- Ice is used a lot in the kitchen – when we’re readying meat, it is always held in containers over ice. When we poached the fish sausages, as soon as they had reached the correct internal temperature of 145F, we immediately put them in ice to stop the cooking and to get the food out of the danger zone. This is a real pain when you’ve just made 50L of stock. You have to get it out of the danger zone quickly which requires putting it in ice, and putting a container of ice in the stock as well. Of course the ice melts quickly, so there’s lots of ice shovelling on stock day.
- The food temperature danger zone is 41F-135F. Food cannot stay in this temperature zone for very long or bacteria starts to grow uncontrollably. Fridges are kept at 35F. The fridges at our school sound an alarm if they hit 41F.
- We also use ice when grinding meat. Once the meat has gone through the grinder, we some ice in the grinder and this pushes the remainder of the meat out.
When I see sausages hanging at the deli counter, I rarely know for sure what’s in them, but I can be sure that it wasn’t fish….until today!
Today, we made several fish charcuterie preparations. The weirdest one was the seafood sausage, which involved making a mousseline of hake fish, scallops, Old Bay spice (my standby). Into this ‘mousse’ is folded shrimp, salmon, scallops, and tarragon and stuffed into hog casings and poached. While it looks like a sausage, it definitely tastes like a fish mousse.
We also prepared a Salmon Paté en Croute. This was a bit more normal looking. We made a mousseline of salmon, shrimp and Old Bay. This was put into a dough-lined terrine, then layered with strips of salmon, more mousseline, and then covered with dough. This was then baked in a steam oven. Unfortunately we all overcooked our terrines, and some of them came out wonky looking.
We also continued to move along other charcuterie projects. We poached the hot dogs we made yesterday and steamed the chorizo which had been hanging overnight. If you’re going to smoke a sausage, it helps to hang it out in the cool air for a day where it will develop a ‘pellicule’. This is a slightly sticky outer coating, which the smoke literally gets caught in, trapping that wonderful flavor. We also cured venison and wild boar, for a terrine to be constructed Monday. Boars are basically wild pigs. When pigs were domesticated, some escaped and these turned back into the feral state. Ironically, ‘wild’ board is actually now farm grown. In fact, you can’t buy any wild meat for consumption. If you’re a hunter, you can kill and eat wild meat, but you’re not allowed to re-sell it. All ‘wild’ meat is actually farmed.
The family meal gang was 4 minutes late in getting their stations done, which was a first. The food tasted great. I particularly liked Rachel’s corn salsa, and Miyako’s stuffed Chayote.
We’re off till next week, so everyone have a great great New Year’s, and speak to you in 2016.