Sunday, August 9, 2009

Last Day of Class

Hello Everyone! This class has been an incredible experience for me, and I have really enjoyed sharing it with all of you. In a short time I learned a lot and had a lot of fun, partly due to the effectiveness of experiential and partly due to the participation of everyone in the group. We learned about the ecosystem of the Boston Harbor and many of the animals and organisms that live within it. Further, we learned that humans have a substantial impact on the environment. From over fishing, to polluting, to attempting to industrialize an island that is part of a National Park; we humans need to act responsibly when making decisions and will impact the environment. In class on the final day, we learned about issues of over fishing and the history of the sea bass. We also debated the question of whether we personally believe it is okay to eat whales if they are sustainable in that part of the world. Bruce made an interesting point that not only do we need to consider to sustainability of the species, the moral issues of eating whales, we need to consider how killing whales could affect the ecosystem in which they live. After learning this we moved on to study the anatomy of a fish in the kitchen. Since we had learned that sea bass is no longer in danger of extinction, we could guiltlessly prepare the sea bass for dinner. With my piece of sea bass I decided to make fish cakes as an appetizer, since I was hosting a cocktail party that evening. This is the recipe I followed:

Cook Time: 20 min
Yield: 26 mini fish cakes; 6 to 8 servings
Prep 30 min
Inactive Prep 15 min
Cook 20 min
Total:1 hr 5 min
* 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 3/4 cup small diced red onion (1 small onion)
* 1 1/2 cups small diced celery (4 stalks)
* 1/2 cup small diced red bell pepper (1 small pepper)
* 1/2 cup small diced yellow bell pepper (1 small pepper)
* 1/4 cup minced fresh flat-leaf parsley
* 1 tablespoon capers, drained
* 1/4 teaspoon hot pepper sauce (recommended: Tabasco)
* 1/2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
* 1 1/2 teaspoons crab boil seasoning (recommended: Old Bay)
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
* 1/2 pound of sea bass, cut into small pieces
* 1/2 cup plain dry bread crumbs
* 1/2 cup mayonnaise
* 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
* 2 extra-large eggs, lightly beaten for frying
* 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
* 1/4 cup olive oil

Place the 2 tablespoons butter, 2 tablespoons oil, onion, celery, red
and yellow bell peppers, parsley, capers, hot pepper sauce,
Worcestershire sauce, crab boil seasoning, salt, and pepper in a large
saute pan over medium-low heat and cook until the vegetables are soft,
approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Cool to room temperature. In a large
bowl toss sea bass pieces with the bread crumbs, mayonnaise, mustard, and eggs. Add the cooked mixture and mix well. Cover and chill in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Shape into bite-sized fish cakes.
Heat the butter and olive oil for frying over medium heat in a large
saute pan. Add the fish cakes and fry for 4 to 5 minutes on each side,
until browned. Drain on paper towels; keep them warm in a 250 degree
oven and serve hot.
It got rave reviews so I highly recommend it! I wish you all the best for the remainder of your summer. I really enjoyed getting to know all of you!
~Hilary Miller

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