I’ve heard a lot of questions about the newest offering from Nathan Myrvold and team, Modernist Cuisine at Home. A few people have asked me, “I already have Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, should I buy the new, mini version?” 0r, “Are the recipes in there really attainable for the average home cook?”
Last month, the Modernist Cuisine team was nice enough to grant me a reviewer copy of the new book. Cutting to the chase, it’s every bit as exciting as “the big book”- breathtaking pictures, great recipes, ideas, techniques, and information. Speaking of pictures: here’s one of my favorites:
I’ll first say, that it is not a scaled down version of the 5 Volume Modernist Cuisine tomb. It would, make a great companion to the big set if you already own it. If you don’t own the big set, Modernist Cuisine at Home will suffice for a while, but overall, it will make you want the full set even more.
Here are some of the highlights of Modernist Cuisine at Home:
Product recommendations. These alone are worth the price of the book. They recommend the best kitchen equipment looking at popular brands and highlight pros and cons of different models. If you’ve ever bought a food processor that broke within the first year, MC@H has better answers for you. And most of the equipment recommended is available commonly at kitchen stores like Williams Sonoma or Sur La Table.
Ever wanted to see what a Viking range looks like cut in half? MC@H has a pic, of course! (Page 36/37)
Have you built a DIY circulator? MC@H will show you how to “Vacuum seal” with a bowl of water or the edge of a counter. (Page 58)
Page 66 shows you how to check the core temperature of proteins cooked low temperature in a circulator… or you could use PolyScience’s Sous Vide App.
Another neat feature is that the book touches on some topics lightly but then references more complete information in the 5 Volume set.
Think Modernist Cuisine is all about “Chemicals”? (all food is chemicals…) There’s a section on foraging and ingredients found at various ethnic markets.
Want to make a gel or fluid gel? Page 99 trouble shoots common problems.
Do you want to make breakfast in bed for a loved one, or host a brunch party? Page 107 has your sous vide hollandaise recipe.
Page 166 covers seasonal salad composition.
One of my favorite sections is what I call the “Steak House” section. How often do you go to a steak house? Well for the cost of a nice dinner for two, you can have the secrets to make top quality steaks and sides at home.
Red meat not your thing? Check out the table of salmon cook temps, one of my favorite pictures:
MC@H will improve your Thanksgiving turkey, if you’re into that sort of thing.
Like football? MC@H has over 14 wing preparations sure to spice up your game day parties.
There’s 8 pages dedicated to mac and cheese and they show you how to make beef jerky in a microwave!
MC@H touches on breads and desserts which were omitted from the 5 volume set. Also they approximate their pistachio gelato without a centrifuge!
Modernist Cuisine at Home would make a great holiday gift for any food enthusiast. The only better gift would be to pair it with a PolyScience circulator so they can execute most of the recipes in the book.
Don’t forget to check out page 378.