Off the Record Podcast – Eps 3

Don’t overcook it. Eps 3 of Off the Record Podcast shows more in-depth talk of cooking medium and medium-rare foods – this time with salmon – and good wines. It’s salmon challenge week: will Michelle like the “not so done” piece? Scott seasons it with Hi Mountain Salmon Rub. Plus, he shares a lox-style salmon tips for DIYers.

Scott shares his best duck recipes and why when someone says “this doesn’t taste like duck” is NOT a good thing as a Chef. 

Plus, the virtues of Instant Pot are discussed, and why you don’t throw in the towel on your favorite foods just because you got sick from them. 

Another sushi lover is Melissa Bachman, whom we discuss. Find her at http://MelissaBachman.Com 

We were drinking 2017 Windy Oaks Estate Pinot Noir – Henry’s Block. 

Off the Record Podcast – Episode 3 – Transcript

Michelle Scheuermann: Should we tell people exactly why we’re doing a podcast or just let them…

Scott Leysath: Sure.


Michelle Scheuermann: This is good. This is really good.

Scott Leysath: This is good. This is the freak show.

Intro: Good day and welcome to Off the Record. You’ll find us at the intersection of interesting ideas and great pairings. It all tastes good when these two cook it up so let’s listen into The Sporting Chef, Scott Leysath and outdoor industry insider, Michelle Scheuermann, as they talk wild game, wine and anything else that comes to mind. Time to sample and sip our way through the best part of the day as we go Off the Record with The Sporting Chef and Michelle.

Scott Leysath: You know this week on our podcast, this is my salmon challenge and I know this is gonna sound like I’m beating a dead horse here but Michelle likes to over-cook everything. Me, I’m the “don’t overcook it” guy.

Michelle Scheuermann: I would argue with you in the word overcook but, okay.

Scott Leysath: Overcook. Sure, that’s my word for people that cook stuff longer than they should. Let me ask you this, okay, you look in a cookbook and they have a photo of a steak, how is that steak prepared when you look at that photo?

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s probably pink in the middle.

Scott Leysath: Pink.

Michelle Scheuermann: Or red.

Scott Leysath: More red than pink and especially with wild game. If you’re looking at a wild game cookbook, people for years have said, “Man, I can’t believe that you cook it that little. I’ve been the Ducks Unlimited magazine editor for 12, 13 years and what I fought with them a lot in the beginning was, I’d send in photos and they’d go, “Oh no, that’s not cooked enough” and… We’ve kind of come a long way since then.


Scott Leysath: They’ve either gotten used to me or they know I’m not gonna cook the snot out of a piece of duck…

Michelle Scheuermann: And these are duck people.

Scott Leysath: These are duck people but just because you’re duck people doesn’t mean that you don’t overcook your duck. Here’s the recipe that I hear most often for duck. Cut it into little strips, soak it in teriyaki, wrap it in jalapeno, cream cheese and bacon to make duck poppers.

Michelle Scheuermann: And why does everyone turn everything to poppers? Like pheasant poppers and duck poppers…

Scott Leysath: Because they taste good and the reason that they taste good is because it could be anything in there.

Michelle Scheuermann: You put cream cheese in there.

Scott Leysath: Cream cheese, jalapeno, bacon.

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s like sushi.

Scott Leysath: You could stick your finger inside and it would taste exactly the same and for a lot of people, the victory for them is, “Wow, it is so good, it doesn’t even taste like duck.” When if they would just treat their duck properly, they wouldn’t have that problem.

Michelle Scheuermann: Well, it doesn’t taste like duck because you’re biting into a huge piece of jalapeno, bacon.

Scott Leysath: Jalapeno, cream cheese, bacon. Right. And wild game has so little fat, when you add something like bacon to it, it really does make a difference and a lot of game fat, like on an old wild boar, a lot of deer, the deer fat is generally not so good. I’ve had some deer fat that was good but generally, we wanna trim it away and add good fat to it.

Michelle Scheuermann: What do you say to people who add… I think the word is caul fat.

Scott Leysath: Caul fat is alright. Yeah, that’s good if you can get it.

Michelle Scheuermann: Is that stomach fat?

Scott Leysath: Yeah. It’s a lining and it’s good and it’s…

Michelle Scheuermann: Why do you want that versus just adding say pork?

