Seafood

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Meat: the edible portions of domestic animals such as cattle, calves, sheep

MEAT The meat of cattle is known as beef, calves as veal, sheep as mutton, lamb as lamb and swine as pork . Meat consists of skeletal muscle, with varying amounts of fat and connective tissue. Internal organs such as liver, kidneys, testicles, thymus gland and pancreas (sweetbreads) brain, heart and stomach are known as variety meats You may be aware that the term meat can be applied to the edible portions of   poultry, wild birds birds and mamm mammals als (game) and to th thee portions of other animals such as crustaceans and reptiles eaten by humans.  pork chops

IDENTIFYING FISH AND SHELLFISH Seafood may be divided into fish and shellfish. You should know that they are further divided into three categories namely, fish, molluscs and crustaceans. Below you will find brief information on each category:

 

Fish This group includes fresh and saltwater varieties, and based on the shape and skeletal structure of the fish. They can be divided into two groups: round fish and flat fish.

Molluscs These are shellfish having soft unsegmented bodies with no internal skeleton. Single shelled molluscs are known as univalves, for example, abalone, while those with two shells are known as bivalves, for example, clams, oysters and mussels. Cephalopods, such as squid and octopus, do not have a hard outer shell; instead they have a thin internal shell known as pen or cuttlebone.

Crustaceans These are shellfish, which have a hard outer skeleton or shell and jointed appendages. Crabs, lobsters and shrimp belong to this group.

SELECTING SEAFOOD These are some quality factors you should consider when selecting meat

Quality Factors When selecting seafood you should take the following into consideration.

Smell –   – Fresh Fresh fish should have only a slight odour or no smell at all.

 

Eyes –   – These These should be clear and full Gills –   – These These should be bright and intact Texture –   – The The flesh of the fish should be firm Fins and Scale –   – These These should be full and moist without excessive drying on the outer edges.

Appearance –   – Fresh Fresh fish should be without bruises or dark spots, it should also be moist and glistening.

Movement –   – Shellfish Shellfish is best purchased live and should show some sign of  movement.

Quality factors • Wholesomenes Wholesomenesss- Meat inspection is mandatory, and all meat is inspected to minimize the likelyhood of diseased products reaching the consumer. Certified public heath inspectors or veterinary officers in slaughter houses and meat processing plants perform meat inspections. Meat deemed wholesome is stamped by the inspector with an approved stamp issued by by the Public Health Department. Department. • Colour - beef lean is bright cherry cherry –   – red, red, pork lean is bright pink, and lamb is  bright brick red. red. Lean, whic which h is pale or gr gray, ay, should be aavoided. voided. • TextureTexture- the texture of the lean should be fine and smooth and velvety in appearance. • MarblingMarbling- the degree of marbling in meat cuts is a measure of the flavour and tenderness of the meat after cooking. The degree of marbling can range from  practically devoid devoid to abundant Having satisfied the quality requirements the final step in the selection of meat is the cost per serving. You need to select cuts that display the maximum amount of  lean in relation to trimmable fat and bone.

 

When purchasing fish you should do so in the form that is most practical for the menu item in which it will be used. Fish is available in different cuts based on the  purpose for which which it will be used. You wil willl notice some ex examples amples below:

Fillet of sole: the boneless sides of the sole fish.

Whole or Round –  Round – as as caught • Drawn – where – where viscera and internal organs are removed • Pan-dressed Pan-dressed –   – where where viscera and gills are removed, fins and tail trimmed and scales and head removed. • Butter -flied –  -flied – pan-dressed, pan-dressed, boned and opened flat • Fillet – the – the sides of the fish are removed, boneless or semi boneless • Steak – cross – cross section slice with a small section of the backbone attached • Wheel or Centre Cut – cut –  cut in large boneless pieces, from which steaks are cut It is important that you are familiar with the various cuts, so that if a menu item requires pan – fried fried fish, it is best to select fish that has been pan-dressed pan -dressed in the same way that is best for making steak. If the menu item is a fillet of fish, a fish fillet is the best cut to select for such a purpose. Shellfish is often sold as number of pieces per pound, hence when selecting, one has to determine how many pieces are required in each menu item. • As with fish your choice of meat cut will be influenced by menu and the cooking method to be used e.g. Moist heat (braising or cooking in liquid)- beef cut from chuck, round, shank; pork  or lamb shoulder  Dry heat (roasting, pan broiling, pan frying, or broiling)- beef rib, loin; pork loin, leg: lamb rib, loin or leg You may recognize often used meat cuts on menus, such as pork chops, ham,  bacon, loin chops from pork: ffillet, illet, t-bone, por porterhouse, terhouse, sh short ort ribs from beef; leg, shoulder, loin chops from lamb or mutton and cutlets from veal.

