had tons of butter and parm. It was a lovely (and huge) boneless loin. They sliced it, pounded it and sautÃ[​IMG]ed it. I thought it was a touch dry and under-seasoned. The mushroom jus had only dried porcinis in it (soaked and chopped), no other shrooms. Also veal stock, shallot and white wine. This did not work. I like dried porcinis but they should always be a flavor compliment not the flavor itself. Dried shrooms are just bad on their own.

    Though I didn't make the dish, I did plate my own:

    [​IMG]

    Finally the cake was fairly simple flourless chocolate. Melted chocolate plus egg yolks plus sugar, beaten, then folded into a French meringue. That's the batter. Sauce was an espresso sauce, basically a crème anglaise flavored with espresso power. We took a small jar and dumped its contents into coffee filters, tied it up, and then let that steep while the cream mixture cooked and also off heat for a while after.

    The cakes are prepared sort of like soufflÃ[​IMG]s. Coat a little cake mold with butter, then with sugar so that the sugar sticks to the bottom and the sides. Fill with batter. Bake for 8-10 min. Will be dry on the outside and still liquidy on the inside. Let cool, unmold upside down, pour over sauce and serve.

    [​IMG]

    This was very tasty but if I do it again I will make double the espresso sauce and make half into ice cream. That would be perfect.
     
  16. medwards

    medwards Well-Known Member

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    I think you will be pleased to know that FCI was just awarded "Vocational Cooking School of the Year" award from the International Association of Culinary Professionals. Big feat to win an award like that over the CIA.


    Of course, of particular relevance to this Forum and thread, one thing FCI is lacking that is so much a part of The Culinary is an (M)Anton Plaza. [​IMG]
     
  17. MarquisMagic

    MarquisMagic Well-Known Member

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    Of course, of particular relevance to this Forum and thread, one thing FCI is lacking that is so much a part of The Culinary is an (M)Anton Plaza. [​IMG]

    Perhaps the FCI should have an (M)edwards Hall?
     
  18. medwards

    medwards Well-Known Member

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    Perhaps the FCI should have an (M)edwards Hall?

    I think not.
     
  19. badsha

    badsha Well-Known Member

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    Manton is something a novice could make: Hot Chocolate cake with espresso sauce. Or does it require some special technique.
     
  20. Manton

    Manton Well-Known Member

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    Manton is something a novice could make
    I think this is literally true.
     

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