Scott Leysath: Beause it’s cool. Caul fat is trendy.

Michelle Scheuermann: Do you think they’re more important of a chef than other chefs…

Scott Leysath: We’ve come a long…

Michelle Scheuermann: There is certain chef that talks about caul fat all the time.

Scott Leysath: I got it…

Michelle Scheuermann: And it’s just like…

Scott Leysath: I know who that is, yes.

Michelle Scheuermann: I just… I’m like, why don’t I just add pork?


Scott Leysath: Right and it’s gonna have a little bit different flavor and one of the things, for instance, with our waterfowl, if we render the fat off that duck fat, it’s really, really good…

Michelle Scheuermann: You said “render the fat off.”

Scott Leysath: You take ducks or duck parts and you put it fat side down in a skillet. Very, very, very low heat and that’s going to render that fat down, it’s gonna cook the fat out of the duck.

Michelle Scheuermann: And then what?

Scott Leysath: And then you wanna make sure that you crisp that up but you’re gonna take that fat that you’ve rendered out, pour it off and then let it set up and now you have duck fat. Duck fat is a commodity right now.

Michelle Scheuermann: And what do you do with that?

Scott Leysath: You use it to saute, to cook with. You can add it to sausage and unlike some of the other wild game fat, for instance, I know people that save bear fat and they use the bear fat for baking. Now, I don’t do that because I’ve had some pretty rank bear fat and I don’t bake. I’m not a baker person.

Michelle Scheuermann: You don’t use this oven?

Scott Leysath: I use an oven. I just don’t bake stuff.

Michelle Scheuermann: You know what you use an oven for? You know what I noticed you use an oven for…

Scott Leysath: What’s that?

Michelle Scheuermann: Warming shit up.

Scott Leysath: Well, finishing things. I start it on the stove and I finish it in the oven.

Michelle Scheuermann: No one does that.

Scott Leysath: I mean instead of a microwave?

Michelle Scheuermann: No, I mean. I’m just a housewife.

Scott Leysath: Yeah.

Michelle Scheuermann: I come over to your house and you’re serving my husband and I food and you’re putting it in the oven before you serve it to us. [laughter]

Scott Leysath: I don’t get… What’s wrong with that?

Michelle Scheuermann: No one does that.

Scott Leysath: What do they do?

Michelle Scheuermann: They don’t do that. They just plate it and serve it.

Scott Leysath: What I do you see, I only have one oven, right? And like for Phil he goes, “I have to have two ovens because of Thanksgiving.” I have one. I’ve cooked an entire Christmas dinner in my Camp Chef smoke vault, which is just basically a box with a propane unit. I don’t need two ovens but what I do…

Michelle Scheuermann: But you prepare.

Scott Leysath: I do what we do in restaurants. I’m gonna start your dish on top of the stove and then I’m gonna pop it in the oven. I might have started on the range and I’m gonna pop it in the oven and finish it while I’m working on something else.

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah, no one does that.

Scott Leysath: Well, those of us who cook do that.


Scott Leysath: That’s the difference. There are those who cook and then there are those who do heat stuff up.

Michelle Scheuermann: Okay.

Scott Leysath: Do you have an Instant Pot?

Michelle Scheuermann: I do but I don’t really use it that much.

Scott Leysath: How come? Because home cooks are all about Instant Pots. What about sous vide?

Michelle Scheuermann: No, no, no, yeah.

Scott Leysath: Because…

Michelle Scheuermann: That’s another gadget I don’t need. I shouldn’t even have bought the Instant Pot. I’m gonna be honest with you. I bought the biggest Instant Pot there was. It’s an 8-quart Instant Pot. Holy shit. Do not buy an 8-quart Instant Pot.

Scott Leysath: That’s a lot of Instant Pot.

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s huge and I was like, “I’m gonna Instant Pot a whole roast.” No, you’re not gonna Instant Pot a whole roast. [chuckle]

Scott Leysath: And see, I’m not gonna use an Instant Pot for a whole roast. Here’s what I use it for. If I haven’t planned ahead…

Michelle Scheuermann: Do you make yogurt? Do you make yogurt?

Scott Leysath: I don’t make yogurt.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh okay.

Scott Leysath: Why would you wanna make yogurt?

Michelle Scheuermann: I don’t know.

