Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage of Mythbusters sent their friend Will Smith (no, not THAT Will Smith) to Maxime’s presentation at the Exploratorium last week. Watch the interview above, and check tested.com next week, when, insiders say, they’ll put hyperdecantation to the test!
Last week during his presentation at Book Larder in Seattle, coauthor Maxime Bilet demonstrated one of the easiest techniques found in Modernist Cuisine: hyperdecantation. By pouring red wine in a blender, you cause it to froth, thereby allowing it to oxidize better and far more quickly. Watch the video, and try it yourself. It might just make your Valentine’s Day dinner that much smoother.
Take a shortcut this Chinese New Year by creating a gourmet steamed fish in your microwave! This recipe, found in Modernist Cuisine and now in our Recipe Library as well, was inspired by the mother of one of our staff chefs, Johnny Zhu. It mimics a traditional Chinese-style steamed fish but is ready in minutes. Once you taste it, you probably won’t even notice the difference! Find the recipe, video, photos, and tips here.
Move over milk and cookies, we’ll be leaving our Popping Buckeyes and Eggnog Foam Cocktails out for Santa this year. If, that is, we don’t devour them ourselves! We give our buckeyes a kick with pastry rocks (similar to Pop Rocks candy) and literally whip up some infused cream and eggs to top off tea and coffee for our Modernist take on eggnog.
In this video Nathan and Max break down the components of the ultimate burger. As Nathan says, “Maybe you don’t have it every day–maybe you never have it–but it’s still kind of cool to know what the ultimate burger is.” While we agree that just knowing about the ultimate burger can be incredible, judging by how our mouths are watering now, maybe we actually could eat this burger every day! How about you?
For more on the components that go into this cheeseburger, check out the interactive feature that The Wall Street Journal put together about it.
A special helper came to The Cooking Lab recently to help us prepare for Halloween. Find him guest-starring in our newest recipe video as he helps his dad, one of our culinary research assistants, Johnny Zhu, make olive oil gummy worms and “dirt.” We also have the recipe, along with photos and tips.
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While most people in both New York and Seattle were still asleep, Nathan, Max, Johnny, Anjana, and Shelby were at the Today Show studio getting ready for a live segment on Modernist Cuisine. The team prepped for three live demos: striped mushroom omelet, pistachio ice cream, and centrifuged pea butter on toast.
The segment aired live at around 8:45 this morning and lasted a little more than four minutes (which felt like a lifetime in the studio). Nathan did his best to fit it all in, which — as you can see for yourself below — made for a lively and engaging segment!
The team’s whirlwind New York tour continues today with a luncheon presentation at Hearst this afternoon, and a dinner presentation at the Core Club tonight. Wednesday’s itinerary includes an in-studio interview on Martha Stewart Radio in the morning, and the Colbert Report tomorrow night. Wish the team luck and stay tuned!
The joy of breaking into a fresh bag of potato chips is universal. Its hard to resist losing yourself to bite after bite of salty, crunchy fried starch. In most grocery stores, novel alternatives such as beet, yam, and cassava chips have become commonplace. But until now, the common denominator in all of these variations has been a high starch content.
As the starchy main ingredient is deep-fried, the gelatinization of the starch gives structure and crunch to the resulting chips. However, that same inherently high starch content produces a much less exciting side effect namely, all of these chips tend to taste bland before seasoning. Sweet, tart, and naturally moist vegetation tends to burn, shrink, or fall apart when deep-fried naked. But what if you were able to impart the structural advantages of high starch content to plant foods that possess zippier flavor profiles? Can chips made from less starchy plants be stabilized enough to withstand the deep-frying process? If so, which plants yield the best results?
To see how far we could take this premise, we tested a variety of fruits and vegetables with typically high water contents. Ultimately, we found that watermelon produced the most striking results. The method we chose to impregnate the starch into the watermelon is the same technique used in many Modernist kitchens to impregnate or concentrate intense flavors: vacuum compression.
Johnny slices and vacuum seals a sliver of watermelon dipped in the slurry.
We started by slicing watermelon to a thickness of about one millimeter using a meat slicer. Then we brushed on a slurry made of starch and water, vacuum sealed the slices, and let them rest for about 30 minutes.
Max demonstrates the vacuum compression process.
After the watermelon slices were given sufficient time to be impregnated with the starch, they were patted dry and deep-fried.
Johnny and Max deep-fry and enjoy an entirely new type of chip.
The result was amazing: A light, crispy chip loaded with the concentrated flavor of watermelon. Apple, jalapeño, and dill pickle were some of the other successful results we achieved with this method.
What would you like to see made into a chip? Leave a comment and let us know!
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