Well, I actually missed this day and the next due to a previous engagement. However, that doesn't mean I missed the cooking experience. If you make plans ahead of time, you can make up classes in consultation with your chef instructor. Otherwise, you'll get a zero, which can be a major hit on your grade.
To make up this class and the next I had to come in an hour earlier (5am) and get cooking right away. I was really rushed and the focus was on the main dishes, not the side dishes (some of which I simply didn't make). I was given a station all to myself so that I would have enough burners and space to deal with the multiple days of cooking I had to accomplish in a single day.
Day 22 is devoted to Southern Cusine, particularly Creole and Cajun.
My first dish was Crayfish Etouffee on rice. The base for the dish is a very dark roux and trinity (Cajun and Creole mirepoix, aka onion, celery and bell pepper). Problem: there isn't too big a step between a brown roux and a burnt roux. Found that out with my first batch. Darker, darker, burnt. Like I needed to start a dish over again on such a busy day. Oh well.
Although I was able to get a good flavor balance, I had difficulty matching the flavors with the right consistency. Still, it tasted good and the rice came out quite well. I also got busted for garnishing with a very nice looking crayfish head. You aren't supposed to garnish with something that is inedible. Hey, I thought you could suck the heads, but apparently only if you are eating them shell on and not part of a dish.
My second dish was Southern-Fried Catfish. They're ugly and not easy to get ahold of for cleaning and fabrication. I highly recommend a nice cut-resistant glove. Protects your hand, gives you a better grip on the fish. You'll have to wash the glove immediately after, but that is a small price to pay. Nothing particularly difficult about this dish, it's just a straight-up seasoned flour and pan-fry sort of thing. Fresh and straight out of the frying pan, it's pretty tasty.
Well, that was it for this day. Unfortunately, I didn't get the chance to make shrimp gumbo.