Scott Leysath: Is your yogurt better than the stuff I buy in the store?

Michelle Scheuermann: Highly doubt it.

Scott Leysath: Right. So what I use an Instant Pot for, for instance, if I get home and it’s late and I haven’t thought about dinner and I go, “Oh crap, I’ve got a three-pound chunk of frozen chicken.” I’ll throw it into the Instant Pot and in 30 minutes, I have shredded chicken and I’ll make a shredded chicken salad or tacos or something like that.

Michelle Scheuermann: Is it really 30 minutes or is it more or like 45 with the Instant Pot?

Scott Leysath: 30 minutes frozen chicken. I’m telling you. Just put a little liquid in there…

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s just like 15 minutes of getting warm and then 15 minutes…

Scott Leysath: I don’t get too technical with it and I don’t use it as a general rule. It’s good for making stuff in a hurry.

Michelle Scheuermann: Because I tried to get you to do an Instant Pot TV show for The Sporting Chef and I believe I was pooh-poohed on that. I believe pooh-poohed was the word…

Scott Leysath: I think… I thought I used Instant Pot for some time.

Michelle Scheuermann: That you and your executive producers used. [chuckle]

Scott Leysath: I didn’t know I had executive producers, I do?

Michelle Scheuermann: You do and you have two of them, I think.

Scott Leysath: Alright. So what we’re gonna try today, for the wine part of it…

Michelle Scheuermann: We got a little off topic. [chuckle]

Scott Leysath: For the wine part of it, we have a Windy Oaks 2017 Santa Cruz Mountains Pinot. I found these guys so we’ve got really close friends that have a place in La Selva Beach, South of Santa Cruz. Around the mountains around Santa Cruz, California, there are some great wineries tucked back in a lot of… And we’re finding new wineries there all the time and we’ve been going to this place for a long time. Are you a Pinot fan?

Michelle Scheuermann: I would say, I’m not a Pinot fan.

Scott Leysath: Right. I would assume that because you like a bitter red but the Pinots have their place. I’m gonna… And kinda the big thing here is not necessarily the Pinot but I’ve cooked some salmon that my son caught in Sitka, Alaska with the Talon Lodge group this last summer.

Michelle Scheuermann: Which looks amazing, by the way.

Scott Leysath: And I’ve seasoned it with the Hi Mountain salmon rub, which is one of my favorites. It’s very citrusy. It has kind of orange, lemon, herb.

Michelle Scheuermann: I’ve seen Susie Jimenez use it on everything.

Scott Leysath: She does use it on everything.

Michelle Scheuermann: She just loves that. [chuckle]

Scott Leysath: She does. So of the Hi Mountain blends, probably the salmon rub is the one that I use most often. Certainly, for fish.

Michelle Scheuermann: So it’s the most versatile?

Scott Leysath: For fish, upland game, pork. I haven’t used it on meat yet, on beef because they have so many other flavors for that but one of these pieces of salmon is cooked more than the other and…

Michelle Scheuermann: I don’t know which one.

Scott Leysath: Well, I think it’ll be pretty obvious but one’s gonna be drier than the other, one’s gonna taste more like canned salmon and the other one’s not.

Michelle Scheuermann: Okay.

Scott Leysath: So I know that before you have… I’ve told you I like my salmon to be a little…

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s a good Pinot.

Scott Leysath: Undercooked in the center.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh yes, there it is.

Scott Leysath: So there’s that. Does that scare you a little bit?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yup.

Scott Leysath: Here is one that you might like better.

Michelle Scheuermann: I like that one, yeah.

Scott Leysath: Okay but you have to try that. That’s part of the deal.

Michelle Scheuermann: But look how this just falls apart. Look at this thing.

Scott Leysath: Yeah, I know that’s wrong.

Michelle Scheuermann: You don’t want it to just be flaky like this?

Scott Leysath: No. That’s dry and a little overcooked for me.

Michelle Scheuermann: It tastes really good.

Scott Leysath: Alright, try the other one, see if tastes any different.

Michelle Scheuermann: Okay so I’m cutting into this one and it’s very moist. It’s very, very moist.

Scott Leysath: Right, that’s horrible.

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s a texture thing again, just like our past episode, we had the elk burger.

