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.
I like fajitas. Recently, I was in the grocery store and the flank steak was speaking to me. It’s rare that meat speaks to me these days but for some reason, this flank was singing. A walk through the produce department and I knew I wanted to make fajitas, but a plated version. Here’s what I came up with…
Last night I was hungry- it happens to me most nights. I couldn’t decide what to make. After a lot of going back and forth, I decided to use up some fresh basil from my garden to make a fresh spaghetti in a simple olive oil sauce. I went to the store to get a few ingredients. My trip to the grocery store was uninspired. I returned home un-excited to cook. I thought that maybe cooking in real-time “against” the contestants on MasterChef Season 3 would be fun… Could I pull off a fresh extruded pasta in an hour? The question was exciting, but the more I thought about it, I just didn’t want to cook.
I had tweeted about live tweeting an hour of cooking and there seemed to be some interest so I thought it would be fun to do eventually. But not that night… I ate leftovers last night.
Tonight I was ready to cook. A long day at work and I wanted to unwind- cooking relaxes me. I decided to up the ante and shoot for three courses in one hour. They would be simple(ish) courses, but all three in an hour from scratch would be aggressive to say the least. Spoiler: Dinner was excellent. But it wasn’t smooth sailing, here’s what happened along the way (and a few tips that can help speed up your cooking).
This plate looks and tastes like pure summer! Tomatoes from a local farm called Laughing Dog. Goat’s Milk Feta from Blue Heron Creamery — where the goats are fed a local beer daily. Boxwood basil (and flowers) came from my garden. Texas olive oil, black falk salt, and a touch of balsamic complete the dish. Go find some GREAT local ingredients and try this dish!
Using local ingredients reminds me of my dear friend Tracy Kontos. Chef Kontos is about to host her first pop up dinner. Too bad it’s sold out, you should have bought a ticket.
It’s not secret that I’m a big fan of pressure cookers. I will let out a confession that I have the hardest time boiling eggs though. Very rarely do I achieve a perfectly boiled egg without destroying the white in the process of peeling the shell.
Tonight I perfectly peeled over two dozen eggs. The eggs were cooked in a pressure cooker. Four minutes at low pressure yielded perfect medium boiled eggs. (three minutes gets you liquid center, 5 minutes for hard boiled)
I will pressure cook all my boiled eggs from now on!
Deviled Eggs Recipe:
2 Dozen Eggs, Soft cooked in pressure cooker- sliced in half, yolks separated.
150g Kewpie Mayonnaise
Mix egg yolks, mayo, siracha, and salt. pipe into egg whites. top with garnishes of your choice. I used sweet fish roe and squid ink pickled purple cauliflower.
This is one of the best dishes I’ve made recently-
I had some pork jowel in the freezer that I picked up for $1.25/lb at a local latino grocery store, I also had my last batch of Mole Negro (this sauce is a lot of work but freezes BEAUTIFULLY!)
I cured the pork in 50/50 mixture of Mexican sea salt and sugar… simple- mix salt and sugar (about 1/2 Cup Each) cover the pork thoroughly and refrigerate 12 hours. Rinse the excess cure off the pork and throw into a ziplock bag with a few tablespoons of Mole Negro. Cook in a [PolyScience] circulator 62C for about 12 hours.
Take the pork out of the bag and reserve the sauce (keep warm by putting back into the circulator). Place the pork, skin side up in a pyrex and add water to just below the level of the skin. Bake at 425F until the skin is crisp- about 20 minutes.
I Sliced the pork in large chunks, garnished with chicharron crumble, pickled red onion, cotija cheese powder, and leaves from my aneheim chile plant.
Pickled red Onion:
1/2C rice wine vinegar
2 TBLSPN maple syrup
2 tspn salt.
Small (chipolini) red onions, sliced thinly.
Microwave vinegar, maple syrup, and salt to boil. add sliced onions to hot pickling liquid. allow to steep until mix is room temperature. be sure onions are submerged in liquid.
Freeze cheese completely by submerging in nitrogen. Blend in vitamix [while frozen] into a fine powder. store in freezer.