 

Availability  Seasonal Availability Most fish and shellfish are available all year round either fresh, tinned or frozen. You will learn that most fishes can be had fresh all year round but some shellfish have particular seasons in which they are available. Crab is available all year round whether fresh, frozen, or tinned. However, fresh crabs are usually available at summer; likewise lobster and crayfish. Shrimps are usually available only cooked, smoked, frozen, tinned or dried. Mussels are available fresh in winter and autumn and frozen and pickled all year  round. A variety of meats are available through out the year. They may be fresh, frozen, canned, cured, smoked, supplied as carcass or cuts and may be sourced locally or  imported. When preparing food it is important that yield is estimated so that an adequate amount can be prepared, while at the same time ensuring that not too much is  prepared leading to wastage.

Yield is the total amount of food item created or remaining after trimming or  fabrication. More waste =lower yield=higher real cost of edible portion To determine meat yield, you will need to identify all primary and secondary  portion cuts, any bone, trim and fa fat. t. Record their weights and ccalculate alculate the weight  percentages

HANDLE AND STORE MEAT AND SEAFOOD

• You should always ensure that meat is frozen quickly (Blast Frozen). With rapid freezing the ice crystals formed are small. Quickly freeze meats to (-30 °C to –  to – 40 40 °C), within 48 hours. • Frozen Storage (for meats) -18°C (0 °F) or lower. • Storage must be must be at a constant constant temperature temperature.. • To prevent ‘freezer burns’, dehydration during Frozen Storage, the meat be adequately packaged with moisture barrier packaging material, preferably in close contact with the meat surface. • Optimum temperature for the stor age age of fresh meat is minus 2 degrees Celsius. At this temperature the multiplication of microorganisms is greatly reduced. • Meat that is vacuum packed has reduced atmospheric atmospheric oxygen. Films and bags

 

used in vacuum packaging have moisture /vapour barrier properties that protects and enhances the shelf life of meats. Vacuum packed meat may be stored chilled or  frozen. • All meat should be stored off the floor and properly packaged.

Vacuum Packed: the meat is placed in a  pouch and the air is evacuated and the  pouch sealed As you handle and store seafood, here are some points you should take into consideration: • Do not temporarily store fish in water after it is caught, as that shortens the life and dilutes flavour  • Never store cooked and raw seafood nor meats together  • Wash fish temporarily under cold water before storing Fish is usually stored at temperatures of between 30°F and 34°F (-1°C - 1°C). Whole fish is usually layered directly in crushed or shaved ice. Fabricated fish is usually wrapped in moisture proof packaging before icing. Fish stored on ice should be re-iced daily. Seafood such as clams, mussels, and oysters should be stored at 40°C (4°C) and left in boxes or bags. Note, however, that live shellfish should never be stored in  plastic bags or on ice. Live cr crustaceans ustaceans can be ke kept pt in boxes with with seaweed or d damp amp newspaper to keep them moist. Do not place them in fresh water or ice. Under  ideal conditions lobsters and crabs can live for several days. Frozen seafood should be kept at temperatures temperatures of 0°F (-18°C) or colder. Frozen seafood should be used within 3 –  3 – 6 6 months.

THAWING MEAT AND SEAFOOD You should take note of the following pointers when thawing seafood. • Defrost frozen fish in a refrigerator, ensuring ensuring it is evenly thawed before cooking. • Never defrost fish at room temperature; this practice is dangerous as bacteria multiply. • Once reated like defrosted fresh fish.use frozen fish quickly, noting that thawed fish should be ttreated

 

 

You should never refreeze defrosted seafood; this might be hazardous to your health. Thaw Frozen Meat Maxim “ Freeze Fast Thaw Slow” Thawing slowly allows the meat proteins to re-hydrate. Temper product in Chill Room (Cooler) with good air circulation at 35° - 40 °F. You may be familiar with the frequently practiced method of thawing meats (which is quick and acceptable) using running water.

DATE STAMPS AND CODES As you become more aware and informed consum consumer er you will begin to look for and note date stamps and codes on food and packaging • Date stamps and codes are affixed to food or packaging as a quality control measure and consumer guide to factors such as quality, wholesomeness, identity

of manufacturer and plant location, date of production and expiry dates. • Codes may be open (easily read/understood by the consumer) or close (known only to few and needs to be deciphered for the ordinary consumer) consumer).. Regulatory bodies in many countries now require that only open codes be used

Perishable: will not last long under adverse conditions; easily spoilt. You should note however, that due to the fact that meat and seafood are highly  perishable, an inspection inspection or date stamp stamp does not eensure nsure quality. quality. If stored and handled incorrectly these foods will deteriorate, altering shelf life l ife expectancy and eventually spoil. Fish or shellfish is particularly susceptible to poor storage conditions. It is therefore important to know how to determine for yourself the quality of meat or seafood.