Scott Leysath: Right but less cooked. To me, there’s a distinct difference between the two. See how when you pushed down on it, see the moisture that comes out?

Michelle Scheuermann: I know, I know it’s just coming right out of it.

Scott Leysath: Right and then when you push down on that, it’s not moist.

Michelle Scheuermann: So would you say that the less cooked one is medium for salmon?

Scott Leysath: Yeah. It’s not quite medium rare. I would actually, for me, I would cook it less than that. I like it almost rare at the very, very center, like about a quarter inch in the center.

Michelle Scheuermann: I like the crispy skin that the more well done one has.

Scott Leysath: Okay but you can crisp up the skin just by heating it up more. You heat up your skillet, you put a little oil in there, you can get dark on the outside and still have it nice and juicy on the inside but for a lot of people, if they see salmon that’s not quite cooked all the way through, it freaks them out.

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s scary, it’s scary.

Scott Leysath: But it shouldn’t be. What about lox-style salmon, cured salmon, do you eat that?

Michelle Scheuermann: No. I’m from South Dakota. Holy shit, no.


Scott Leysath: So nobody in South Dakota eats that, unless they’re from California?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah.

Scott Leysath: Unless they’ve moved?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah. I was given a smoked salmon as a gift for Christmas from my family in Seattle and I gave it away. I do apologize for this. [chuckle]

Scott Leysath: Did you give it away without even trying it? Because you said, “I don’t eat this.” Because you have that middle America attitude instead of saying, “You know, why don’t we give this a try and maybe we’ll like it?” Which one of those were you? Aha. So you didn’t even try it, right?

Michelle Scheuermann: We didn’t really have room in our suitcase for it.

Scott Leysath: So if somebody says, “All I drink is White Zinfandel. All I drink is Moscato.” What do you think… What do you say to them?

Michelle Scheuermann: That you’re just not allowing yourself to experience the flavors of the world.

Scott Leysath: And why is that any different than me saying, “Why don’t you try a little lox-style cured salmon as opposed to the salmon out of the can?”

Michelle Scheuermann: You know, I consider myself a very adventurous person.

Scott Leysath: I don’t.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh my god!

Scott Leysath: But your food is not adventurous.

Michelle Scheuermann: Okay, compared to Wayne, I’m very adventurous when it comes to food.

Scott Leysath: But see…


Scott Leysath: Nobody knows Wayne.

Michelle Scheuermann: No, no one knows my husband. This is true. He likes it that way.

Scott Leysath: And Wayne, how does he like his meat cut?

Michelle Scheuermann: He was like me. He grew up in Wisconsin, we grew up in the Midwest. So he was like me, very well done but he has since… He’s a big sushi eater, he’ll eat raw fish but serve him these two pieces of salmon, he would ask, he would want them more well done.

Scott Leysath: Would he try the other one? To see…

Michelle Scheuermann: We could call him and ask.

Scott Leysath: I’m getting a… You’re just shutting it down. You don’t wanna try it. You claim to have an open mind and be adventurous and all that and yet the salmon…

Michelle Scheuermann: Am I being a hypocrite?

Scott Leysath: Well but you’re going back for the dry again.

Michelle Scheuermann: Well, I’ve been eating most of the other stuff, I just…

Scott Leysath: See the dry I would use, I would mix with cream cheese, capers…

Michelle Scheuermann: Mayonnaise…

Scott Leysath: Red onion and make a spread out of it.

Michelle Scheuermann: It is really dry, you’ve made it too much dry.

Scott Leysath: I didn’t.


Scott Leysath: I bet you, if you had that served to you in a restaurant, you’d go “Oh good, this is perfect.”

Michelle Scheuermann: Well, they probably serve a cream cheese and caper sauce that you can dip in. [laughter]

Scott Leysath: No but if you go and you order a salmon, you don’t say, “I’d like that a little less cooked.” Right?

Michelle Scheuermann: I don’t, no.

Scott Leysath: No.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh usually you make it to chef’s choice.

Scott Leysath: A lot of times they don’t ask me about temps on salmon.

Michelle Scheuermann: No.

Scott Leysath: They just order. It’s not like tuna where they say, “Is it okay if it’s on the rare side?”

Michelle Scheuermann: Do you offend a chef when you say stuff like that about fish?

