Monday, August 6, 2012

A Final Post about a Striper not a Stripper!

On our last day of class we had the rare treat of watching Professor Berman fillet a striped bass.  Although the star of the show was supposed to be the bass I found myself wandering around the huge kitchen that the school of hospitality let use use for this class.

Our striped bass was very fresh caught less than 12 hours before it came to rest on these cutting boards.  We could tell that the fish was fresh because of the clarity of the eye and the fact that it still had the glossing coating on its skin which is secreted to protect the fish from the water that it lives in.

 To fillet the fish, Prof. Berman started with making a vertical incision behind the gills, he then took his fillet knife and set it flush with the back bone resting along the rib bones.  He pushed his knife through to the anterior side and worked his knife down the length of the fish to remove the fillet.

After both of the fillets were removed from the body of the fish Berman went digging around to see if we could find any remains of what the fish had eaten before it was  caught.  Sure enough we did find some white worm like creatures that the bass had eaten before he was caught.  Once we had broken the fish down the fillets were removed Berman proceeded to remove the skin.  After the fillets were broken down they were sliced very thin and served sashimi style with some soy and wasabi.  I was amazed about how fresh the fish was.  It really did smell like the ocean.  After having a sushi scare a mere week below I passed on the sashimi and waiting for the ceviche.  The ceviche was the striped bass marinated in citrus juice.  While the fish sits in the citrus juice the acid actually cooks the fish.  It was very fresh and tangy when I tried it.  Very tasty.

For my experiment I took my piece of the fish fillet home with me and took the simple route.   I got a skillet nice and hot and added a little bit of olive oil.  I simple seasoned the fish with salt and pepper and put it in the skillet for about 3 minutes on a side to be sure an not dry out the fish.  I then removed the fish from the pan and set it on a plate to rest while I deglazed the pan with some white wine to which i added some tarragon herb butter to the wine and melted it down in the wine until it thickened into a nice pan sauce which I poured over the fish.  Simple yet delicious and to think it was caught in what used to be one of the dirtiest urban harbors in the country.

Thank you for a unique and interesting learning experience.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Last Quiz - Fresh from the Sea

1. Brenda  Rivera
2. Bruce Berman
3. The last class experience

As we all know, all good things come to an end. This last class was bitter sweet because even though I learned so much about the Boston Harbor from Professor Bruce Berman, met great people, and came out with a fabulous tan! it was time to get back to the real world and get back to Family, Work and more homework.

Watching and learning about the Striped Bass was yet another great experience that I take with me. I have to say it wasn't the most pleasant to view the fish being split open and learning in detail, front row status, of what is inside the fish. However, he did taste rather delicious in all ways (sushi, ceviche, and baked) 

My experiment with the Striped Bass was to cook it and see if my 2 year old would like it. It was very simple, I placed it on the pan with a little olive oil and lemon pepper salt. Placed it over white rice and corn. I have to tell you it was such a fresh taste! My husband and I try to eat fish every Friday. I have to say that this fish tasted like no other. 

I want to thank the professor for having such passion for the Boston Harbor and giving us the gift of teaching us a portion of it. In the seven days we spent together, I can only imagine that we only covered  a small percentage to what he knows. I also want to say how great it was to meet everyone from the different cultures and backgrounds. It was really nice to see that even though the world is at war with finances, race, global warming, politics, domestic violence, child abuse, etc. we all managed to come together and learn about this little place we call the Boston Harbor. 

Even though we didn't get the ticket to go back at a discounted rate, I have already discussed it with my family to take a boat ride and experience the Islands. 

I look forward to seeing some of you in the next year on campus. 

have a great rest of your summer!!


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

A Weekend of Ceviche

I took home the quart of ceviche and decided to let it sit for at least 24 hours before trying it again to see the effect of the acids on the fish. I thought that my first tasting of the bass in lemon and lime juice, where it had only sat for a few minutes, would be much different than my second tasting. The first time I tried it the fish was firm and chewy, not very different in texture from the sashimi. According to The Kitchn, "The citrus interacts with the proteins in the fish, causing it to become opaque and firm...A brief 15 minute dunk in citrus juice will affect just the surface of the fish, giving you a 'rare' preparation." However, contradictory to my thesis, after letting it sit for 24 hours it became more mealy and broken down. Instead of being cooked more, it was softer and less appetizing than before. The cilantro was also very wilted which was not  After doing some research on different ceviche recipes I found that the lower the marinating time the better the ceviche will be. Most recipes suggested 30 minutes to an hour but never more than 24 hours since the fish will begin to break down in the acid and should probably not be consumed.

I had such a great time eating raw fish, it was truly an eye opening experience, especially for someone whose favorite food is sushi. Although I know sushi and sashimi are made with raw fish, it is really a different experience to watch the fish get fileted and cut up right in front of you then to eat that fish a few minutes later.

(Sorry for the delayed experiment results, but work ate up my schedule this weekend.)