Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Number 2 Cooking Class At the North Carolina Aquarium.

After our very busy and informative morning at the Elizabethan Gardens, Glowria, Mr. Hawthorne, and I headed to the North Carolina Aquarium for the second in a series of four cooking classes.
Chefs John Romm and Donny King from the 1587 Restaurant at the Tranquil House Inn and Ocean Boulevard Bistro were our instructors.
And by the way, Chef Romm could have been Mario Batali's younger brother.

1587 Restaurant

Ocean Boulevard

Now before I start with the recipes, let me just go ahead and tell you the one thing I learned today.
As soon, as we heard it, Mr. H. and I turned to each other and simultaneously said, "Hah! We learned something new!"
That new thing we learned was when using horseradish, put it in a towel and squeeze out the briny liquid.
Mr. Hawthorne and I decided to get white towels for this task and use them only for food. The rest of the kitchen towels are used for wiping up crap off the floor.
So, after saying that much, let's get to the recipes.

First up, was a New England Mussels/Saffron Chowder.

This was delicious.

Here's the recipe:

This was sooooo good. The red drops in there are Paprika Oil.
The chef warmed up Paprika in a sauce pan, then added vegetable oil, not extra virgin olive oil, because you want the paprika taste, not the olive oil taste.
I will definitely make this again.
It would be quite good with shrimp too.

Next up, Horseradish Encrusted Salmon Fillet.

All right, even though I'm not that particularly fond of salmon per se, I had high hopes for the crust part of this dish.
(By the way, the fresh herb here was rosemary.)
After doing the encrustment in the food processor, the chef brought it around and it smelled mighty good.

Now here's the recipe for the ratatouille:
Now, when the chef was hickory smoking the zucchini, the aroma was divine.
I had high hopes for this dish too.

All righty. What can I say?
I thought the topping originally sounded good for the salmon; however, I thought the butter was going to melt and drench the salmon in buttery goodness, and I thought the bread crumbs were going to get toasty and buttery and yummy.
I was wrong.
Just look at that glop on top of the salmon.
This was unappetizing. And just plain ugly.
Quite a disappointment.

Now, on to the ratatouille.
I was thinking the smoked zuke would be a good thing, since it smelled so good, but I couldn't taste the smoke in the final dish.
Also, the recipe calls for 1/2 POUND of butter.
That is totally unnecessary.
I don't think it added anything to the dish.
Make that, I KNOW it didn't add anything.
Just not good.
I'd have to give this a thumbs down.

Sorry guys.

Good in theory, but it JUST.DIDN'T.WORK.

Both Mr. Hawthorne and Glowria agreed with me.
I didn't talk with other members of the class.

On to the Creme Brulee!

The chefs brought along one of their sous chefs, a twenty-something, cute-as-a-button little thing who was responsible for the creme brulees.
I don't think she spoke a word of English, but my golly,
she made a mean creme brulee!

These were sublime and divine.
I will be making these again.

Cooking class was from 2-4:30.
And we're done.

So we stop by the turtle tank.

There are amazing critters at the North Carolina Aquarium
in Manteo.

There are also amazing critters in the town of Manteo. After we left lunch, we found this little man walking down the street. I had Mr. Hawthorne go around the block and come back down so I could take a picture.
I called out to the gentleman that I loved his chapeau and could I please take a picture of him. He was only too happy to oblige.

Of course, Mr. Hawthorne wanted a picture of Rosie sticking her head inside of an alligator's mouth.

Not once, but twice.

Oh my, this was the funnest part.

CowGirl Glowria, gets on a
rogue bucking bronco turtle.

Glowria is getting into this.



Hang on, Glowria!

You're almost there!

Ride 'em CowGirl!

Glowria is having a wonderful time on Mr. Turtle's Wild Ride.

Uh oh. Glowria seems to have encountered a bit of a problem here. She's slipping off the turtle's shell and she can't quite get her leg over the hump.
Mr. Hawthorne, being the gentleman he is, offered his hand to Glowria to help her dismount. Way to go, GLOW!!


Anonymous said...

Yee-Haw Glowria! We'll now be calling you the Colington Cowgirl.

Rosie Hawthorne said...

xmaskatie, I believe that would be the Kolington Kowgirl. Attenshun to detail!

Unknown said...

The problem with the salmon crust might be that it was cooked from room temp. I do a horseradish crusted filet (and also used it on salmon) and a key is to get the butter cold again, so when you pop it under the broiler it's firm enough to hold together long enough for the butter to melt a bit and the panko to get browned and crispy.

But those mussels look gooooood......

Rosie Hawthorne said...

Thanks for the tip, Mrs. VJW. I liked everything that went INto the crust, but it just didn't come out right. I'll give the crust a try with your suggestion.