Scott Leysath: You don’t offend me. If you’re paying for it, it’s your money and really how somebody else orders their fish or steak or whatever, I find it amusing but I don’t… I’m not judgmental about it.

Michelle Scheuermann: Sure, sure, sure.

Scott Leysath: I would like them to try it. Right? Just like you tried that but instead of trying that cured salmon, the smoked salmon, the lox style, you gave it away. Right? Now Wayne could have taken that, if Wayne’s gonna eat a sashimi, he could certainly eat the lox style salmon but you gave it away because you didn’t…

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s really hard to find good smoked salmon though.

Scott Leysath: It isn’t.

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah it is.

Scott Leysath: If you got it from somebody in Seattle, they know their salmon and it’s really easy to make. If you wanna make cured lox style salmon, it takes three days, kosher salt and brown sugar. So all you need to do, you take a side of salmon, you take equal parts, kosher salt, brown sugar and you can add fresh herbs and whatever it… Lemon zest and that kind of stuff in there too.

Michelle Scheuermann: And where do you put it?

Scott Leysath: You put it into a pan, a non-reactive type pan. I have a glass dish that I put it in. You put a layer of the salt sugar on the bottom, you put your salmon fillet on top, put another layer of the salt sugar on top and then I’ll cut a piece of cardboard out, wrap it in plastic wrap, put that on top of it and then put bricks on top of that.

Michelle Scheuermann: Why do you do that?

Scott Leysath: The bricks are going to help… Bricks and the salt are gonna get the liquid out. It’s gonna leech the liquid out. So a couple of times a day, you can… Some people pour the liquid back onto the salmon, I pour the liquid out and you do that for three days and you have cured salmon.

Michelle Scheuermann: You put it in the refrigerator?

Scott Leysath: Yeah, it’s got to go in the fridge.

Michelle Scheuermann: Okay.

Scott Leysath: And in three days you’re gonna have cured lox style salmon and instead of paying a ridiculous amount of money. I mean it’s $20, $30 a pound if you buy it.

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s expensive. It’s expensive.

Scott Leysath: Right but if you make it yourself… Oh, you’re going for the good stuff, huh.

Michelle Scheuermann: I am, I put some lime juice on it. Yeah.

Scott Leysath: So in three days or so, you just keep pouring it off, flip it over every time, twice a day, you now have your own lox style salmon and if you wanna put some dill and lemon and that kind of thing on top, you can do that.

Michelle Scheuermann: So is what they’re doing, because there’s a lot of people out in Seattle who have little pop-up tents off the side of the road that are selling this…

Scott Leysath: Right, a lot of that is hot-smoked salmon so it’s just… You’re using a high temperature, whereas the other cured is no heat whatsoever, you can also cold-smoke but smoke has to be below 90 degrees so it’s kind of your smoke source is several feet away from where your salmon is being cold-smoked. So it’s not being done by temperature, it’s being done by smoke but… Isn’t that better? I can tell when you put your fork into the lesser-cooked salmon, at first you’re going, oh look, it’s perfect, it’s flaking just like it does in the can as opposed to that more tender salmon… Moist, tender…

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh, it’s definitely the texture, it’s definitely the texture. I think.

Scott Leysath: Right but you keep going back for it, which I’m gonna call that a victory. Alright, what do you think of the wine?

Michelle Scheuermann: Appearance-wise, a pinot definitely looks more, “watery.”

Scott Leysath: Right.

Michelle Scheuermann: But it doesn’t mean anything. Just… We just so… I’m just so happy that I have still some of that 2016 Michael David… What’s it called, Politically Correct.

Scott Leysath: Yes.

Michelle Scheuermann: Next to it so… Which is very much a darker wine but yeah, it’s…

Scott Leysath: And pinots have their place. I mean pinots are all over the board too as far as fruitiness. You know, to me, a good pinot has some… It’s not just a lighter style of wine. It has to have some character also.

Michelle Scheuermann: I know some people who only drink pinot.

Scott Leysath: I do too. Chris Morris, our good friend, she’s a pinot drinker.

Michelle Scheuermann: Is that right?

Scott Leysath: And she also won’t drink wine unless it has a stem on it.

Michelle Scheuermann: What?

Scott Leysath: A stem on the glass.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh.

Scott Leysath: And I’ll drink wine out of a styrofoam cup if that’s all is available. I mean I’m not opposed to tugging off the bottle too if I have to.

