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Ernest Miller Ernest Miller pursues research and writing on cyberlaw, intellectual property, and First Amendment issues. Mr. Miller attended the U.S. Naval Academy before attending Yale Law School, where he was president and co-founder of the Law and Technology Society, and founded the technology law and policy news site LawMeme. He is a fellow of the Information Society Project at Yale Law School. Ernest Miller's blog postings can also be found @
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« Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 21 | Main | Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 23 »

April 23, 2006

Kitchen Academy - Course II - Day 22

Posted by Ernest Miller

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.

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