I'm studying the Grand Diplome at Cordon Bleu in London

Posts tagged ‘plaice’

Day 39 – Fish practicals, plaice timbale and fillet steak – Tues 6th March

Today we started off with back to back practicals, then 1 demo.

First was making the trout. The trickiest bit was filleting the trout and not leaving too much flesh on the bones.

Then it was on to the mussels and dressed crab. Removing the meat from a crab is a fiddly job but one I’ve done lots of times before so I know how to do it. The chef thought my mussels sauce was lovely and the crab just right too, so I was pleased with that. Plus I had a 3 course meal of fish that evening.

Chef Neil took us for the demo – his first at Cordon Bleu, though he has taught at other cookery schools. He is quite serious and precise in classes, but does give quite a bit of background info about the food he or we are cooking.

He demonstrated 2 dishes: a fish timbale and a grilled fillet steak.

The fish timbale was a mousseline made from plaice fillets and cooked in a timbale (small metal mould) lined with blanched leek and served with a beurre blanc, which is a sauce made from a reduction of white wine, finished with lots of butter and chopped chives and garnished with slices of grilled prawn.

The fillet steak was grilled to medium rare and served with pommes pont neuf, which are essentially chips cut to a width of 1 cm, and a bearnaise sauce. Bearnaise is a derivative of hollandaise sauce, but the acidity comes from a reduction of white wine, vinegar, shallots and black pepper and tarragon stalks, and then chopped tarragon and chervil added to the sauce at the end.

Day 38 – Demos on Fish and Shellfish – Mon 5th March

Today we had just 2 demonstration classes and no practicals.

The 1st was on more flatfish, brill and plaice, and also trout:

Plaice and Trout

The brill was cut into steaks, still on the bone but skinned, was poached in milk and served with hollandaise sauce:

The plaice was filleted, cut into goujons (finger sized pieces), breadcrumbed, deep fried and served with aioli.

The trout was also filleted, but pan fried in a little butter, topped with almonds and served with boiled, turned potatoes and a beurre noisette (nut brown butter).

The 2nd demo was on shellfish.

The chef demonstrated moules mariniere (mussels in white wine), dressed crab and oysters. There were 2 different types of oysters, native and rock oysters:


The mussels were cleaned of barnacles and beards and then cooked over a high heat with shallots and white wine for a few minutes until they open their shells.

The crab was boiled, cooled and the meat removed which is a very fiddly job. Mixed with a little mayonnaise, it was then put back into the empty shell and decorated with chopped boiled egg, sliced olives, anchovies and parsley.

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