Sunday, January 23, 2011

Central Market : Sushi 101

I wanted to write about my experience volunteering for Central Market's cooking school. Not because I really think you'll get something out of it but so I don't forget what I learned and experienced. First off, the chef, Dean Lisenfelt and his assistant, Rebecca, as well as Johnny, the other volunteer were *the nicest* people I've worked with in a *LONG* time (sans my current work team :))

I arrived at 5:45 for a 6:30 PM class and started by helping setup place settings for about 24 people. Rolling mats, pickled ginger, soy sauce and wasabi paste. As the students started to arrive, I checked them in and handed out their cards. If you attend 8 classes, you get $40.00 to go towards your next class. As volunteers, when you volunteer for two classes, you get this card filled out for you.

As the class was taking place, I was listening with 1 ear and paying attention to the tasks at hand. I had hoped to glean a little bit about sushi making while assisting the best I could. I made a goal for myself to have at least 5 takeaways, not including 3 new friends :)

1) Nori paper - rice likes the rough side
2) When cutting your roll, dip your knife, let the water roll down the blade.
3) Don't smoosh or pack the rice or Dean gets REAL mad
4) when cutting your roll, don't push down. Let the knife do the work. rock back and forth.
5) any roll, dipped in tempura and covered in Saracha and Duke's mayo is UNBELIEVEABLE.
6) to Serve wine and beer to the students (2 per class is the max) I need to be TABC certified. On my todo list :)
7) don't let your sticky rice get dry
8) get a rice steamer. It will be your best friend.

So while Dean was teaching 1 roll (we taught 5 total), Rebecca, Johnny and I were preparing plates with the contents of the next roll and so on. Crab (with a C not a K as Dean put so well), Spicy Tuna, cucumber done on the Mandolin (see my kitchen wishlist!), avocado, pancetta, smoked salmon, tempura shrimp (my fav) and cream cheese. Not in that order!

When the class was over, we promptly cleaned up and I learned from Rebecca how the kitchen dishwashing works (rinse, sanitize, put away) because she said at the Paella class on Tuesday, I would probably have to do some washing because I would be the only volunteer. No worries! I still remember how to do it :)

Once we had most everything cleaned and neat with a few left behinds came the best part - we ATE leftovers! We had a buffet of all the previous ingredients and we just dug in, noshed informally and made some wonderful small talk. They asked about my children, their ages and I got to share about my blog. I shared with Chef Dean about my homemade chicken stock to which he shouted to Rebecca "Hey Rebecca - Angie ROCKS". What a great feeling and I can't wait to volunteer Tuesday and thereafter. 40 bucks towards a class or not, to be able to glean skills from Dean and his team or to be appreciated by the students, or to be able to bounce my creative ideas off of someone like Dean or Rebecca, is completely gratifying. Not to mention to leftovers I got to munch on!

BTW, I could take the tempura crumbs, that fall off to the bottom when you fry something in tempura and then lay it over the rack, and put it in a bowl of milk and eat. Seriously. Love tempura as much as I love sour cream and anyone that knows me, knows that in my will it says "to be buried in Shepps sour cream until covered".

Look forward to posting about Tuesdays Paella class.


theminx said...

A rice cooker is definitely one of my good pals. Shyam bought it for us as a wedding gift, and we use it at least once a week. I have a mandoline (with the e it's a slicer, without an e it's a musical instrument) from Pampered Chef and I've used it like 3 times in 15 years. I prefer the slicing disc on my Cuisinart.

Angie said...

i have the Miracleware Microwave rice steamer and mine has the noodle basket also. I love it. So easy. Just put it in the microwave and come back 15 min later to perfectly steamed rice.

Cindy Sandelin said...

I've always wanted to try sushi but have always been nervous about it. Not sure why, but now I'm inspired! Thanks!

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