Jordan Zucker shows Dava Krause how to cook up the SF/ARI meal.
All recipes were posted HERE!
Dava asked a bunch of excellent questions during the cooking session.
We’ve compiled them and put them in the “tip jar.”
Dava: What is the difference between baking and roasting?
Jordan: Just temperature. Baking is generally around 350 degrees and roasting is generally around 425, it’s a higher temperature.
Dava: So we’ve got the oven on 5 past 420.
Jordan: Good to go.
Dava: Are the seeds OK to keep in the chili peppers?
Jordan: Yes, the seeds have all the heat. We’re infusing the oil with the heat and then straining the peppers and seeds out.
Dava: These are super small peppers anyway, it seems like they’d be hard to deseed.
Jordan: Well if we wanted to you could do it. Just slice them vertically and scrape the seeds out.
Dava: Is this the only way to infuse?
Jordan: Another way would be to not heat it, and just let the peppers sit in the oil for a few days.
Dava: OK, but that’s like you’re planning dinner 5 days in advance.
Jordan: Ya, you’re making jars of it.
Dava: I feel like I always over or under use garlic.
Jordan: When you cook garlic it’s not as big of a deal. Raw garlic runs the risk of being overpowering.
Dava: Why are you doing the tarragon herb last?
Jordan: Tarragon is a leafy herb. Leafy herbs get added at the end, you don’t cook them. Woody herbs can be included in the cooking process. Some leafy herbs are basil and tarragon. Some woody herbs are thyme and rosemary.
Dava: How do you know they’re woody? They’re happy to see you?
Jordan: Ya, and by their construction. They have sticks and wood elements and a woodier flavor.
Dava: Ah, ya, they’re more tree looking. The others actually look like leaves.
Dava: So we’re just lucky that this lemon doesn’t have seeds.
Jordan: Yes, but no, there are lemons that are bred to be seedless. I think it’s done the same way they make a pineapple which is the only fruit I can think of that doesn’t have seeds. It’s done by cross-pollination.
Dava: It’s an infertile lemon.
Jordan: Ya, it’s the mule of the citrus.
Dava: This lemon needs to adopt.
Dava: Peeling the squash seems difficult.
Jordan: It wasn’t the easiest, but you know, we’re all still alive.
Dava: Is there an easier way to deal with this butternut squash than peeling it?
Jordan: Well if you don’t need to uphold the shape of the flesh, like if you’re mashing or pureeing it, you can just simply slice the whole gourd in half and roast it in its shell and then scoop out the meat.
Dava: Talk to me about the blue cheese chunk size.
Jordan: Since we’re melting the blue cheese into the polenta we can keep the chunks bigger. If I were putting the blue cheese in a salad, I would crumble it into smaller pieces. I think with blue cheese a little bit goes really far. Size isn’t as important in this dish, believe it or not.
Dava: It’s the motion of the cheese.
Jordan: Ya, the motion of the ocean.
Dava: So folding is basically gentler stirring.
Jordan: Yes, you’re basically taking the spoon and lifting a little bit of the contents of the pan and dumping it on top of itself.
Dava: I’m always afraid I’m going to over cook the fish or under cook it…
Jordan: Ya, more of a risk to over cook it because under cooked salmon is actually still tasty.
Jordan: Pour some of the sauce into the pan.
Dava: The heat’s not on.
Jordan: That’s OK, you don’t want to have heat on an empty pan, I think it ruins it.
Jordan: You can remove the fish from the heat when it is a little underdone because it will continue to cook a bit even after it’s off the heat.
Dava: Is all fish like that?
Jordan: Everything that you’re cooking will always continue to cook a little longer when it’s off the heat because it’s still hot. That’s why if you want something to stop cooking immediately, you throw it into an ice bath.
Dava: Oooh, like asparagus!
Dava: For round 2 of the salmon, do we resauce when we replatter?
Jordan: Yes, keep the extra sauce on the side and add more to make sure the fillets are always fully bathing in it. But that lowers the temperature of the pan so keep an eye on it to adjust cooking time.
Dava: Would you just use sesame oil to flavor something but not to cook?
Jordan: Yes. Sesame oil is concentrated. A little goes a long way. Canola or olive, etc. you can have as a base and use a lot of it, but sesame would be too overpowering.
Thanks for tuning in!