 

PREPARE AND COOK FISH AND SHELLFISH CLEANING, GUTTING AND FILLETING FISH You should take note of the following when cleaning, gutting and filleting fish:

Cleaning fish- To ensure the best quality there are certain procedures that are followed in cleaning fish. These include washing, scaling and trimming.

Washing- Fresh fish should be washed under running water to remove slime and allow for ease of handling. Washing should be done before preparation, during and after preparation. Scaling- This is used to remove scales from fish that will be cooked with skin on. You grip the fish by its tail and moving from its tail to its head, scrape the scales off with a fish scaler or blunt knife. Trimming- This entails the removal of gills, fins, eyes, and head. Trimming is necessary especially when making fish fillet. Gutting fish- Gutting entails removing gills and fins, then making an incision from the anal vent along the belly of the fish. The gut or intestine is then removed, as well as any congealed blood lying under the vertebrae. Wash the fish thoroughly thoroughly.. Filleting fish- This is the removal of the flesh of the fish from the skeleton, yielding sections of fish free from bones. After filleting there should be no flesh remaining on the fish. Flat fish yields four fillets, known as quarter cuts, however  small flat fish may yield two fillets, which are known as cross cuts. Round fish tend to yield only two fillets.

Remember to: • Dispose of all waste appropriately • Clean and sanitise equipment, utensils and preparation areas.

PREPARE SHELLFISH AND OTHER SEAFOOD

Shellfish tend to require little preparation other than washing, and cleaning before  being cooked. When When preparing cr crustaceans ustaceans howe however, ver, expertise may may be required in cutting.

Preparation of lobster This includes washing the lobster, placing it on a board and inserting a knife in the head behind the eyes to kill it. Claws are removed as well as the black trail in the tail, sacs, and grits in the head. The creamy section or coral is also removed and the lobster is then placed in a bowl of fresh water 

 

Crab Stabbing them above the mouth, as well as under the tail flap usually kills crabs. Crabs have to be cleaned and washed before cooking

Prawns and Shrimps The gut is usually removed as well as the head and claws. The bony connective tissue on the underside is broken and the flesh is extracted in one piece. Prawns and shrimps have to be properly washed.

Mussels Mussels are scrubbed to remove the sand and mud, then they are placed in a pan with salted water for 2-3 hours to get excess sand out of the shells. They are usually washed again before cooking.

Oysters You usually open with an oyster knife; the muscles close to the shell are the removed to remove the oyster from the shell. The oyster is turned over in the deep shell and the flat shell is discarded

Scallops You should remove scallops from the shell by placing side down on a hot stove. Flesh is then removed from the flat shell with a knife. The flat shell and dark frill are discarded and the scallop washed for cooking.

Remember to: • Ensure shellfish is killed in a humane manner  • Work in a timely and efficient manner  • Wash and sanitise all preparation surface surfacess and equipment before and after use • Ensure the seafood is not left on the counter for any extended period of time

COOKING SEAFOOD Dry heat: cooking method not requiring additional moisture at any time during the cooking  Dry Heat Cooking Methods The following are some of the dry heat cooking methods you will use when cooking seafood:

 

Broiling and Grilling Fish is brushed with oil or butter and grilled directly on the grate or placed on a  platter on the broiler. broiler. Broile Broiled d or grilled fi fish sh have a ligh lightly tly charred surf surface ace with a slightly smoky flavour. The inside should be juicy and moist. Grilled or broiled shellfish is usually tender and moist with a slight colouration from the broiler or  grill.

Roasting or baking –  These terms are used interchangeably when applied to fish and shellfish. Often fish is sautéed to achieve flavour and colour and then finished in an oven.

Sautéing –   – Fish Fish and shellfish are often sautéed, leaving the surface caramelised adding flavour.

Pan frying- This is similar to sautéing but uses more fat. Pan- fried fish or  shellfish is always coated with flour or bread and should be tender and moist having a crisp surface.

Moist Heat Cooking Methods The most popular moist heat methods used to prepare fish and shellfish are simmering, poaching, and steaming.

