Lesson time 20:01 min
Mashama shares the significance of water in the African American experience. She explains the dish’s origins, then teaches you how to make seafood broth and middlins and how to prepare the shrimp and fish for final plating.
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Topics include: Stock · Seafood · Plating
[MUSIC PLAYING] MASHAMA BAILEY: This dish is one of my favorite dishes that we serve at The Grey. These ingredients come from the water, and African-Americans have a deep connection to the water. We think of the Middle Passage when we think of water. We think of cleansing and rebirth when we think of water. In our mothers wombs we're in water, so there's the connection to life. And we also have a connection to pain, so there's this full circle that water represents for us in our community. And so a dish like this really speaks to that because we have shrimp, we have fish, we have broken pieces of rice, which are called rice middlins. Traditionally, this would probably be a very inexpensive dish. For Black folks in the South there wasn't a lot of money to afford really good ingredients, but we were able to build rods and go out and fish. So these are the foods that really nurtured us and allowed us to sit around the table and tell our stories. For our seafood, we have shrimp, and we also have some red snapper that I will show you in a little bit. But right in front of me, I took those shrimp shells and made a stock out of. So we reallocated those shells. We're gonna start off with some olive oil, about 2 tablespoons. And we're gonna put in some celery, some shallots, and some onion. I really like using shallots and onions because they taste differently. Shallots are a little bit sweeter than onion. They break down a little bit more. They melt. And onions retain their structure in the dish. I'm gonna use a little bit more olive oil, because as you're going to see as we go on, we're going to add more ingredients to this, and we need a little bit more oil to coat. The onions are starting to break down. The smell is really delicious. And that sweet celery is starting to really permeate. Shrimp stock is something that really-- you shouldn't be intimidated by. It's simply taking the shells and topping them off with water and adding some of your favorite ingredients to it. You can add onions to it, celery, fennel, and it's a great stock to keep in your freezer if you really love seafood. You can use it in a seafood boil if you wanted to. You can use it in a pasta sauce. So it's really versatile, and it just adds a nice deep layer of flavor. And this stock is going to help us flavor our rice. So we are going to cook the rice grits like we would a risotto. We're gonna add wine, we're adding aromatics, and we're going to add the stock in layers. So that is a very traditional way to cook Arborio rice, and so using that technique and new world ingredients really helps to elevate the view of Southern cuisine. We're gonna sweat these down a little bit, and we want them to go a little bit past translucent. We want them to actually soften up. I'm starting to really smell the shallots now. I'm smelling the pungency of the shrimp stock in the background. And smelling at this phase really starts to engage your senses, but i...
About the Instructor
Through her award-winning Savannah restaurant, The Grey, Chef Mashama Bailey has brought worldwide acclaim to the rich, layered traditions of African American Southern cooking. Now the James Beard Award–winning chef shows you traditional and reimagined techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes. From pork shank and collard greens to gumbo and grits, explore a world of history, texture, and taste.
Featured Masterclass Instructor
James Beard Award–winning chef Mashama Bailey teaches you techniques and recipes for nutritious, flavorful Southern dishes—from grits to gumbo.Explore the Class