Day 47: Barramundi Fish and Sous Vide.
Today we were racing against the clock. We had to be done with every dish before 12 pm because we had a special “sous vide” lecture and demonstration (I’ll go into that later). I was assigned the poissioner position and was in charge of making filet de Barramundi Americane. I have never had Barramundi fish before, but it tasted quite nice and just like a piece of grouper or whatnot. Another name for this dish is called Orata Americane. This dish is comprised of a lot of steps because first you have to gather all the ingredients for the mirepoix, chop up the lobster shells and shrimp bodies, add white wine, add water to cover, some herbs, tomato products, and let it simmer for a good hour (no more than an hour though). While the sauce Americane was simmering away, I had a million and a half tasks to complete in the meantime. Talk about multitasking! It was it being the Octomom and having to deal with my eight screaming babies all at once! All I wanted to say though was NOT all at once! (just like Stephen did on our cruise when he would dress up and say “not all at once ladies ;) before going gambling at the ripe age of 17 haha”).
The sauce is simmering and I am looking at my task card to see what I should do next. Oh right, yes clean and cook the mussels. In a pan went butter, shallots, white wine, parsley, and the mussels covered in order to allow to open the shells. Once they were finished, I took the mussels out of their shells and used half of the liquid for the sauce Americane and the other half to drizzle over the mussels. Next, I had to tournage potatoes into 12 COCOTTES! Wahhh- those mini footballs take years to carve and you want me to ready by 11:15! I thought I read that joke in the Top best Jokes of 2013 book in Barnes and Nobles. Lordy- I got my finger condoms on and started tournaging away. Finally, after I made 12 cocottes, I then began to fillet my fish. I was Rushing with a capital R. I only had 15 minutes left to somehow reduce the sauce, filet and skin the fish, reheat the potatoes, cook the shrimp and mussels, and chop up the parsley/herbs. Hot-dog-hot-dog-hot-diggity-dog!
The next twenty minutes were a blur because I was in the zone. I somehow pulled it all together and presented to chef about 10 minutes late, but she even said the time was unreasonable (soooo luckily I wasn’t the only one late and chef didn’t blow steam up our butts--- we did the BEST we could which has to count for something!)
In the afternoon, we got a little bit of a break, but then we were introduced into the world of Sous Vide, which basically translates into vacuum packing your food. Chef Scott taught us how to use a vacuum sealer to modify the texture of foods, enhance the color, cook food at a precise temperature for a specific amount of time, and even infuse liquid into meat, fruit, vegetables, etc. The picture below is of both watermelon (what a bright gorgeous red! I know and it taste crunchier- yum yum yum) and the other is cucumber which also had a crunchier bite to it. We infused some pickled juices and Japanese spice into the watermelon that turned out delicious!
Tomorrow I’m making grandmother style chicken! This should be interesting because I butchered the chicken during the level 2 final! I need private tutoring lessons (It’s called 1-888-SAGOT… he’ll help me J)