Michelle Scheuermann: So is this a 2017? Henry’s Block.

Scott Leysath: 2017 Windy Oaks, Santa Cruz Pinot, Henry’s Block, yes.

Michelle Scheuermann: Okay, this is actually a very expensive wine.

Scott Leysath: How much?

Michelle Scheuermann: 58 dollars.

Scott Leysath: Had I known that, I might not have opened it.


Michelle Scheuermann: Yes, this is a one-acre block in the oldest part of the original three-acre estate vineyard with legendary Wadenswil 2A Clone available only through the wine group and/or at the tasting room.

Scott Leysath: Well, that’s where I got it.

Michelle Scheuermann: So it’s $58 but members pay $46. Are you a member?

Scott Leysath: Not a member. I’m not a member.

Michelle Scheuermann: So yeah, this is… I mean, it’s good.

Scott Leysath: Well, for that price, I guess we should…

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s good. It’s some good wine.

Scott Leysath: I guess we should finish it.

Michelle Scheuermann: And we need to probably finish this bottle. So [chuckle] the rest of them were kinda just… [chuckle]

Scott Leysath: Alright, I need a final, final… I need your take on…

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh boy.

Scott Leysath: More cooked salmon versus less cooked salmon.

Michelle Scheuermann: I don’t want to give you any points. [laughter]

Scott Leysath: Don’t worry. I’ll never come back and say anything again.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh, sure, sure, sure. [laughter]

Scott Leysath: Right.

Michelle Scheuermann: I do enjoy the less cooked salmon more than the more cooked salmon. Yeah.

Scott Leysath: So for the folks at home that have traditionally said, “Oh no, this isn’t cooked all the way.” What do you wanna tell them? Anything you wanna, maybe… What’s the worst that could happen? If you’re in a restaurant and you say it’s not quite…

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s like meat. It’s like meat, right? Like you said, if they sear the top and the bottom, whatever, they sear and they… What is it? They can’t get to the middle…

Scott Leysath: Right.

Michelle Scheuermann: So what’s gonna happen with that raw meat in the middle?

Scott Leysath: Well, there’s nothing…

Michelle Scheuermann: Or that lesser cooked meat in the middle, I should say?

Scott Leysath: Are we talking about meat or fish?

Michelle Scheuermann: Both.

Scott Leysath: Nothing bad is gonna happen. If you’re worried about some kind of… What I hear people say all the time is, “What about all those diseases?” And I’ll go, “Like? Mad salmon disease?”

Michelle Scheuermann: Well, I think they’re just concerned about mishandling again, right?

Scott Leysath: What about sashimi?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah, that’s why I don’t eat sashimi.

Scott Leysath: I know but Wayne does and nothing bad’s happened to him, right?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah.

Scott Leysath: And my favorite food, this won’t surprise you, is raw oysters. Now, I’ve even had a few bad raw oysters that stayed with me for a couple of days.

Michelle Scheuermann: When you say “bad”, what…

Scott Leysath: I meant, I’ve had to spend a few days really, really close to the bathroom.


Michelle Scheuermann: What happened?

Scott Leysath: I was in New Orleans a couple of years ago and had a bunch of oysters and I’m guessing it was an oyster, because I went to South Padre in Texas after that.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh, my God.

Scott Leysath: I rented a house… Because I had a few days to rest in between jobs so I go, “I’m gonna go rent this house in South Padre and just kinda relax a little bit because I don’t have to be anywhere for a few days.”

Michelle Scheuermann: Were you in a house or a houseboat?

Scott Leysath: A house.

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh, okay.

Scott Leysath: And I ended up…

Michelle Scheuermann: In the bathroom?

Scott Leysath: Spending three days in the bathroom, unable to get very far. I had a little gastrointestinal thing. However, that won’t stop me from eating another four dozen oysters tomorrow.

Michelle Scheuermann: [chuckle] Oh my God. I don’t know, I don’t know. It might stop a lot of people.


Scott Leysath: I know but my love of oysters exceeds my fear…

Michelle Scheuermann: Three days on the toilet?

Scott Leysath: You kinda put those three days on the toilet behind you and I tend to eat oysters more in places where they’re more affordable.

Michelle Scheuermann: You know who eats a lot of gas station sushi?

