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.

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