Class Three at 3015 Trinity Groves Cooking School involved butter. Lots and lots of butter; clarified butter, pats of butter, ladles of butter. And cream. It was a heart buster and I don’t see any reason why nobody serves beurre blanc in milkshake glasses.
We made sautéed trout with beurre blanc, veal piccata, and stir-fried shrimp with jasmine rice. Although it only looked like three main dishes, one could make about 15 different meals with these basic recipes. You know it’s a def class when somebody says, “This is the best white rice I’ve ever had.” If the white rice is good….
Each class builds on the previous one so the clarified butter and stock we had already made were used again last night. See how that works? After spending two weeks on sauces I have realized that if you have white wine, stock, your favorite herb, and butter you have gone a long way toward kicking that homely dinner to the next level.
Back to the beurre blanc…we used cream. It acts as a stabilizer for the home cook and it does the trick. Not classic, but we aren’t French. Twelve tablespoons of butter and almost a cup of cream will make you see Jesus. We pulled a Kojak and poured it over our crunchy cornmeal crusted trout. Not a fish person? It also goes well on chicken, on pork or in a rusty spoon with a lighter.
A class wouldn’t be complete without some knife skills training. I don’t mean martial blade concepts taught by close-combat authority Michael Janich, although if interested I can recommend his DVDs:
I’m talking how to efficiently chop herbs and slice vegetables bloodlessly. Repeat: “Knife down & forward. Down & forward.” Don’t let the tip come off the board! Instructor Mike showed us how to use the middle knuckle as a guide in chopping herbs and a neat trick on how to effortlessly dispatch a pepper.
Next Monday we will focus on roasting and baking. I know that whatever we make will benefit from some more beurre blanc.
Trinity Groves 3015 Cooking Basics, Mondays 6-9 pm