Thursday, April 5, 2012

Getting behind, not as bad as it sounds.

Ever had the feeling that you're getting behind on whatever task you committed yourself to get done ? Surely,we all have. As far as blogging is concerned it is NOT a bad thing at least for me. Here's the thing, it gives me time to really choose my words  instead of acting on emotionnal impulses, makes sense ? I am way behind on reporting on my classes, that would be four classes ago or one month so there is a lot to talk about. Let's see there was  French patisserie, Stocks and soups, Sauces and reductions, Charcuterie part 2, Chocolate and more Chocolate and All meats cooking, now that is 5 classes this month on top of all the events I participate all over town supporting worthy causes. Tired ? yes I am but it is the good kind of tired, the kind that you do not regret because your heart and soul are sooooooooooo glad to have been part of it all. Oh, and since Valentine's day I got a new assistant Katy, she is just great and among other things she does a super job taking all the food pictures that I get to share in my blogging. In the Fish Cookery part 2 (just before the above listed) I tried a few new things, still simple to prepare but eye appealing and delicious. In my book, the freshest the fish the least amount of preparation and ingredients there are,  the better. This almost done salmon shallow poached on a bed of leeks and fennel with wine and dry Vermouth and finished with a bit of cream just screamed for its glass of white Burgundy: you pick it, I'll drink it !
After all it is all about the freshness of the seafood we can get (or not) depending on where we live. I did some "barely baked Gulf oysters with foie gras butter" ( not to worry, the red tide had been long gone ) and they came out just great, briny and rich. I also did baked clams with Proscuitto,basil and sundried tomatoes as I was not going back decades and make clams Casino. See the pics, delicious is just not the right word, healthy too (the clams not the foie gras oysters).

No Rockefellers here, that envelop was really pushed !

There was Cioppino, whole snapper in salt crust, Calamari stuffed with pork braised in tomato and sweet Vermouth, roasted red fish, shrimp beignets and then some.

I do not eat much of any fried foods as my hips can't take but I just love shellfish fried in a light and crunchy batter (think about some rice flour) and I call my fried shrimp "Beignets of shrimp" because they are THAT light !

Now, shrimping season in Texas is opening on July 15th and it would make for a great trip to take the family down on the coast and come back with a cooler full of fresh Gulf wild shrimp. Once you had them you won't buy the other kinds, that's for sure or you just didn't get it when them babies came off the boat !

My Sardinian friend and Chef Salvatore would have been proud of this Gulf snapper baked in a salt crust, very simple preparation but moist and delicious. Just the way he showed me !

I could not end this post without showing my appreciation for Dave Ewing of Sysco foods who supplies the freshest fish product in town and keeps me abreast of the latest seafood goodies he brings in. I did what I call "the mother of all Cioppinos" which had all kinds of seafoods including razor clams which I never used before. Just the freshest, meaty, briny and way over the top. For most of you who have had Cioppino before you must have noticed that it was not very "tomatoey", what was missing in color was made up in flavor as I used the freshest and deep flavored fish stock. So,there !

What is it with some of us Chefs who naturally overdo things when we are on stage meaning when we teach ? I guess it would have to be the passion shinning through. In my case I am guilty of that many times over and hope it does not end.............ever..

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