Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 8

Saving Harvest Flavors

I wasn’t necessarily thinking about
those foods in the fall of 2010, but
as our culinary season began to
wind down, we began to look for a
new project. The last of our summer
produce was being harvested, and I
wanted a way to capture those flavors
to brighten our menus through winter.

the
modernist

KITCHEN
DISCoVERIng
DEHyDRATIon
By Executive Chef Todd Knoll

J

ust as Venice was the port for the
world’s spice trade, Hawaii served as
the crossroads for the exotic foods
of the Far East. The preserved foods of
Asia, once a necessity for travel, found
there way into island cuisine. The British
had their limes to combat scurvy, the
Japanese their preserved ume plums,
fermented soy beans, konbu kelp and
ginger. The Chinese were never without
their Chan Pui Mui—various preserved
fruits at once sweet, salty and sour—
ginger, ginseng, shiitake mushrooms and,
of course, teas.
This strongly influenced the islands’
cuisine. As a result, having been raised
there, I am drawn to the intense
concentration that only proper pickling,
fermentation and preservation can yield.

8

I considered a few options, and since
I’d always wanted to try my hand at
dehydrating, it was an easy decision.
My grandparents had dried fruit
commercially in the Santa Clara
Valley, so I had a childhood sensory
memory of the bounty of produce that
benefit from the dehydration process.
Although I had a basic understanding
of preservation, I still needed to do my
research. There are many dehydrators
on the market, but after much trial
and error, we decided on the Excalibur
3900 food dehydrator.
In the year since we first began using
our dehydrator, I have expanded my
drying repertoire to include not only
fruits and vegetables, but also herbs
and seeds from our garden. During
winter, we begin incorporating these
preserved ingredients into recipe
development.

Adapting the Classics

Having studied traditional French
cooking, I have a profound respect for
the classics and attempt to integrate new
flavors without overwhelming dishes.
The results have been phenomenal. One
of my favorites is a coq au vin enhanced
with our garden’s dried and ground
poblano chilies (known as ancho once
dried). The chili highlights the fruit
and flavor depth of Jordan Cabernet
Sauvignon. We also prepare our duck à
l’orange with star anise, which coaxes
both fruit and Asian spice from our
Cabernet.
These concentrated flavors also work
well with Jordan Chardonnay. For
a Peruvian tiradito, I combine dried
Korean black garlic with Chinese
preserved black beans in a salsa, which
showcases our Chardonnay’s ability to
stand up to acidity, heat and seasoning.

The Right Tools

We tested three dehydrators before
deciding on the Excalibur 3900 (about
$275). Even drying, a built-in timer, ease
of cleaning and its quality build made
this decision easy. The Excalibur is
light and easy to store; it has nine trays
that provide an ample 15 feet of drying
space. The trays have small holes and
screen inserts, which are helpful when
working with smaller items.
Unlike many other models that circulate
air from the bottom, the Excalibur
evenly circulates air from the back for
improved distribution of heat. It also
has an adjustable thermostat, which
allows for a temperature range from
85 to 145 degrees. Best of all, multiple
foods can be dried at once without
compromising individual flavors.
Once I have dried a food, I will often
grind it into a powder to use as a flavor
enhancer. I accomplish this one of two
ways. The first is to use a food processor
with a sharp blade and then push the
powder through a fine sieve to eliminate
any large pieces. The second simply
requires repurposing a coffee grinder.
I have three small coffee grinders each
with a designated use: one is for chilies,
one for spices and one for peppercorns,
which we grind daily. Both Braun and
Krups make inexpensive and capable
grinders.


http://www.jordanwinery.com/wines/chardonnay http://www.jordanwinery.com/culinary/recipes/66 http://www.amazon.com/Excalibur-3900-Deluxe-Tray-Dehydrator/dp/B001P2J3K0 http://www.amazon.com/Krups-203-42-Electric-Grinder-Stainless-Steel/dp/B00004SPEU/ref=sr_1_1?s=home-garden&ie=UTF8&qid=1330365588&sr=1-1

Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012

Contents
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Cover1
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Contents
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 3
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 4
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 5
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 6
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 7
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 8
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 9
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 10
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 11
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 12
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 13
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 14
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 15
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 16
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Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 18
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 19
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Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 29
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - 30
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Cover3
Jordan Estate Tales - Volume 7, 2012 - Cover4
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