Run to the bookstore and pick up the latest issue of Where Women Cook. Jordan and Betti share their stories and recipes from their Vermont kitchen on pages 66-75! Or click here to order online.
Jordan has teamed up with Pure Barre to drive from LA to NY on her “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip!”
It’s an LA story born from a personal relationship with a car. A predictable genesis, but hopefully muscled with a more original journey.
I’ll admit, I’ve been known to dabble in anthropomorphic tendencies. You really don’t need to know the name of my bass guitar, my refrigerator, my camera, or my skis, but I have no shame about it when it comes to my car.
Meet Oscar, my 2001 green Nissan Pathfinder. Oscar’s my boy. He’s lived MY LIFE with me. He’s seen it all go down through my prime years (which will continue for the next 20 or so…). He’s been there through it all; the ups, the downs, the in-betweens, the memorable, the non-memorable, the I-wish-it-weren’t-so-memorable, etc. We took care of each other. He cheered me up. He waited for me. He gave me independence. He offered a wheel to cry on. We spent more time together than I did with many friends. I love my car, OK.
But, sometime early this year, I had an unexplainable urge to check out “what they’ve done in the auto industry in the past 13 years.”
This curiosity led to multiple test-drives around town, all of which resulted in me returning to Oscar, assuring him he was still better than the rest. Satellite radio and a navigation system that really doesn’t rival my own sense of direction had nothing on his loyalty, fit, and rock star driving.
….Until I got in this one car. It was like Goldilocks and The Three Bears, or Jordan and The Three SUV’s. The others were too big or too soft, but this one was juuuuust right. Long story short, three weeks and tons of masterful negotiations later, I came home with Beluga. Oscar would be retiring to a loving house on a lake in upstate NY with a friend this summer.
Driving across the country has always been on my bucket list. So I thought, what better way to have one last adventure with Oscar?!?! But I was worried about my 30 something metabolism handling all of the sedentary hours. I wanted to stay active along the way. And I wanted to soak in all of the latest local culture in each stop, because that’s how I roll.
I mapped out different routes, researched different hotels, restaurants and local offerings, and I wound up with this trip.
On Monday, Oscar and I hit the road. We are doing 10 cities in 10 days for our “Healthy and Hip X-Country Trip!” We’ll be joined by my little French Bulldog, Hula (my real first love, but don’t tell Oscar or Beluga). My dear girlfriend, Liza, will be hopping aboard in Austin.
To stay in shape while we sit in the car for the better portion of daylight hours, we are starting each morning with a Pure Barre class. I couldn’t believe they had one in almost every city we were hitting! Then we drive. The drives will range from 3-9 hours and Oscar will be equipped with nutritious and delicious non-perishables. We will be listening to playlists with bands indigenous to each destination. We will check into a boutique hotel when we arrive in each new city, and dine at a local farm to table restaurant. The rest we will explore as we go!
Send along any hidden gems you’re privy to!
Here is our itinerary:
Thursday May 29th
12 pm: Pure Barre New York -Upper West Side
– Jordan Zucker is an actress, blogger, and on-air personality. She writes about her adventures through dining, drinking, dating, dancing, (and now driving) on Oxtails, Cocktails, and Rock Tales. She is the ringleader for the modern female sports fan, creating content geared towards women’s interest in sports and running fantasy leagues on Girls Guide to Sports. She played “Lisa the intern” on Scrubs and guest starred on an episode of The Food Network’s “Grill It!” with Bobby Flay. You can follow along with Jordan on her “Hip & Healthy X-Country Tour” on instagram and twitter: @jordzuck
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!
You’ve all heard about my Ben RoethlisBURGERS. We’re not doing that this week.
Salad: Romaine Gresham Salad with Tomatillo TerRelish Owens
Side: Hearts of Carson Palmer Slaw
Main: RaCharred Mendenhalibut
Cocktail: Troy Cosmopolamalutan
Romaine Gresham Salad with Tomatillo TerRelish Owens
1 lb tomatillos, husks removed and halved
1 small red onion, cut in 1″ chunks
3 garlic cloves
1 jalapeno, chopped
¼ c olive oil
½ c flat leaf parsley
1 lime, juiced and zested
2 hearts of romaine
Roast tomatillos, onions, and garlic at 425 for 20 min.
Transfer to food processor and add rest of ingredients.
Blend until desired chunkiness.
Cut each romaine heart lengthwise. SWOOPS* the cut side.
Heat grill pan to med high. Spray with non-stick spray. Grill 1-2 min until charred.
Remove from heat and spoon relish on top.
*SWOOPS = Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt
Hearts of Carson Palmer Slaw
You’re welcome to cut the fruit in any shape you desire, but since there’s shredded cabbage involved and it’s a slaw, I like to keep everything relatively uniform in long strips. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and TOSS, TOSS, TOSS! (Ya, that’s “TWO-US” in my mother’s world.)