Steaming- This is cooking fish and shellfish without adding fats. Fish is steamed  by placing hem in in a small amount of boiling liquid liquid in a covere covered d pan. The steam in the pan cooks the fish or shellfish preserving its natural flavours flavours and nutrients. Steamed fish and shellfish should be moist and tender. Fish ish is poached using two methods: the submersion method by which Poaching  – F the fish is completely covered with liquid, and the shallow poaching method, which combines poaching and steaming to achieve the desired result

Simmering – This This is the method used most often to cook lobsters, crabs and shrimp.

 

COOKING METHODS Meat is usually cooked using one of 5 methods or their variations suited to the meat cut and the recipe requirements. Braise: Coat meat with flour, if desired, and brown on all sides in small amount of  fat. Add small amount of liquid and simmer, covered, over low heat. Broil: Preheat boiler, or not according to manufacture’s instructions for stove. Slash fatty edge of meat at intervals to prevent curling, then place on rack of boiler   pan and cook as per per recipe or ins instructions. tructions. Panbroil: Cook uncovered in fry pan; pour off fat as it accumulates or Panfry by cooking in fry pan in small amount of fat Roast: Place meat on rack, fat side up, in a shallow open pan. Cook uncovered without basting or adding water.

Stew or simmer in liquid: To stew, brown cubes of meat in fat , season and add liquid to barely cover, simmer covered. To simmer in liquid, cover large cuts of less tender meat with liquid, season, cover  and simmer until tender .

STORING MEAT Whether you are planning on freezing or refrigeratin refrigerating g raw or cooked meat, it is important to store it properly, so that it does not spoil or become contaminated by food poisoning bacteria. Properly wrapped meat cuts stored at minus18°C or lower will maintain their  quality for several months. This will vary with the kind of meat. • Cool meat dishes quickly before freezing them and placing them in a covered container. Raw meat that has been defrosted and then cooked can be frozen. • Keep air out of the food .Use containers with tight lids. Dishes covered with aluminium foil or stretch wrap are not airtight • Maintain and practice good personal hygiene and good sanitation

Staphylococcus: spherical micrococcus frequently found in the nasal and other mucous membrane of  man and in various food product

 

  Meat spoilage You should know that the importance of correct storage of meats lies in the capacity to retard bacterial growth that causes meat spoilage. microorganisms, which are found everywhere. They may be Bacteria are microorganisms,

 beneficial as those those used in the ffermentation ermentation of chees cheesee or harmf harmful ul such as staphylococcus aureus, aureus, a frequent contaminant of foods. In order for bacteria to grow they need: • Moisture • Nutrients • Air or absence of  • The correct temperature From the above you will realise that meats provide an ideal medium for bacterial growth, given the right conditions. Meats dishes should be kept hot or cold. Hot –  Hot  – apply apply enough heat to prevent the multiplicat multiplication ion of bacteria (71°C) Cool- apply enough refrigeration to prevent growth. If you are going to use the dish within 12 to 24 hours. It should be cooled to temperatures below 4°C. If it is to be used at a later time, it should be frozen at 0°C or lower.

 

PREPARE SAUCES FOR MEAT AND SEAFOOD Roux: cooked blend of melted butter and flour  PREPARE SAUCES In selecting the type of sauce to serve you must ensure that it is compatible with the menu and the cooking methods you wish to use. Sauces bind the flavours on a  plate and add interesting interesting and new d dimensions imensions tto o food and its taste. Sauces u usually sually start with a butter or margarine base.

White sauce Ingredients for white sauce (which is a basic sauce for meats or seafood) are butter, white all-purpose flour, whole milk, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Start by melting the butter in a saucepan and then stir in flour in to form a roux, cooking over gentle heat for two minutes. Remove pan from heat and add milk  gradually, whisking to ensure no lumps, season. Return pan to heat and bring to a  boil, simmer simmer gently for 5 m minutes, inutes, stirring stirring frequently frequently.. You may achieve variations of white sauce by adding curry, parsley, cheese, mushroom,, shrimp, mayonnaise, egg etc. Meat stock may be substituted for milk to mushroom make brown sauce. Other sauces that go well with meat and seafood are Hollandaise, tomato,

barbeque, (tartar, bouillabaisse, Béchamel Normande for fish and shellfish) Spanish and Creole. Beurre noisette: browned butter  PLATE MEAT AND SEAFOOD DISHES Presentation: offering selected foods to diners in a manner that is visually

 pleasing.

Presentations One of the senses often ignored in helping us to enjoy food is sight. A pleasing food presentation will help your other senses to start anticipating an enjoyable meal. A good presentation is good marketing. • Colours: Think COLOUR! Whatever you serve, colour adds richness to any dish. Colours should add balance and contrast. For example, vivid lobster  claws and shiny mussel shells add striking contrast a paella dish. Use red and yellow peppers, red onions and leafy herbs as garnishes, and food which are simple and readily available.

