Unit 19: Fish focuses on becoming more comfortable and proficient with cooking and handling fish. It begins with buying and storing fish, moves on to determining the freshness and proper ways to handle this perishable item, then addresses how to properly prepare both oily and lean fish, and ends by teaching pan frying which happens to be my personal favorite way to prepare fish.
I have spent the last few days slicing, dicing, and chopping, all in an attempt to perfect my knife skills. It started with cutting through flour with a pastry scraper for about a half an hour as lookers-on shook their heads in confusion. It may have looked odd, but it really did help perfect the rolling action but without a doubt it was even more helpful in adjusting to the proper position of my guide hand and its precious fingers. It took quite a while to get the hang of the connection between my guide-knuckle and the pastry scraper. To be honest, I am still working on it, but with each assignment, I am getting more and more comfortable with it. From experience with several unintended slices and dices to my own fingers, I can tell you that learning proper technique is paramount.
The second unit got down and dirty about food and kitchen safety and cleanliness. I learned something that I had not even remotely known before regarding rice. Did you know that Bacillus cereus is a pathogen found in rice? B. cereus is killed by heat, but its spores are not. If rice is not cooled and stored properly, the spores can emerge from dormancy and contaminate the rice, causing foodborne illness. This is something I will not soon forget as I make rice often and have probably been putting my family at risk. Who knew? Obviously not me! That was not the end of interesting tid bits discussed in Unit Two.