The Science of Cooking

As you know from my posts, I’m a big fan of simple preparation and minimal “hands on” cooking time. But the universe seems to be challenging my philosophy this year.

For Christmas, my very dear friend, visiting from the UK, brought me Heston Blumenthal’s gorgeous tome: The Fat Duck Cookbook.

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Then for my birthday, going along with the WD-50 theme, I received Modernist Cuisine at Home (the condensed version and not the $500 multi-volume set).

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Just when I thought I didn’t need anything else for my kitchen, I’m learning how to sous vide and must decide between an electric or stovetop pressure cooker.  Decisions, decisions…

I suppose the theories behind molecular gastronomy are not entirely contrary to my style of cooking.  The main focus of these culinary educational bibles is how best to extract the most flavor from the ingredients available. Plus they present the dishes in a creative and artful manner.  But these recipes do require following directions, which, as you know, I find a bit disconcerting. And the time to prepare each meal can take days, which doesn’t exactly allow for a quick and easy dinner when you get home from work.

But like anything in life, you might as well give it a shot at least once.  So after I buy a digital thermometer, food scale, vacuum sealer and settle on a pressure cooker, I’ll attempt a recipe or two and let you know if these cookbooks are worth purchasing for something other than the amazing photos. (The images are incredibly beautiful.)

In the meantime, I’ll be stressing about where to store all the equipment I need to buy in my quest to understand and better appreciate the science of cooking.

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