We recently worked with Daniel Gritzer and Food & WIne Magazine on an article about how to Train Yourself To Be A Better Cook. We had a lot of fun putting the exercises together and while not all of them made the cut, one of our favorites was the one about salt. For the magazine we used a pork chop, determined the right amount of seasoning for it, and then had cooks apply the salt to the meat in three different ways to see how the results would differ. Our greatest take away from this particular exercise was the realization that salting meat or fish in advance and then leaving them in the refrigerator uncovered for at least a few hours and up to two days makes a huge difference in flavor. This is not dry-aging, this is seasoning and air-drying. The process helps concentrate natural flavors and the salt has a chance to penetrate the meat so that it is seasoned throughout. It has become a common practice in our kitchen.
The technique has evolved. Now we use the Beef seasoning from our book. When we come home from the store we lay proteins and vegetables on a rack. We do this even before we decide what to do with them. The application of salt, sugar cayenne* and air makes them taste better. That's what good cooking is all about.
*when cooking with Amaya in mind we omit the cayenne like in the above picture of strip steaks and boneless short ribs.
January 7, 2009
January 7, 2007