Now that we have the Lance Bass Madness out of the way, we can get to the really important thing that happened today: my second day of cooking class. Today was fish and herbs. We started by learning about the herbs, and I am now the proud owner of a chart detailing many different kinds of herbs and their many different applications, the entirety of which is largely meaningless to me. For instance, I am now armed with the knowledge that rosemary is appropriate for Mediterranean dishes, but I am totally defenseless when faced with knowing what constitutes a Mediterranean dish. I can’t name a one. But they’re great with rosemary!
So on to the fish. I learned about lots of fish-cooking words today, like poaching (cooking in simmering liquid), braising (cooking in a larger amount of simmering liquid), sauteeing (cooking in oil), pan frying (like sauteeing but with more oil), and steaming (I didn’t take a note on this one). As of this afternoon, I would have identified all these words as synonyms. No more! This class is totally paying off.
Nandita and I selected Red Snapper in Thai Green Curry with Rice today, and (of course) we rocked it. Not really being a fish aficionado, I had plowed gracelessly through life under the faulty assumption that all fish dishes taste essentially the same. This is not true! Our class made eight different fish dishes, all of which tasted way different and way good. This will probably not result in me ordering more fish over the course of my life, but right now I like to tell myself that it will.
Also I am going to start a running tally of how many times during a 3-hour class our teacher, Miss May, can say the words “much more delicious.” I took a quick sample today, and she said it 6 times in 5 minutes. She says it a lot. “You can buy your herbs dry, but if you buy them fresh they are much more delicious,” or “The fish will be much more delicious if you buy it whole and then skin it,” or “If you grill the green beans first they will be much more delicious.” In fact, I don’t know that Miss May ever says the word “delicious” without prepending the qualifying “much more.” She’s a fascinating and multi-layered character, that May.
Next week I believe we do poultry, so stay tuned for more of my culinary adventures!