Fish class in tiny town in Indiana

7,375
69
Joined Aug 11, 2000
Where do I come up with these???? I met a lady last Dec in a tiny town in Indiana (I'd stopped to shop during traveling) she has several businesses on main street and wanted me to take over the empty restaurant....invited me back to dinner at her circa 1700 INN that she and her husband worked on for 15 years....well
after touring their wine cellar, antique shop, 1700 log cabin, they invited me to spend the night....I cooked fritata and asp the next morning before heading home and they said they'd like me back to teach cooking classes......wellllll this town is 1.5 hours from a city....(I'd been in a similair situation about 19 years ago) so I'm going to teach a fish class....since they can get salmon, tilapia, catfish, swordfish, orange roughy....most frozen but some "fresh"... I'm taking Penzy's catalogs and have decided on the preparations....what would you do?
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
I'm doing:
Pan seared or grilled Swordfish with pineapple salsa....spice rub

Baked Salmon with Spinach feta pinenut filling with a red pepper sauce

Tilapia with sauteed fennel, orange (or tangerine) and vanilla bean

Catfish with Hoisin glaze and a oriental veg medley

Orange Roughy with parsley pesto topping baked


So a few different techniques, fishes that are available to them in their local and some interesting fairly low-fat glazes, sauces, stuffings.

Yeah, the question is if you were doing a cooking class (3 hour) in a small town in the middle of nowhere what would you make?
Fish class. Basic beginners. think availability and something they would recreate on their own.
 
332
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Joined Jan 26, 2001
hey! you're teaching a class in my state and i want to come!!

where is it? when is it? can I come too?

please oh please.....

and let's see, from a recent trip to the grocery store:

catfish and salmon- both easy to find, usually fairly inexpensive

tilapia and swordfish- hmm. i can't always find these. and when I do, i wonder how long they've been around... maybe you can offer other fish that would have comparative textures for these recipes (just as a suggestion)

i've never looked for roughy. never noticed it either, but i could definitely learn something, as you can see.

~~Shimmer~~
 
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Joined Dec 1, 2001
I have a question for you Shimmer. I live in Indianapolis as well, at least when I'm not down here in St. Pete during the school year. And I do not actually live in Indianapolis but just north, near Carmel.
Where do you go to eat in Indianapolis for good food? My family and I only know of a small (emphasis on small) handful of places to eat. In fact, having lots of friends in Chicago, we are often known to eat at restaurants there just as often as in Indianapolis.
In my personal opinion, I think Indianapolis is prime for some decent restaurants to open up.
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Fish class is in Huntinsburg at a private residence, 20 students.
I've been asked to do a lunch/herb demos etc during Herb day in again Huntingsburg and New Harmony...New Harmony is an hour class I'm doing herb raviolis, that is scheduled for March 27 but I'm trying to confirm other events in Huntingsburg that weekend so may be the following Week in April....have burners will teach.
 
3,853
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Joined May 26, 2001
Your idea of using easily-available fish is good, of course. And the ones you list are not "scary" -- that is, a lot of people already know them, and if not, there's nothing exotic in the taste to worry folks.

But I wonder about some of the accoutrements -- they sound great to me, but how will they play out in the country? I mean, pine nuts? feta? fennel? Hoisin? I hope I'm wrong about the sophistication of their palates. And how available are those items, anyway?

I'd be the first to admit that I'm not that much in touch with the "real America." I hope you're right about their tastes. Otherwise the most important lesson -- how to cook fish properly -- might be lost.
 
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Joined Jan 26, 2001
Crane- In Indianapolis, I agree there is room for restaurants to open up, definitely. I think I eat more often in Bloomington when eating out than in Indy, because the huge amount of ethnic restaurants in a very small area (the Red Sea, Casablanca, Le Petite Cafe, an Afghan restaurant). I'm intending to go to the Queen of Sheba which I've heard is excellent (Ethiopian food) soon, and there are a lot of places I"ve heard of but never been to- Something Different, The Majestic, Palomino, Ruth's Chris Steak House, etc. Buca di Beppo was good but very crowded and noisy (southern Immigrant Italian food served family style) Most of the people that I ask always recommend steak houses, and since my husband is vegetarian I'm afraid I don't usually follow their recommendations. =) Carmel and Westfield are slowly growing into a ritzier feeling part of town, and I know new restaurants have started to adapt to that trend. I can't name specifics, but I would guess you've found the few already. I know places around Keystone & the Crossing also tend to be well-known, for chocolate I'd try DeBrand Fine Chocolates, which is Indiana owned and operated but very competitive (I used to work there)- it's in the strip mall across from the Fashion Mall.

As far as whether or not Hoosiers would understand what feta cheese and pine nuts are, well, the internet exists and we even have running water.... But still, in larger cities it is a lot easier to find 'gourmet' ingredients, but I'm thinking more like myzithra cheese or yellow dal, not feta cheese. Feta cheese in some form or another is a grocery store staple. Fennel is on the spice aisle, and hoisin is popular (midwest=barbecue country!!). I think fish quality will be more of a difficulty than ingredient availability.

Shroomgirl- an herb festival, hmm? In Indiana I've been to a Dogwood Festival, an Apple Butter Festival, a Greek Festival, the festivals never end. But New Harmony is quite far from me, probably the farthest town in Indiana possible, sheesh! Well, if you ever do anything any closer, let me know!! You'll develop quite the reputation, I'm sure.

Let us know how it goes!!!

~~Shimmer~~
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
i spoke to the hostess today and she was interested in learning to make salmon wrapped in spinach then in fillo dough....that will be the fillo class next time.
Also a pecan trout dish...
So fennel is not totally readily available, but everything else is.....
fennel is plentiful in this area with local rural farmers, they were growing it years ago. There is a big Italian population and anise(fennel) is used alot.
Hoisin is the ketchup of China....
I'm taking Penzey's catalogs...picked up 40 last Saturday at the Penzey's outlet!!! several for the fish class and a bunch for the lamb class...when you live in a small town mail order is important.
Shot I learned how to cook chinese food in a town of 10,000 because there were NO chinese restaurants within an hours drive.....luckily we were by an Army base that had a substanual Korean population and plenty of Asian veg, sauces. I think Hoisin should be available in Louisville....if not the smaller towns....teriyaki if necessary....
 
7,375
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Joined Aug 11, 2000
Shimmer~ I must have posted about the same time you did, I didn't see your thread...Yeah I assume they will be eating frozen fish or subing in some that are fresh catches...It was their suggestion.....
 
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