Our second class in Sustainable Seafood looked at the Canadian SeaChoice seafood guide – a handy little brochure that labelled the various seafoods as green (best choice), yellow (some concerns) or red (avoid). You can check it out at: http://www.seachoice.org.
To start: ‘Sweet Potato Soup With Port And Walnuts’
- the sweet potato soup starts with port, leeks, red pepper, celeriac, garlic and cream mellowing in the saucepan
Appetizer No. 1 : ‘Fish Croquette with Spicy Ketchup’
- the fish used to make the original fish paste was swordfish. To coat the fish croquettes in crumbs, first dip your hands in flour, then roll the fish paste into balls, flattening slightly, and coat with beaten egg followed by rolling them in breadcrumb mixture. Chef Eric notes that one can prepare ahead, then freeze, thaw and pan-fry.
- then pan-fry the croquettes and serve with spicy ketchup and a wedge of lemon…
Appetizer No. 2 : ‘Shrimp And Grapefruit Vegetarian Aspic’
- the shrimp, avocado and grapefruit aspic (agar-agar) tasted much better than it sounded. Agar-agar is a vegetarian gelatin that is less firm and more melt-in-the-mouth than meat-based gelatin.
The entree : ‘Seafood Clafoutis with Tomato Salsa‘
Clafoutis is a custard mix. In this case it was a savory custard to which we added clams, mussels, ling cod, frozen crab, razor clams, scallops and lobster.
NOTE: This addition of salsa cruda was inspirational: A couple of days later I had made up some quesadillas in green mole but they were a bit bland. So I added a quick salsa cruda made of cilantro, leftover bits of tomato, diced white onion, a squeeze or two of lime and, as there weren’t any chiles in the house, a splash of Marie Sharp’s Habanero sauce – ¡ai, ai, ai!
For dessert ‘Red Plum Tart with Green Grape Sorbet’
The intensely flavoured plum tart was served with homemade green grape sorbet!
NOTE: The ‘Plum Tart’ crust was delicious, almost like shortbread, causing one of the students to comment, “There must have been at least a pound of butter in that pie crust.” Chef Eric objected, “Only 3/4 of pound, and that’s for 22 people…” We have caught him trying to amortize the calories, while conveniently forgetting the gallons of cream and butter in the other dishes… never trust a French chef when it comes to these things!
Chef Eric posts many of his recipes on his website: http://www.911cheferic.com/
Menus, hints and comments for the other three ‘Sustainable Seafood’ cooking classes: