When Megan called to chat, I was surprised. “Pardon? Megan?“, I answered when I picked up the phone and mentally scanned the Megans I knew. I could only think of one and when hearing this foreign voice on the line, I already knew that it was not her. She carried on to tell me that she had seen a mention of my blog in the Boston Globe a few weeks before, had casually talked about it with her chiropractor on her last visit to see him, to which he had responded:
“Really? Béa? I know her! She is one of my friend and patients’!”
Imagine the surprise.
Therefore, one thing lead to another and before I knew what was happening, I found myself fully embarked on a cooking adventure. Megan asked if I would like to come to her place to teach a cooking class, for a group of women about to leave for a cooking trip to Paris.
“Euh…..sure, why not!” I replied, taken aback and uncertain as to what else to respond. In fact, I was too surprised to think about anything else to say. Of course, I thought about the teaching part which I knew I would feel comfortable with, after teaching French and skiing for so many years. But, the cooking part. I had never run cooking classes before. And, more importantly, what was I going to cook?
Oddly enough, it did not take me long to decide. I wanted the food to look springy, colorful and surprising, yet not too complex and technical. More than anything, I wanted to cook things that I enjoy eating and preparing. I set my mind on a fish and a dessert.
When I arrived at Megan’s house by 9 am on the following Thursday, I felt somewhat intimidated and nervous, but the group of seven women was so friendly that my shyness only lasted for a few min. Dieu merci ! Thank God! When I asked them how much they wanted to be involved in the food preparation, most of my newly found students responded that they preferred to watch me demonstrate the recipes. So for the course of one morning, with them sitting in front of me, I felt like I was starring in a TV cooking show. And, do you know what? I really enjoyed the game!
As I was curious to introduce them to the concept of a verrine — seen a lot in the current French cuisine — I chose to create an all pink Strawberry Tiramisu. I started by making it first so that the flavors would develop while I was preparing the fish.
As to the fish dish, I followed my strong inclination to play with vibrant colors. You will not be surprised then to hear that I used vegetables and fruit like carrots, orange, lemon and ginger for the sauce, ingredients such as scallions and peanuts for the topping, and a bright ocean pink salmon to match the soft orange shade of the sauce. I prepared a Gingered Salmon and Carrot Sauce. Even if I usually find salmon far from being original, in this recipe however, the bite-sized salmon pieces make for a very different experience as they are cooked rosé (pink rare) — which is how I most of the time cook fish, much preferring to keep it undercooked than overcooked.
“When do you add salt?”, “Why do you fold one Tbsp of egg whites first?”, “How much do you reduce the sauce?”, “How hot is the stove?”, “Why does the butter have to be cold?” I heard them ask here and there while I was busy demonstrating. I was indeed the one learning from them, realizing that I had to explain details that I would always have taken for granted otherwise. They were teaching me what to explain better!
When we finally sat at the table to taste the food around 1 pm, my cheeks had turned red and I was hot. I was eager to observe their reaction after they tasted the first bite.
“Yum” is all I remember.
I am ready to do it again!
- 1.5 lb salmon fillet skinned and without bones
- 1 + 1/4 cups fresh carrot juice*
- 1/2 cup (minus 1 Tbsp) freshly squeezed orange juice
- Juice of 1/2 lemon
- 1/2 cup butter, cold
- 3 inch fresh ginger root
- 3 scallions
- 1/4 cup unsalted peanuts, coarsely chopped
- 1 Tbsp canola oil
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- A dash of cayenne pepper
- Fleur de sel
- 2 cups cleaned snow peas, or sugar snap peas and rice to accompany
*I advice that you make your own fresh carrot juice if you have a juicer (mine is the Juiceman Juicer), it is so much better. I would never go back to store-bought carrot juice!
- To prepare the sauce, start by slicing half of the ginger in small pieces.
- Pour the carrot juice in a small pot with the slices of ginger.
- Bring to a light boil, then simmer and cook until the juice is reduced by half.
- Add the orange juice and repeat the process.
- Remove from the heat and take out the ginger slices.
- Add the cold butter in small pieces mixing with a whip and add the lemon juice. Keep warm on the side.
- To prepare the garnish, start by cleaning the scallions. Cut them in diagonal. Blanch them in salted boiling water for 2 min. Remove and strain on paper towels.
- Chop the nuts coarsely and chop the ginger thinly.
- Mix all ingredients with 1 Tbsp canola oil and keep on the side.
- To prepare the fish, dice the salmon in one inch squares.
- Heat 1 to 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a non-stick frying pan. When the oil is hot, add the pieces of fish and cook lightly for 1 min on one side, then on the other. Do not overcook the fish as it should actually stay rosé, that is a little undercooked.
- Add a pinch of cayenne pepper.
- To assemble your dish, take warm plates and place some fish pieces in the middle. Pour some orange sauce around.
- Sprinkle with fleur de sel and add the peanut/scallions mixture on top.
- Serve with jasmine rice and steamed snow (or sugar snap) peas.
- 700 g de filet de saumon, sans peau et arêtes
- 300 ml de jus de carottes frais*
- 100 ml de jus d’orange
- Jus d’1/2 citron
- 60 g de beurre coupé en dés, froid
- 8 cm de racine de gingembre
- 3 oignons tiges
- 60 g de cacaouètes non salées, hachées grossièrement
- 1 càs d’huile végétale
- 1 càs d’huile d’olive
- Une pincée de poivre de cayenne
- Fleur de sel
- 200 g de petits pois mange-tout, nettoyés et du riz comme accompagnement
*Je conseille d’utiliser du jus de carotte frais si vous avez une centrifugeuse, c’est tellement meilleur !
- Pour préparer la sauce, commencez par couper la moitié du gingembre pelé en tranches.
- Versez le jus de carotte dans une petite casserole avec les tranches de gingembre.
- Amenez à ébullition et faites réduire de moitié.
- Ajoutez le jus d’orange frais et faites réduire à nouveau.
- Retirez du feu et filtrez cette sauce.
- Ajoutez les morceauz de beurre froid et mélangez bien sur feu doux. Ajoutez le jus de citron. Gardez au chaud.
- Pour préparer la garniture, commencez par nettoyer les oignons tiges. Coupez-les en diagonale. Blanchissez-les dans de l’eau bouillante salée pendant 2 min. Mettez-les sur du papier absorbant pour retirer l’excès d’eau.
- Hachez les cacaouètes grossièrement, et hachez le gigembre.
- Mélangez ces ingrédients avec 1 càs d’huile végétale et gardez de côté.
- Pour le poisson, coupez le saumon en gros dés.
- Faites chauffer 1 à 2 càs d’huile d’olive dans une poêle anti-adhésive. Une fois chaude, ajoutez les dés de poisson et faites-les revenir pendant 1 min. Retournez-les et cuisez de l’autre côté pendant 1 min. Ils doivent rester rosé.
- Ajoutez une pincée de piment de cayenne.
- Pour composer votre plat, prenez des assiettes chaudes et mettez le saumon au milieu. Versez la sauce tout autour.
- Saupoudrez de fleur de sel et garnissez du mélange de cacaouète/oignon/gingembre.
- Servez avec du riz jasmine et des petits pois mange-tout cuits à la vapeur.
Je suis absolument sous le charme de cette recette toute en couleur ! Et ça tombe bien, la centrifugeuse me sera offerte pour ma toute première fête des mères !
Ca, c’est sûr, c’est une recette que je ne vais pas tarder à essayer !
Merci Béa !
I know you did a fabulous job and I so wish I could have been in that group! Beautiful food and photos. I really love the looks of that carrot sauce with the salmon! Wow!
What I don’t understand is how I missed so many of your posts!
I would have never thought of combining salmon (which I like slightly undercooked rather than overcooked, too) and carrot juice, but it looks so colourful and inviting, that I think I must give it a go soon!
And hope you’ll get to teach another cooking class a.s.a.p!
what a great opportunity! lovely photos, very colorful!
Bea, once again amazing! I have seen those beautiful glasses on a few of your posts and am dying to know where you bought them!
I’ve never eaten meat in my life, but man this makes me want to start!
like your colorful dishes step by step~ so nice~
Je ne peux que rendre les armes face à une telle gourmandise !
Great story! Isn’t it fun how tiny the world is?
Wow, Bea – sounds like quite an adventure – great job! I know exactly what you mean when you say that explaining information to them helped you learn too – I found that was the best way to study while in university. Your selections were perfect – colourful, delicious, and spring-y – I’ve no doubt they learned alot, and left with full and satisfied tummies!
Your salmon looks so happy in this carrot “nage”. That must have been so exciting to be part of this adventure. Comme quoi le monde est vraiment ch’ti !!
Bea, I think you would be a wonderful cooking instructor and I would love to take a class from you!
Rien que ca, et bien il y a des gens qui ont bien de la chance !!! cela a du etre un super moment !
Je prendrais bien un peu de dessert…
Bea, j’aimerais bien etre dans ta classe 🙂
How I wish I could attend your class! Those were breat dishes you prepared! I love the vibrant colors (and flavors too I’m sure!) of the salmon dish 🙂
Wait, no recipe for the Strawberry Tiramisu?
ok next you teach at my place when you come to ny?? 🙂
what an intresting combination-carrot sauce with salmon. i am going to try it. can you recommend an appetizer for this if i were to make it for company?
What a fabulous recipe, I love the colors and flavors! And I adore that cute little bowl. 🙂 Great job teaching!
Tes photos sont splendides … On respirerait presque les parfums de cette sauce parfumée.
Bravo pour cette jolie expérience! Et merci pour ces deux très belles recettes!
Comme j’aurais aimé suivre un cours donné par toi! 🙂
Oh please, please, please post a recipe for the Strawberry Tiramisu!
Quelle belle journee! j’ai eu le meme sentiment quand j’ai donne des cours de patisseries cet automne a un groupe de 8 adultes. Ils m’ont vraiment appris a eduquer. J’espere que tu auras l’occasion de recommencer l’exeperience. Tu pourrais m’apprendre plus sur les couleurs et la photo!
Thank you. I will answer back later this weekend.
Cette soupe a l’air follement délicieuse !
superbe et bravo pour le cours
magnifiques recettes!!Heureusement il y a le coin français!!
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