Have you ever waited six hours for pizza dough to rise, only to have the pizza burn in the oven while the crust remains stubbornly uncooked? This week on MDRN KTCHN, Scott Heimendinger, our Director of Applied Research, and CHOW.com bring you tips for saving time and circumventing just such disasters. Scott explains one of our favorite tricks: baking on a steel sheet. He also shares his own recipe for pizza dough using an encapsulated leavening agent. In Modernist Cuisine at Home, we include many recipes for pizza dough, sauces, and ideas for toppings. With all the different combinations, you could eat pizza for a month and never eat the same thing twice!
A few Modernist tricks can heighten any Halloween treat. In the video above, Modernist Cuisine at Home coauthor Maxime Bilet demonstrates one of our favorite chocolate-related techniques for CHOW.com: adding Pop Rocks. Pop Rocks, or, generically, pastry rocks, add crisp and crunch to your favorite chocolate. You can buy pastry rocks on Chef Rubber or Pop Rocks on Amazon. We’ve found some combinations of Pop Rocks flavors work better than others, but pastry rocks are neutral in flavor. For the full recipe, click here.
In the video below, Developmental Chef Johnny Zhu enlists help from his son, Jerry, to make gummy worms in fake dirt. The recipe utilizes fishing-lure molds, which create very realistic gummy worms. For an extra-spooky twist, you can substitute tonic water, which will cause the worms to glow under a black light due to the presence of quinine. For the full gummy worm recipe, visit the recipe page in our library.
It has been an exciting two weeks since the debut of Modernist Cuisine at Home. We have been happily overwhelmed with the photos and first reactions that readers have shared on eGullet, Twitter, Facebook, and our own site. Whether you are a proud new owner of the book or interested in learning more about it, we want you to know that we’re here to help.
The fundamental idea behind Modernist Cuisine at Home is the same as that in Modernist Cuisine : The Art and Science of Cooking, we believe that to achieve the best tasting food, it really helps to understand what happens to food as it cooks and what kitchen equipment provides the most precise results. In the book, we walk you through a wide range of modern equipment, ingredients, and techniques. You’ll find over 400 recipes, including all-new approaches to culinary standards, such as crispy Korean-style chicken wings and microwaved beef jerky. You’ll also find in the new book a few of the greatest hits from Modernist Cuisine that we adapted to be simpler for home cooks. If you haven’t yet tried our caramelized carrot soup or pistachio gelato recipes, you’re in for a treat. Every recipe in the book passed our stringent taste tests.
Once you start cooking, be sure to come back to modernistcuisine.com to share your results, get tips, and post any questions you have to our forum in the Cooks portion of the site. You can see modernist techniques in action on our MDRN KTCHN video series on CHOW.com. Our blog and e-mail newsletters will address common challenges and provide peeks behind the scenes in our cooking lab. We’ll also inspire you on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
We hope our books continue to bring the benefits of modern cooking into more homes and restaurants all over the world. Even though Modernist Cuisine at Home has only been on sale for two weeks, it is already in more than 8,000 kitchens, so the word is clearly spreading about the delicious results you can get from Modernist cooking. In fact, with more than a quarter of our print run sold, we are starting to wonder whether we underestimated how many others share our passion. We hope, but cannot promise, the book will be available through the holidays. What do you think?
In the third installment of MDRN KTCHN, our very own Scott Heimendinger and CHOW.com team up to bring you a video all about pressure cooking. Discover how it works, when it was invented, and how baking soda caramelizes root vegetables in 20 minutes.
In case you couldn’t make it in person or stream it live last Saturday, here’s your chance to watch Nathan’s New York Times Talk with Jeff Gordinier. In the video above, Nathan tells Jeff about his favorite way to decant wine, when a chef’s own two hands are the best kitchen tools, how syringes are essential to roasting the best chicken, and more. Nathan also does a mean duck-in-a-feeding-frenzy impression!
Take a tour through The Cooking Lab with Bloomberg Pursuits, tonight at 9 p.m. (EDT). Nathan Myhrvold will be taking Pursuit’s host Trish Regan through cryofrying steak with liquid nitrogen, making fries with an ultrasonic machine, centrifuging peas to separate them into three layers, and more! Watch the video above for a sneak peek.
Tune in to the Bloomberg Channel (check your cable provider for listings), or watch it live here.
All week the kitchen team has been taking turns describing their favorite recipes from our new book, Modernist Cuisine at Home. But for me, picking a favorite recipe is like picking a favorite child. I love them all.
So instead, I’ll introduce Larissa Zhou, our newest addition to the team, and our first professional food scientist. Larissa joined us after the new book went to press, so her opinion is a little bit different than everyone else’s. Instead of testing the recipes inside the Cooking Lab, she took her new copy home and started making recipes there. Here’s what she has to say:
“The pie crust would be a great addition to anyone’s kitchen repertoire. I recently moved and made this pie crust in my bare-bones kitchen. I baked it with blackberries picked just along the running trails here in Seattle and took it to a potluck. It was the first to go. The right amount of almond flour and butter make the crust incredibly flaky and irresistible.”
I have to say, the pie crust is pretty damn good.
All week we’ve been telling you about our chefs’ favorite recipes from Modernist Cuisine at Home! Visit our blog for more photos, stories, and tips.
My favorite dish from Modernist Cuisine at Home is Roast Chicken. Like many people, I grew up eating roast chicken a lot, but having Modernist Cuisine at Home‘s roast chicken is like eating it for the first time. It’s injection-brined and then brushed with soy sauce, which might not be traditional, but these steps act as drying and browning agents for the skin. The result is a chicken that is perfectly moist on the inside and crispy on the outside.
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