Continuing in my Saturday cooking class routine, I learned about alternative seafood yesterday. Now, let me just say up front that I don’t really like seafood a whole lot. Every now and then I will eat it, but generally I find some of it to taste just too fishy. Especially Salmon, which, living on the West Coast is almost considered blasphemy. Salmon is what BC is known for and almost everyone out here loves it…but me. Thankfully the class wasn’t focused on fish, but on other seafood options like crabs, oysters, muscles, clams, lobster and sea urchin.
I did a couple firsts in this class; I got to shuck my first oysters, which can be pretty difficult, and I made crab cakes. Now when I say I made crab cakes, I mean that I made them from start to finish, including killing the crab. When Chef Julian showed us how to do it at first, I didn’t know if I would be able to go through with it, thankfully my crab was resigned to his death and didn’t put up a stink, unlike the girl’s crab across from me who did a number with his claw on her finger. He wasn’t going down easy. Mine wiggled a little, then pretty much just laid there. I must admit that tearing the body and legs off of a crab took a lot of strength, so I give credit to people in restaurants who have to do this, and other things like deboning pork, a lot of credit. It is a tiring job.
It was actually quite easy to make the crab cakes. After Mr. Crab and I parted ways, me to more food prep, him to the pot of boiling water, things were really easy. Once he was cooked I pulled out all the meat and mixed it with homemade mayonnaise, basil, cilantro, green onions, panko (Japanese break crumbs) and an egg yolk. We formed them into patties which we grilled a little on each side before sticking them in the oven for 5mins. Voila! Done! As you can see above, the finished product was pretty nice. We rested it on a bed of salad with champagne vinaigrette and put a dab of lemon jelly on top. Delish! It was a perfect lunch.
I have two more classes left in my Basics in 8 course and they are the ones that I have been looking forward to the most: Dough Making and Pastries. I should have some delicious pictures to show you soon.
*As a side note, BC fish is very good and fresh, a huge difference from Ontario fish growing up that often had a fishy taste. One of the most important things I learned was that you should always buy frozen fish. If it isn’t frozen it means that the grocery store unfroze it for you and it may have been sitting out for days before being sold. Buying it frozen means that from the time it was caught and quickly frozen on board the boat, to the time you unthawed it in your home, you are getting a very fresh fish. Almost like it was just caught.