SWOOPS Halibut. (Season With Olive Oil Pepper and Salt) Both sides. Grill on med high heat until charred and just cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Remove from grill and serve on a bed of the slaw and top with the relish.
2 oz. vodka
½ lime, juiced
½ oz – splash of cranberry juice
½ oz – splash of Curacao
1 slice of an apple
curly piece of citrus peel
Mix the vodka, lime juice, cranberry juice, and Curacao in a cocktail shaker with ice.
Sift drink without the ice into a martini glass. Don’t spill – Martini glasses are the stilettos of barware: Best looking. Least Functional.
Fork the apple slice into the prongs of a PICK and stick it in the drink. If you own Steelers D, this ceremony increases the chances of a Polamalu pick.
Drink through a CURLY straw. Garnish with a citrus CURL.
Now MAN UP! And CHOW DOWN!!
Here’s what’s on the menu:
Lots of love for the receiving core.
Bacon Wrapped Kevin Walter Chestnuts
Veggie Wayne – Joseph PadThai
Dallas Clark and Stormy
Bacon Wrapped Kevin Walter Chestnuts
1 can water chestnuts, drained and soaked in soy sauce overnight.
½ lb. bacon (sliced in half)
½ c mayo
¼ c brown sugar
1 T tomato paste
1 t Worcestershire
2 T soy sauce
1 t garlic, minced
2 T lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350.
Cut your strips of bacon widthwise so they are half as long. Take a water chestnut and wrap a strip of bacon around it. Place the wrapped chestnut in a pan seam side down. Repeat until the pan is full. Bake for 40 min.
While the bacon wrapped water chestnut are cooking, combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl and mix well.
After about 40 min, remove the pan from the oven and pour the sauce from the bowl evenly on top so all of the bacon wrapped water chestnuts are well covered. Return the pan to the oven and cook for another 15-20 min.
Remove from oven. Remove the bacon wrapped water chestnuts and place them on a paper towel lined plate to drain the excess grease.
Let cool and serve!
Veggie Wayne Joseph Pad Thai
water on hand
2 T tamarind paste
4 T fish sauce
2 T sugar (I used coconut)
½ t chili paste
10 oz. rice noodles
14 oz tofu extra firm (pressed in towel and weighted for an hour, then marinated in soy and SWOOPS* overnight.)
4 T peanut oil
½ c scallions, chopped
2 T garlic, minced
2 T shallots, minced
½ c cabbage
¼ c carrots, peeled and chopped
½ c bok coy, sliced
1 c mushrooms, sliced
½ c bean sprouts
½ c peanuts, chopped (or cashews)
*SWOOPS – Season With Olive Oil Salt and Pepper
To make the sauce, combine the fish sauce, sugar, tamarind, and chili paste in a bowl.
Soak the noodles in a bowl with warm water until they’re soft, about 12 min. Drain them and set them aside.
Slice the tofu into little pieces, your shape of choice. I do about 2 inch spears.
Add the shallots and garlic. TOSS!
Crack the eggs right into the wok, making sure none of the shell falls in. Let them set for a minute and then scramble them in with the rest of the veggies.
Add the noodles. TOSS!
Add the sauce. TOSS!
Add the bean sprouts and nuts. TOSS. TOSS. TOSS.
Squeeze the lime at the end and serve!
Preheat the oven to 325.
In a small sauce pan on med heat, cook the ¾ c sugar, 1 T water, and 2 T cocounut rum. Stir to combine them well and then don’t touch it. You will see it start to bubble and brown. When it is a golden caramel colored liquid, remove it from the heat and pour it into the bottom of whatever flan shaped container you want to use. (You can make one big one or smaller ones in ramekins.)
In a large bowl, wisk together the eggs, sugar, pinch salt, vanilla.
Then slowly stir in the milk, cream, and coconut milk. Wisk well.
Pour the mixture through a sieve into another bowl. This strains out the egg white membranes and gives the flan a smoother consistency.
Pour the custard on top of the caramel in the containers.
Now you have to place the containers in a hot water bath.
Boil some water in a kettle. Place a big pan on a shelf in the oven. Place the flan containers in the pan being careful not to spill. Then pour the hot kettle water into the big pan so the flan containers are surrounded in the water, but don’t get any water in the flan containers. Slowly slide the oven tray in. Bake the flans for about 45 minutes (depending on what shape/size containers you use). You should be able to stick a toothpick in the center and remove it cleanly. Remove from the oven and chill for at least 4 hours. Once cooled, slide a knife along the edges to loosen the custard, put a plate on top of them upside down, and flip! Lift flan container and they should now be on the plate with the caramel sauce running down the sides. Done!
Dallas Clark and Stormy
2 oz. Goslings dark rum
1 oz. ginger beer (must be ginger beer, not ale!)
Fill a tumbler with ice. Pour the rum in the glass and top with the ginger beer. Stir. Best enjoyed while the sun is setting in Montauk, NY.