Simone's Kitchen

Cooking class lesson 3 Fish

Steamed dorad

Steamed dorad

Remember when we had one of the first Daring Cooks challenges and one of the things we had to do was to clean a squid?? Remember how incredibly wrong mine went?? (if not, you can read about it here… 🙂  But don’t say I didn’t warn you!) Ever since that first very frightful (haha, well… ok messy for sure!) experience with cleaning a squid I had not attempted it again. I mean; squid is not my favorite food in the world so why bother if they have exploding and nasty intestines?

So imagine my surprise when Matthijs, who was doing the fish lesson yesterday since Rob is in France right now, was taking out some squid for us to “play” with… Ofcourse I could not resist and I just had to try it again. I mean; I had read about it before starting on my adventure the previous time and I did watch several youtube videos thinking it would be really easy to do, so I was a little careful this time. I knew what could go wrong!


Matthijs showed us how to filet a flat fish and a round fish and then showed us how to clean a squid. Again; pretty simple if you look at it, but as you can see by the look on my face I was still not so sure that mine would behave better this time!!

Imagine my surprise when the squid was beheaded, cleaned from insides and skeleton within literally maybe three minutes!!! I couldn’t believe it, which only proved once more that I had a very strange squid that first time. Filled with very unpleasant insides plus everything else went wrong with the damn thing as well. I got mad at the first one all over again. He or she could have made my life a little easier by behaving as the lovely little squid did that I cleaned yesterday. I even cleaned two of them, both equally easy. I still don’t really like the taste except when they are fried. But to be honest I like the outside of the batter more then the squid inside.

But I did it and I am glad to say that I have now successfully cleaned squid in my life. Possibly never to be repeated but hey, I did it! One thing to cross of the list… 🙂

I did like the steamed dorad we did a whole lot more as well as the seabass which was baked in a saltcrust in the oven. In addition to that we also fried some tarbot and we made little fishcakes which were also very good.

If I have to choose I think I liked the dorad that was steamed the most. It was so quick and easy and the taste was pure and delicious! And I think it looks good too don’t you agree?

As Mathijs was explaining it is always better to buy a whole fish rather then the filet as at least then you will be able to tell for sure if it is fresh or not. You could still ask the fishmonger to make them into filets but if you pick the fish you decide on the freshness, sort of…

I’ll tell you how to make the fishcakes as I really liked those. We used a little bit too much potatoe but still very tasty. You can use leftover fishscraps from when you are making filets or you can use whatever other fishbits you want. Mix that finely in a kitchenmachine but not too fine. No need to puree the fish!

Add salt, pepper and (depending on the qty you make) half a chili pepper, deseeded and chopped finely. Add chopped flatleaf parsley and cooked potatoes (great for leftovers!!) and roll them into cookie sized things. Roll them into flour and then into egg and bake in a pan until golden.

You can obviously add whatever you want in these little darling and I think they would actually work with just about anything!

I haven’t really done any “normal” posts lately now have I? It’s about time I got to do some proper cooking! I need to try out some things plus I should be doing the Daring Bakers challenge for this month in a hurry as it is close to reveal date and I have yet to start! Hmm…. stay stuned for more to come!20100320-_MG_2665

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  1. Simone, this would be one of my favourite classes…fish! I too recently steamed a dorade, another fab way to enjoy fish. I used a bamboo steamer.

  2. Those are some beautiful looking fishes! And good for you for learning to clean squid!

  3. This looks incredible. Is this just a one day class…? I need to go and read again to see where it is and how I could register should I ever visit Europe again. I would die to take each of these classes. Hands on. Practical. Excellent produce to work with. Outstanding learning experience. Thank you for sharing. The photos are deadly. I can smell the sea from here.

  4. You are so brave, Simone!
    I usually just buy filets of fish: not a fan of bones and skin (same w/the chicken).

  5. I’ve never filleted fish myself or cleaned squid. I’d like to try it–when I have someone to show me what to do! The fish cakes sound great.

  6. I think the key to filleting a fish is a sharp knife…you’ll be amazed how many people attempt this with blunt knives. Well done, you did a great job!!

  7. Haha, yes I do remember that first squid cleaning experiment! Good for you, for learning to master this skill. It’s too bad you don’t like squid… I love it! So you can send some my way, no problem! 🙂

  8. Filleting fish is quite tricky, but I have never tried cleaning squid!

  9. Looks great again. I said to myself that I wanted to cook more fish. So this gives me inspiration.

  10. The first time I cleaned a squid, it was a huge one and there was a little fish in its belly… ughh… but the end result when you grill it is so fantastic you tend to forget the bad experiences… well… mostly… haha! Can’t wait to see what you cook up in the kitchen!

  11. the steamed Dorad looks amazingly fresh.

  12. Waw,..;what a grand cooking class this is!!

    You cleaned squid!! Brave you!

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