 

• Shapes and texturestextures- present your food in pleasing geometrical shapes, i.e. serve steak by slicing and fanning them out on the plate; alternate heights of  food items, e.g leaning a lamb l amb chop against a mound of potato instead of just laying side by side. Combine fish and shellfish of different shapes and textures on one plate. Seafood dishes can be moulded into attractive hand edged shapes by using metal rings, circular cutters or other forms • Plates-most Plates-most plates are round, but oval plates, often referred to as platters are  becoming increasingly increasingly popular. popular. Use your p platters, latters, don’t over- crowd (choose a plate large enough to hold your seafood or meat without crowding or spilling) and remember contrasting colours.

Do not decorate with anything inedible. You will introduce an artificial element that does nothing to excite the taste buds and often clashes with the underlying food.

Garnishes As you select and prepare your garnishes, here are some guidelines: • BalanceBalance- is achieved through careful arrangement of colour, shape, texture, flavour and portion size. • Blanch and refresh to maintain and heighten col colour our of fruits and vegetables and prevent zest from citrus drying out. Always blanch and refresh your   products • Harmonise the colour of the garnish with the food • Keep garnishes away from heat and air to prevent drying out • Only ingredients that are edible edible should be presented with food Tooth picks or  skewers when needed, should be kept to a minimum • The flavour and style of the garnish should complement the meal • The size of the garnish should be in relation to the size of the food items • A food, which is delicate, requires a delicate garnish e.g. a twist of lemon is more suitable for seafood crepe than a lemon basket. • Choose a garnish suitable to the temperature of the food being served • Its best to prepare your garnishes just just before  before serving 

Garnish: ingredient/foo ingredient/food d used to colour, add texture, balance, flavour, or  otherwise enhance plate presentations

Always wash the garnish and never be tempted to reuse a garnish Be sure to store your garnishes properly. Pay attention to the use of correct temperatures and packaging.

 

  SERVICE OF MEAT AND SEAFOOD The kind of service provided will depend on the type of menu and enterprise requirements. Service may be formal or informal depending on the type of establishment. Informal service as in fast food restaurants, cafeteria, out door barbeque etc Formal services as those offered in restaurants and hotels. In these establishm establishments ents you will notice the menu presented is either  either áá la carte or table d’hôte and silver  service style. There are different ways you may serve fish and seafood depending on the cooking method used, e.g. Poached fish is usually served on an oval silver, stainless steel or earthenware dish with an under dish and dish paper.

Boiled fish placed on an earthenware dish with its centre bone removed, as well as any dark skin.

Lobster flesh is usually served in its shell; scallops in a flat dish with dish paper. If your table were set to silver service standards, you would need to place some speciality equipment such as oyster fork, shell crackers, fish knives and forks depending on the fish or seafood being served.

Roasted beef, pork or mutton- the meat may be carved in the kitchen placed on a  platter and taken taken to the table where where it is served served individually or arranged for the the guests to serve themselves. In guéridon service the carving may be done beside the table from a trolley or the guest may be invited to crave the meat.

Steaks- are usually served individually onto the cover plate with gravy or sauce spooned over and a suitable garnish. Meats may be served rare (57-60°C), medium rare, medium or well done (7174°C), the exception being pork, which should always be served be properly cooked (74-77°C). Your guests will usually tell you their preference, if not you should ask. When taking their order.

PORTION CONTROL OF MEATS AND SEAFOOD As we catering have discussed before (see 2) portion control is an important factor  in any establishment as it Element impacts on the profit margin.

 

Serving size or portion must be amount.

standardised either in weight or size/ piece or 

You should decide at what point in the food chain you would initiate the control measures to ensure consistency in quality and quantity.

quality

The final cost of your dish or portion will be determined by calculating: • cost of raw material i.e. whole fish, wholesale or retail meat cuts • trim loss during cleaning and preparation • cook out loss as a result of the cooking method used • labour cost at each stage of the process (from purchasing of raw material to serving of the meal) Having determined all your costs you will then add a percentage as your profit and  price your meal meal accordingly. S Sometimes ometimes the m method ethod used for arriving at the sselling elling  price involves spreading the ccost ost over the rrange ange of services offered by the establishment.

Service: delivering the selected food to diners in a proper/standard fashion. Table d’ hôte:

a set meal usually of several courses, at a fixed, inclusive price.

Á la carte: implies many dishes at different prices for the customer customers’ s’ choice choice-- normally cooked to order 

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