the cut on tuesdays

How to Ruin a Dinner Party

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The Cut on Tuesdays

A weekly podcast from the Cut and Gimlet Media, with host Molly Fischer.

Maddie Aggeler’s Over Easy is “a weekly food column by a 20-something woman who can barely cook an egg and just wants to learn how to throw together an elegant three-course meal for her friends.” And in this episode, Maddie attempts to do just that. But The Cut on Tuesdays gave her some professional help: Samin NosratAngela Dimayuga, and Carla Lalli Music. They arrived when Maddie was already deep in her day of cooking:

SAMIN: I mean, I see a lot of good things happening—

MADDIE: Things are happening; that’s a great way to put it.

SAMIN: But I also see a lot of bad things happening. 

If you’ve watched her Netflix series Salt Fat Acid Heat, you probably think of Samin Nosrat as a warm, encouraging, enthusiastic presence in the kitchen — and she is all those things. But she is also honest. Entering the kitchen, her eye was immediately drawn to a tray of raw onions and cauliflower — salted, oiled, mixed together, and waiting on a baking sheet.

SAMIN: Also have you already salted it?


SAMIN: That’s a problem.

MADDIE: [Gasp]


SAMIN: How long has it been sitting here? An hour? Oh God … It’s going to be fine; it’s gonna be fine. First of all, there’s way too much stuff on this, if you want it to brown. Secondly, when you salt something like big watery cells like an onion, it pulls the water out — and so you’ve created perfect steaming conditions. And then you also did my No. 1 cardinal rule-breaking, which is to combine two things of completely different qualities on the same pan … so it’s just going to turn into soup.

Listen to this week’s show to find out what happened to Maddie’s vegetables — and get more dinner party advice from Samin, Angela, and Carla. Click above to hear the episode, and subscribe wherever you listen.

How to Ruin a Dinner Party