Scott Leysath: Who?

Michelle Scheuermann: My friend Melissa Bachman.

Scott Leysath: She eats gas station sushi?

Michelle Scheuermann: Oh, she loves gas… She’ll eat it at the airport, she’ll eat it at the gas station. She loves her sushi. So on a couple of podcasts ago, I mentioned Sushi Kaya in Las Vegas.

Scott Leysath: Right.

Michelle Scheuermann: Who do you think I was eating with at Sushi Kaya in Las Vegas?

Scott Leysath: That would be one of the many times you had to eat there, yeah. Right.

Michelle Scheuermann: With Melissa and she has gotten sick from gas station sushi.

Scott Leysath: Right.

Michelle Scheuermann: Or airport sushi, whichever. I call it the same. Do you think that has stopped her?

Scott Leysath: No.

Michelle Scheuermann: No.

Scott Leysath: That’s because Melissa’s one of us.

Michelle Scheuermann: One of you.

Scott Leysath: She’s one of me, right. Right and for people that don’t know who Melissa Bachman is, you need to check her out. She has Winchester Deadly Passion on Sportsman Channel.

Michelle Scheuermann: Yes. Same network.

Scott Leysath: Same network. She’s one of my favorite people. She, off and on, has been on The Sporting Chef show.

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah.

Scott Leysath: She’s one of my favorite people. When we do consumer shows where we’re out there meeting the public and people who watch the shows, Melissa is the one that doesn’t wait for people to come to her. She walks out there, talks to kids, “How are you guys doing?” She is exactly the same person you see on TV…

Michelle Scheuermann: That’s true.

Scott Leysath: Which is not necessarily true of most of the people you see on TV and I won’t really go too deep on that but…


Michelle Scheuermann: This is only Off the Record so far. [chuckle]

Scott Leysath: But you can… You can tell who’s more real and who’s just… What happens on TV with a lot of people that I see is that they have a TV persona that they think is what people wanna see on TV. It’s people’s expectations. You keep eating all that lesser cooked salmon, I’m telling you, this is a real… I’m feeling pretty good about myself right now.

Michelle Scheuermann: Well, it’s 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

Scott Leysath: And you’re on… And we’re on our 12th bottle of wine already but no…

Michelle Scheuermann: I’m just trying to make sure there’s something in my stomach.

Scott Leysath: Uh-huh. No, Melissa is one of my favorite people and you need to check her out.

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah.

Scott Leysath: And you do her social media and stuff too?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah, I do. I help her out with her Instagram and social media, with marketing and publicity and all that jazz too. Yeah but she’s real… She’s very easy to work with obviously so…

Scott Leysath: Alright so let’s wrap this mess up. We had a Pinot. I’m liking the Pinot.

Michelle Scheuermann: Very nice expensive bottle of wine.

Scott Leysath: Do you like it more now that you know what it costs?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yes. [laughter]

Scott Leysath: You do, right?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yes.

Scott Leysath: Right? Isn’t that… What does that tell you?

Michelle Scheuermann: Isn’t that something? Well, you’re the one with a psychology degree, you tell me.

Scott Leysath: Yeah, that means nothing but the path of least resistance to get a liberal arts degree. I’ll tell you what though, I will buy wines based on their label, which is not something you should do. I don’t really recommend it but it is kinda fun to do if you’re looking for a new bottle of wine, you’re like, “I’ll just pick it by its label.”

Scott Leysath: Do you go to Wine Spectator or any of those…

Michelle Scheuermann: No.

Scott Leysath: And see how they rate? Why not?

Michelle Scheuermann: Wayne does but I don’t.

Scott Leysath: Why not? Are you suspicious?

Michelle Scheuermann: Yes.

Scott Leysath: Right. I am. I mean, I think anybody can be bought now and maybe I’m wrong.

Michelle Scheuermann: It’s shenanigans, I think. Do I think the gentleman, Peter, whatever his name is, that started that, do I think he has a wonderful palette? Yes, I think he has an exceptional palette. I think he can tell a lot of things that I cannot tell but I also don’t really believe that drinking a 95 point bottle of wine is gonna make my life any better than an 88 point bottle of wine, which I know is very… It’s different.

Scott Leysath: It’s subjective, right?

