The form of utensils and cookware has a long history that is not only telling to cultural practices but to our own evolution as a species. Nearly 10,000 years ago we start to see skeletons without teeth, a corollary to the invention of clay pots that allowed food to be broken down into a mushy consistency for the first time, giving people without teeth the ability to get an abundance of nutrients. In Chinese cuisine having a knife at the table was considered violent and obtuse, therefore ingredients had to be processed to bite-sized pieces which encouraged the use of a single utensil, the chopstick. Utensils are the baseline of eating, they set the stage for the type of meal, they forecast which dishes will be served, they speak to the philosophy of the eating style and they influence the behaviors that will happen around the table.
Seared salmon with sautéed white beans and bacon, basil sauce.
Submitted to MasterChef by frenchcuisse
Basil sauce - A handful of basil blended with vegetable oil. Season with salt & pepper.
White beans / bacon - Cook the white beans (I followed the instructions on the bag) then reserve. As soon as the salmon is almost cooked, (depending on how you like it) in a pan, cook the sliced bacon, add the white beans, chopped chives, and season with salt & pepper. Do not sauté for too long, plate the beans as soon as possible to prevent it from getting too oily.
Salmon - Score the skin, season with salt and pepper on both sides and sear skin side first on high heat then slowly reduce the heat to mid-high to prevent the salmon from burning. Once the skin is crispy, flip it, cook the flesh side for a minute or so until brown, then back on it’s skin. Add a good tablespoon of unsalted butter to the pan, a few sprigs of thyme, oregano, and a few cloves of garlic. Start basting the fish for a good 10 - 15 seconds. Finish cooking to your liking.
Basket - Salmon, bacon, yogurt, mint, basil, white rice, white beans, balsamic vinegar.