Rachael Ray Is Wrong

17 Nov

Nothing to see here... the mark of a delicious meal!

Everything you’ve learned about that whole “EVOO, 2 turns of the pan” routine? Un-learn it. Because it’s downright silly (Sorry Rachael, I know you’ve built an empire around it.) At least that’s what I learned last night from Eric Korn, Chef and Owner of Good-Life Gourmet cafes in Irvington and Scarsdale. I was invited to join a small group of local women bloggers for a private cooking class in Good-Life’s Irvington shop.

We noshed on cheese and figs, sipped some fab Pinot Noir, and spent some time getting to know one another before we headed back to the kitchen area and got down to business. We were there to cook, after all. Chef Eric didn’t waste any time before pelting us with “aha” moments. Here are some that I’m still woozy over:

  • Olive oil should not be used for cooking, it should be used as a garnish or finisher. Canola oil is lighter, odorless and therefore does not impart any pungent flavor into your cooking the way olive oil “obviously” does. (Yeah, obvious to me now…) Today I started an Olive Oil Fund – it will contain all of the money I save by cooking with inexpensive Canola oil as opposed to it’s aggressively priced cousin, EVOO.
  • Salt should be sprinkled over food from way up high to get more even distribution. So go ahead, be dramatic about it. And sprinkle some on your salad greens before dressing them.
  • No more cutting into your pretty salmon filets to know if they’re done. (Oh, no one else does that?) That white stuff that forms between the pan and the fish? That’s your sign. See? You’re on your way to Martha Stewartsville now!
  • Making your own salad dressing is easier than tearing the annoying wrapper off a store-bought one. Here’s all you need to know: 1 part of every ingredient to 3 parts of oil. We used 1 part maple syrup (the real stuff, no Aunt Jemima, ya hear?), 1 part course mustard, 1 part cider vinegar and 3 parts oil – with a sprinkle of salt. Shaken, not stirred, and it was the best vinaigrette I’ve had in ages.
  • Quinoa is amazing. It can be eaten for breakfast, lunch and dinner. For breakfast, cook it up with some OJ, water and apricots. For lunch and dinner, cook it in a veggie or chicken stock, caramelized onions and chopped sundried tomatoes. Holy superfood, Batman! Hey rice and pasta: consider this our break up letter.
  • Your body could probably use a detox now and again. I suppose this should be obvious, but it’s never really been for me. Letting your body clear itself of toxins is smart a couple of times a year, especially if you’re known to dabble in the bacon business now and again. It’s like a reset button for your liver, skin, and bowels. Good-Life Gourmet offers a Juice Detox. It’s $50/day and they deliver to your house. You drink 5 juices a day for a week. It’s a big commitment for a foodie. I can’t even give up food one day a year on Yom Kippur – how I’d give it up for a week in place of broccoli/carrot/spinach juice would be stressful. But after hearing about everyone’s detox experiences last night, I’m totally intrigued and willing to give it a try!

We prepared and then enjoyed an amazing, clean salad with roasted apples, pumpkin seeds and that vinaigrette I told you about earlier. Then we sealed the deal with salmon, quinoa and roasted red peppers. And just like that, this foodie rejoiced. Go see what Chef Eric has up his sleeve – your palate will thank you.

In addition to the Juice Detox and daily cafe offerings, Good-Life Gourmet offers meal delivery. Their weekly plan includes 3 meals a day plus a snack, delivered Monday through Saturday, for $300/pp. Check out their website for more info.

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3 Responses to “Rachael Ray Is Wrong”

  1. ECGroom November 18, 2011 at 1:12 pm #

    Great post – good stuff here.
    re: detox – having NEVER done this before, I did a (HIGHLY) modified one to start with. All/only juice was not what I wanted to begin with, so I went to Liquiteria (2nd Ave & 11th St in NYC) and spoke with one of their ‘experts’. I purchased 10 juices (2/day) for ~$120. Also got some organic trail mix/nuts that I could munch on during the day (and ingest some protein). Each evening I had a LIGHT meal – and you should also eat this well before going to bed (I found that between 6-7pm was the latest for me…so about 3-4 hours before going to sleep). Typical meal was a 4 oz piece of salmon with a side of vegetables.
    I realize this would not be considered a DETOX but it is much easier than only going with juice and was a good ‘FIRST STEP’ towards a juice only regime.
    Making it through day 1 and 2 was the toughest but the rest was fairly easy.
    I had plenty of energy, slept better, and lost 8 pounds.
    And remember…drink A LOT of water.

  2. sheri November 19, 2011 at 7:25 am #

    Great article – and again, so nice to connect with you – I look forward to more “Westchester” musings from you!

  3. Morris B November 23, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Olive oil – I always hated that she said “EVOO” and then repeated the full expression – wtf?
    Salt from on high – I never add the stuff and my BP thanks me.
    Checking the salmon – great hint.
    Making salad dressing – Absolutely! – while we have a half dozen commercial ones in the fridge, more often than not we have home-made.
    Quinoa – it should be one of your primary food items – its a complete protein. Here’s a better quote about it: “Quinoa contains a balanced set of essential amino acids for humans, making it a complete protein source, unusual among plant foods.”
    Detox – a fad that can be harmful. As far as the experts say, the body does not normally build up ‘toxins’ that can be cleansed with some high-priced drink. Total bs. You may lose weight but that is simply due to the lower caloric intake not the loss of toxins. Sadly, this has become sort of an epidemic and finding good and reliable (not anecdotal) information on the web is challenging.

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