I love Chicken and Waffles… I also LOVE duck confit. When I was trapped in a hotel room at MasterChef, I dreamed up the combination of the two… Duck Confit and Waffles. I thought an orange maple butter would go nice on a wild rice waffle and a cherry chipotle sauce would accent everything nicely.
For the next couple of weeks I worked on a way to make duck confit in less than two hours. If I could pull it off this would be a course in my menu of the MasterChef Finals. I took two techniques into consideration: Sous Vide and Pressure cooking.
Many readers of this blog may know me as “The Molecular Guy” from this season of MasterChef. While I do cook frequently with modern techniques and ingredients, another side of my cooking is taking ingredients from field to table. This can mean spending a morning buying ingredients from a farmer’s market or taking game in the wild.
WOW, the top 12 contestants look great on the roof don’t they? For this week’s team challenge, they had to cater a cocktail party in Gordon Ramsay’s LA restaurant”The London”.
This week my friends, the remaining MasterChef Contestants walk into the kitchen to find another mystery box challenge. Chef Ramsay warns them to be careful when lifting up this week’s box… “Careful, they bite” Chef says.
1… 2… 3… a beautiful assortment of vegetables! No protien other than eggs. The challenge is to make a stunning vegetarian dish. I was Vegan for two years. It was the biggest mistake of my life! That said I have a new found appreciation for seasonal vegetables and I really think I could have ROCKED this mystery box.
Immersion circulators and sous vide cooking are just starting to make their ways from high end restaurants into the homes of the “average” foodie. Although I’ve been fortunate to be “in the know” about sous vide cooking for a couple of years now, I was recently loaned a Sous Vide Professional from PolyScience… full review is coming but the spoiler is that it’s a dream to use. Sous vide cooking has many benefits for the home cook, from low fat cooking to huge service windows to results unavailable with traditional cooking methods.
I’ve got A LOT to say about last night’s episode, so listen up…
Modernist Cuisine Trailer from Modernist Cuisine on Vimeo.
Nathan Myrvold’s Modernist Cuisine; The Art and Science of Cooking has been raved about. From it’s sheer size (2,400+ pages, 60 pound total weight, 4 pounds of ink used in printing) to vast breadth (BBQ, Espresso, Centrifuge, Liquid Nitrogen, to just scratch the surface) to it’s in depth exploration of cooking science and creation of new dishes (ultrasonic french fries, striped omlet, & rare beef jus to name a few). I am happy to report that it does in fact live up to all of the “hype” surrounding it.