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February 17, 2016

Soup and a Side of General Relativity

As a chef, Nathan’s passion for creating new dishes is twofold—he creates dishes and the dishes they’re served on. When thinking about a new bowl to create for a 2014 dinner, he found inspiration from a source not often associated with food: the general theory of relativity. The vessel, which is designed to hold two […]

December 17, 2015

Good Eating in An Exoskeleton

The winter holidays are often celebrated with glorious roasts. But there’s another staple of Christmas and New Year’s fare: crustaceans. From country to country and coast to coast, it’s all about seafood. In Australia, barbecued or steamed prawns (referred to as shrimp in the US), Australian crayfish, and marron take center stage on the table […]

November 24, 2015

Why is the Turkey Still Pink?

You’ve covered your bases— the turkey was in the oven with a digital probe, or separated into white and dark meat, and then cooked to the perfect internal temperature. But when you begin carving your bird, you notice the devastating color that is sure to break the hearts of hunger-mad guests moments before Thanksgiving dinner […]

January 8, 2015

Keeping it Fresh: Make Your Juice Last Longer

Jack LaLanne was the world’s first fitness superhero, the “godfather of fitness.” He also really loved juice. The Jack LaLanne Juicer turned juicing into a mainstream practice and juicers into common kitchen equipment. Research studies have yet to validate claims that juicing is more beneficial than eating whole fruits and vegetables, with some studies suggesting […]

November 19, 2014

Building a Better Turkey

When it comes to turkey, there are many different theories about the best way to prepare a bird. The topic can get downright philosophical with every side presenting evidence on behalf of a particular technique, leaving you to exit the fray with over a dozen methods, each one somehow better than the last. While some methods yield far […]

July 3, 2014

Cooking with Syllables: Carrageenan

What is Carrageenan? History From eggnog and soy milk to infant formulas and toothpaste, carrageenan is found everywhere. The word carrageenan may sound foreign and vaguely exotic, but it’s simply a generic term for a type of sugar extracted from various species of red seaweed. In Modernist cooking, it’s classified as an emulsifier, stabilizer, hydrocolloid […]

May 30, 2013

Making your grill (or broiler) shine this summer

BY W. WAYT GIBBS Associated Press Compared to other basic cooking techniques, grilling is hard: the temperatures are high, timing is crucial and slight differences in the thickness or wetness of the food can dramatically affect how quickly it cooks. Bad design choices by equipment makers—kettle-shaped grills with black interiors, for example—make it harder still. […]

March 20, 2013

The Maillard Reaction

One of the most important flavor-producing reactions in cooking is the Maillard reaction. It is sometimes called the “browning reaction” in discussions of cooking, but that description is incomplete at best. Cooked meats, seafood, and other protein-laden foods that undergo the Maillard reaction do turn brown, but there are other reactions that also cause browning. […]

March 12, 2013

Is It Safe to Cook with Plastic?

Since writing Modernist Cuisine and Modernist Cuisine at Home, we’ve been asked many times to comment on the safety of cooking in plastic bags. Many of our sous vide recipes, from our Sous Vide Salmon and Rare Beef Jus to our Cranberry Consommé and Scrambled Egg Foam, require vacuum-sealing or using a zip-top bag. Similarly, […]

March 1, 2013

What Is Xanthan Gum?

Some people are suspicious of ingredients with unfamiliar names, such as xanthan gum. We are frequently asked, “Aren’t your dishes chock-full of chemicals?” Well, yes, but all foods are, including the most natural and organic ones. But nearly all of those chemicals are derived from natural ingredients or processes that have been used for decades. […]

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