Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Seafood Class June 2010

I know it’s been awhile since I blogged but hopefully it was worth the wait in between posts since this week was seafood class! Now that the cheese classes are defunct, I don’t get to go to Whole Foods too often anymore. They do have a monthly wine class but they’re always on Thursday nights when I have football practice. ( Rumor has it that the instructor, Jill Aboussie, always pairs the wines with quite a few cheeses and other Whole Foods goodies during the classes, but I prefer to hold out for the real thing.
Wine Merchant in Clayton had a couple of Friday night cheese classes this month but I called too late to sign up for them. I guess I should let a few others learn how awesome cheese can be!
I have been attending Angie Ortman’s (STLWineGirl) classes at Provisions on a regular basis since those are on Tuesday nights and she has just finished her summer schedule. ( Not only does she have her regular food/wine pairings, but she will also be teaching wine and cheese pairings at The Wine and Cheese Place in Clayton on Forsyth (
Anyway, this month’s seafood class theme was Alaskan Seafood, which we had done at some point last year so the Cod Cakes were a repeat, but it was one of my favorites so I didn’t mind. The cod cakes actually had some chipotle peppers so they had a little bit of a kick by themselves but when dipped in the mustard sauce…watch out! I think there was more than just a pinch of Cayenne pepper in them. That’ll teach me not to fill half of my plate with sauce!
We actually started with halibut tacos which was a light course. Chef Matt heated the tortilla shells so they were crispy, which made them hard to fold. I probably would have left them room temperature, especially since the tacos also had other “cool” toppings like mango, avocado, and shredded cheese.
One of my favorites for the evening was a Yukon (potato) wrapped sable fillet. I have never had sable before much less eating anything wrapped in a potato slice! The potatoes were sliced very thin (using a mandolin slicer…that’s fun to say!) so they could be wrapped around the cut of fish and held together with a kabob stick. After the kabob stick was full, he cooked them in a skillet with vegetable oil, using the stick to flip ‘em. I thought that was pretty slick.
When it came time to eat, the fish really didn’t stay inside of the potato blanket, but the fish was super tasty because it had the flavor from the potato grease. Not to mention the fish was so light and soft…it melted like butter! I definitely would be interested in trying more sable if it always tasted that light.
For the first three courses, white wines were paired, which is typical for fish, but for the salmon course, a red wine was paired and held up pretty well. The last course is always something special and this class did not disappoint. Chef Matt pulled out a full Copper River Sockeye Salmon that had been caught on Saturday and delivered on Tuesday morning! That’s pretty darn fresh for St. Louis!
Luckily the fish had already been beheaded and gutted so all Chef Matt had to do was cut the fish into steak slices. It definitely put me in the mood for some sushi! Hehe The steaks were just salted and peppered and squirted with olive oil…that’s almost something *I* could do! Even the Dijon mustard marinade (with balsamic vinegar and a heavy dose of honey) even seems like something I could handle, and it made for a very sweet topping for the salmon.
I learned that fish should only sit in marinade for fifteen minutes at most or else the fish becomes mushy. The salmon was cooked with the skin and bones to hold in the flavor so you had to be careful while eating, but the meat was so soft the bones came right out. Chef Matt said there are fewer bones from the stomach to tail than from the stomach to the head too.
Since Whole Foods does not hold classes in August, the next seafood class won’t be until September.
Even though I haven’t been going to as many classes, I haven’t been starving by any means and have been going out quite a lot lately. I took a friend who was new to the St. Louis area to one of my favorite brew houses, Trailhead Brewery on St. Charles Main Street (, and I finally got to try Iron Barley ( Great steaks, incredible beer selection, but super far away.
Earlier in the month, I went to visit a friend in Ames, Iowa so I also got to make stops at Dublin Bay, which I’m pretty sure is THE Irish pub of Ames (, and Prairie Moon Winery ( At Dublin Bay, I had “Irish nachos” for the first time…all the usual nacho goodies on top of waffle fries! Hehe At the winery, I picked out a gouda, gruyere, and an aged cheddar to bring with me and we had their sweet white, Moon Beam White. Since most of Ames is surrounded by farmland, it was nice that we didn’t have to go that far to get to it! Hehe Definitely the highlight of my trip.