Tuesday fish fry, hold the fry

This week my food allergies caught up with me in class, and I wasn’t able to eat most of what we cooked.

I found out three years ago I’m allergic to legumes (soy, vegetable oil, peas, beans, peanuts, acai, guar gum, gum arabic, carob, tamarind, etc.). I’m also allergic to a few other odds and ends, but legumes are the main culprit, contributing to my misery since the age of twelve.

My biggest fear in attending culinary school was the possibility of not being able to eat anything. I survived baking class, and Chef has been great about allowing me to make minor substitutions by using corn or olive oil, or all butter instead of vegetable shortening. But this week, nope, there was no way to substitute.

On the menu this week:
Clam chowder (veloute)
Tartar and cole slaw (emulsions/mayonnaise)
Fried fish and chicken (breading and deep frying)
Hand cut french fries (knife skills)

  • The fish and chicken were battered in panko. The panko had soy (most breads contains soy.)
  • The mayonnaise was made with vegetable oil. Chef wouldn’t let me substitute olive oil because it would have turned the mayo green.
  • The fryers were full of vegetable oil.
This left me with clam chowder. Which, kicked butt – Chef used ours as an example of a perfect veloute and perfect chowder.
Our group worked harmoniously together this week; I think the secret was that we split up and never saw each other. BR and I worked on the chowder and fries, while KH and Cool Girl worked on the mayo and cole slaw. Then Quiet Guy finished up the fish and chicken in the deep fryer. No one argued, no one debated. It was a nice change.
I didn’t learn anything new this week, but was grateful for the batonnet practice – I needed it (still do)!