We started the week off stewing in culinary school. We braised last week. Both of those methods are similar in that you generally use tougher cuts of meat with a lot of connective tissue, brown the outside and then simmer in water for long periods of time until the tissue breaks down and tenderizes the meat. The only difference is that in braising, the cooking liquid comes halfway up the meat, or whatever item being cooked, and in stewing, the item is completely covered by the cooking liquid until tender and cooked through. I was starting to get a little tired of the heaviness of the dishes we were making. Short ribs, veal osso bucco, lamb and rabbit stew…I know, I sound spoiled but really, can a girl get some veggies, seafood or something healthy and tasty up in this joint?
It appears she can! Our last day this week was spent steaming salmon, striped bass, clams and mussles. Yes! Each dish was tastier than the next and I couldn’t wait to share this striped bass recipe with you since it was one of my favorites! In school, we used a double steam basket with the fish on the bottom, the vegetables on top and a bamboo cover. I don’t have one of those at home so I steamed the vegetables in the steam basket that fits over one of my sauce pots with a cover and baked the individual fish fillets with the marinade in foil tents. Enjoy with a side of jasmine rice.
By the way, as I write this post, I still cannot shake an article I read in the Seattle Times yesterday:
School-nurses group opposes proposal to change EpiPen rules
A bill aimed at making schools safer for kids with food allergies passed the state Senate but is stalled in the House amid opposition from a school-nurses organization.
A school-nurses group in Seattle is rejecting a bill allowing school personnel to administer epi-pens to anyone with a suspected life-threatening allergic reaction. They only want to pass a bill allowing them to give epi-pens to those with a suspected life-threatening reaction who are already diagnosed. This makes me so angry! Where is the logic? What ever happened to the simple premise of doing the right thing?
Picture a child who is out on the playground and gets stung by a bee for the first (or second or third time) or eats a bite of a certain type of nut they haven’t had before and has an anaphylactic reaction. Are they saying school personnel trained on using an epi-pen and with medication available should just stand by and potentially watch that child die? If you know anything about anaphylaxis, it is not a wait around and see type of situation. Emergency medication needs to be given immediately.We learned this in the tragic case of Amarria Jonson.
You cannot just sit around while someone is having an anaphylactic reaction waiting for an ambulance to come and administer an epi-pen, if they even have one. Many children (and adults) find out they have an allergy when they have their first reaction. Sometimes that first reaction happens in school. If this makes you as angry as it makes me, use your voice to hopefully help make a change. Support FARE (formerly the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxix Network) and their advocacy efforts on behalf of those with life-threatening food allergies.
Ok. I’m done with my rant…for now. I know you came here to read about food. Can you see why I love being in culinary school and the kitchen so much? It’s my stress relief and takes my mind off of these heavier issues for a bit. I really need that. Clearly!
- 2 fillets of striped bass, skin on
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 scallions, cut in 2" lengths and lightly crushed
- ginger, peeled and sliced into thin strips about 2" long
- 2 T salted black beans (you can get these at an asian market. They pack a lot of flavor but if you don't have them, just add another tablespoon of soy sauce)
- 2 T gluten-free soy sauce
- 2 t sesame oil (or canola)
- 2 heads baby bok choy, quartered lengthwise
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into slices about ¼"
- 4 oz snow peas, trimmed
- Combine all of the ingredients for the marinade and allow the fish to soak in it for about 30 minutes, turning every ten minutes so both sides get flavor.
- In the meantime, prep your vegetables and boil water in a pot that can be fitted with a steam basket. Heat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Once the fish is ready, you should place each fillet, skin side up, on a large piece of heavy duty foil and pour over half of the marinade before folding up around the fish to create a tented packet, sealed by folding at the top and on the sides.
- Place fish, wrapped in foil packets on a baking sheet, in the oven for about 10-15 minutes, until cooked through.
- Place vegetables in steam basket while fish is in the oven and cook until fork tender, about 8-10 minutes.
- Place vegetables on plate, lay striped bass over vegetables and pour as much sauce as you like on top.