Michelle Scheuermann: I get it. Yeah so…

Scott Leysath: And by the way, one of the tips that I give people that are cooking fish is to keep your fish dry. For instance, this salmon, when I took it out of the FoodSaver bag, it was wet, really wet.

Michelle Scheuermann: So you patted it down with paper towel.

Scott Leysath: So I wrapped it in two-ply towels and squeezed it and as those two-ply paper towels absorbed the liquid that was in that salmon, I re-wrapped it again and the reason I use a two-ply good paper towel, if you use a cheap paper towel, it’s gonna be like toilet paper. It’s gonna get stuck to it, it’s not gonna absorb it. You wanna wick as much of that moisture out of the fish as you can. That way…

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah.

Scott Leysath: When you put it into a skillet and you’ve got some butter and white wine and lemon and all that, it’s absorbed by the fish. If you keep your fish wrapped in paper towels as opposed to sitting in a Ziploc bag full of pink funky fish juices, it’s gonna taste better and you’re not gonna compete with all this funky fish juice when you add flavor to the pan. So biggest, biggest, biggest tip I can give you on your fish, it’ll last longer, it’ll taste better if you keep it dry before you cook it.

Michelle Scheuermann: And use good quality materials. I have heard you talk before about heavy duty tin foil instead of buying the cheap crap.

Scott Leysath: Standard tin foil, standard aluminum foil should be illegal. Because all it does is rip and tear and you’re not saving any money because you’re gonna have to double it up anyway. I always buy heavy-duty foil.

Michelle Scheuermann: I think as a cook, you can’t be too cheap in the kitchen.

Scott Leysath: And I mean, how much… If you go to a restaurant supply place and buy a big thing of heavy-duty foil, it’s gonna set you back about $25. You can get it at any of the big box stores, they’ll have it there too at the Costco or Sam’s and it’ll last forever and ever, ever. You put it somewhere where it’s accessible. I use foil all the time whether it’s…

Michelle Scheuermann: That’s probably one of the biggest tips I got from you is about aluminum foil which I know is…

Scott Leysath: Quit buying that cheap shitty aluminum foil.

Michelle Scheuermann: Which is insane, I know and the same things with the paper towels. I buy nice paper towels. I buy nice toilet paper too, just in case every once in a while…

Scott Leysath: I don’t think I gave you a toilet paper tip but sure that’s…

Michelle Scheuermann: Right. I mean, you know…

Scott Leysath: You found that out on your own.


Michelle Scheuermann: I discovered that on my own.

Scott Leysath: Alright. I’m gonna leave it up to you. Wrap this mess up.

Michelle Scheuermann: You know, the last tip I’ll give you is from Susie Jimenez. She gave a tip about grating. It’s not… The word is not grating but seasoning with a lemon or a lime and using your thin grater…

Scott Leysath: With a microplane.

Michelle Scheuermann: microplane grater. Thank you so much and she said, “Don’t get it down to the pith.”

Scott Leysath: Right. It gets bitter.

Michelle Scheuermann: Right and I was grating that thing down to the skin. I mean, I was grating it right down there and she’s like, “Don’t see the white.” So you’re like, grate… Really, you have to grate, grate, turn, grate, grate, turn. Grate. I mean, you have to be very quick about it. It was one of the biggest tips I got from her, which was on The Sporting Chef show which airs on Sportsman Channel. Check it out but Susie is a sweetheart and I’m glad that you have her on your show.

Scott Leysath: Wouldn’t do it without her and again, if you put on your fish, just before you serve it, take your microplane and do what Susie does and put a little zest on there or give it a big squeeze of lemon or lime and it’s like a natural MSG, livens up the flavors, makes the flavors come alive right before you serve it… The meal.

Michelle Scheuermann: Yeah. Alright, well, thank you, Scott, who knows what the hell is gonna happen in the next couple of podcasts so I hope everyone stays with us.

Scott Leysath: We’ll keep drinking.

Michelle Scheuermann: Till next time.

Outro: Well, time sure flies when you’re loading up on good food, good wine and great conversation. Find more Scott Leysath at, where you can also nab a free wild game e-book and sign up for his two times a month newsletter, track him on social media and see how to watch The Sporting Chef airing on Sportsman Channel and Dead Meat on Sportsman Channel and MyOutdoorTV.

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