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Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking by Nathan Myhrvold and Chris Young and Maxime Bilet

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Notes about this book

  • Jenny on December 30, 2018

    See the Modernist website for corrections and clarifications: https://modernistcuisine.com/corrections-and-clarifications/

  • CarlBoddy on June 28, 2016

    The Errata for this series is considerable and often critical, covering temperatures, times and quantities. It is found here: http://modernistcuisine.com/corrections-and-clarifications/

Notes about Recipes in this book

  • Glazed oxtail

    • twoyolks on July 14, 2013

      I used beef stock instead of beef jus as it was what I had available. I'd suggest bringing the cooking liquids to a boil and then carefully straining them and then further reducing them. Otherwise, there's small amounts of debris in the sauce. I also added sherry vinegar to the sauce to add acidity.

  • Pressure-cooked carnitas

    • bgood on July 23, 2012

      This is a great technique.

  • Corned beef cure

    • twoyolks on March 18, 2013

      Both a 3-5 day and a 7.5 day brine are listed, I used a 7.5 day brine for an ~8 lbs brisket. I used the second cure definition. I cooked it by simmering it for 3 hours in water to cover.

  • Miso-cured black cod

  • Sweet Italian sausage

    • twoyolks on June 15, 2014

      The flavor of this was very good but I'd consider decreasing the fennel a bit next time as it tended to overpower the other flavors.

  • Cotechino sausage

    • doppioexpresso on December 04, 2013

      The Cotechino is not bad although a bit too salty and it doesn't really have much to do with a cotechino in it's original form.

  • Bratwurst

    • twoyolks on October 19, 2014

      Did not add soy protein concentrate though sausage turned out excellent

  • Glazed white carrot

    • twoyolks on November 23, 2012

      I had to cook them for an hour to get the carrots al dente. Otherwise they were not quite cooked through. To make them completely tender would require more time.

  • Caramelized carrot soup

    • fprincess on July 20, 2012

      I used water instead of carrot juice. The carrots burned a little in the pressure cooker, and made the soup inedibly bitter (even after discarding the burned carrots). Most likely the cooking time needs to be ajusted or more liquid should be used. There are more tips provided by the Modernist Cuisine team here in the recipe link.

    • fprincess on October 22, 2012

      I got so much carrots in my CSA recently that I decided to experiment again. I followed the updated instructions, with the butter pre-melted and the cooking time reduced to 25 min. My pressure cooker is the aluminum - venting kind (an antique "SEB") if that makes a difference. After about 20 min the smell mutated from caramelized carrots to burnt caramel and I knew I was in trouble. I opened the lid and sure enough, I got burnt carrots again. A very thick layer of charcoal... Not willing to give up, I proceeded with attempt #3 right away (after scrubbing the pot!). This time I reduced the cooking time to 12 minutes. I did not have carrot juice so I just used water to dilute the soup at the end. Some super-fresh grated ginger (also from my CSA) and fresh thyme for the garnish (next time I will add a slice of duck prosciutto too). Very nice. Photos here: http://forums.egullet.org/topic/136959-cooking-with-modernist-cuisine/page__st__1770__p__1895230#entry1895230

  • Pommes Pont-Neuf

    • twoyolks on October 02, 2012

      Once the potatoes had been boiling for 10 minutes, they were very soft and I removed them from the water.

  • Mac and cheese

    • twoyolks on January 31, 2012

      Very cheesy so works best as a side dish. Switched proportions of gouda and cheedar due to taste preferences, turned out just as well as original recipe.

  • Kansas City barbecue sauce

    • twoyolks on May 27, 2014

      The sauce had a deep, complex flavor but became very spicy (I used less Thai chiles and a medium chili powder from Penzey's). I also used an immersion blender after it was finished cooking.

  • Memphis barbecue sauce

    • twoyolks on September 07, 2014

      The instructions are missing a step to puree the sauce.

  • Hot and cold tea

    • volition on May 23, 2012

      This is an interesting experience. Hard to make the dividers though. Works. I used the Cold Salt Gel Recipe to make a cast of my glass. then cut it in half and use it as a template. Wasn't perfect but I think with a bit of silicone i can improve it. But it worked.

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Reviews about this book

  • Gilt Taste

    Interview with Nathan Myhrvold.

    Full review
  • Wall Street Journal

    Bruce Palling chats with Nathan over a Modernist meal at the Fat Duck.

    Full review
  • ISBN 10 0982761007
  • ISBN 13 9780982761007
  • Linked ISBNs
  • Published Mar 07 2011
  • Format Hardcover
  • Page Count 2,438
  • Language English
  • Countries United States
  • Publisher Cooking Lab

Publishers Text

For more information check out the Modernist Cuisine website.

A revolution is underway in the art of cooking. Just as French Impressionists upended centuries of tradition, Modernist cuisine has in recent years blown through the boundaries of the culinary arts. Borrowing techniques from the laboratory, pioneering chefs at world-renowned restaurants such as elBulli, The Fat Duck, Alinea, and wd~50 have incorporated a deeper understanding of science and advances in cooking technology into their culinary art.

In Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet--scientists, inventors, and accomplished cooks in their own right--have created a six-volume, 2,400-page set that reveals science-inspired techniques for preparing food that ranges from the otherworldly to the sublime. The authors and their 20-person team at The Cooking Lab have achieved astounding new flavors and textures by using tools such as water baths, homogenizers, centrifuges, and ingredients such as hydrocolloids, emulsifiers, and enzymes. It is a work destined to reinvent cooking.

How do you make an omelet light and tender on the outside, but rich and creamy inside? Or French fries with a light and fluffy interior and a delicate, crisp crust that doesn't go soggy? Imagine being able to encase a mussel in a gelled sphere of its own sweet and briny juice. Or to create a silky-smooth pistachio cream made from nothing more than the nuts themselves. Modernist Cuisine offers step-by-step, illustrated instructions, as well as clear explanations of how these techniques work. Through thousands of original photographs and diagrams, the lavishly illustrated books make the science and technology of the culinary arts clear and engaging. Stunning new photographic techniques take the reader inside the food to see cooking in action all the way from microscopic meat fibers to an entire Weber grill in cross-section. You will view cooking and eating in a whole new light. A sampling of what you'll discover:

  • Why plunging food in ice water doesn't stop the cooking process
  • When boiling cooks faster than steaming
  • Why raising the grill doesn't lower the heat
  • How low-cost pots and pans can perform better than expensive ones
  • Why baking is mostly a drying process
  • Why deep-fried food tastes best and browns better when the oil is older
  • How modern cooking techniques can achieve ideal results without the perfect timing or good luck that traditional methods demand
Many invaluable features include:
  • Insights into the surprising science behind traditional food preparation methods such as grilling, smoking, and stir-frying
  • The most comprehensive guide yet published on cooking sous vide, including the best options for water baths, packaging materials, and sealing equipment; cooking strategies; and troubleshooting tips
  • More than 256 pages on meat and seafood and 130 pages on fruits, vegetables, and grains, including hundreds of parametric recipes and step-by-step techniques
  • Extensive chapters explaining how to achieve amazing results by using modern thickeners, gels, emulsions, and foams, including example recipes and many formulas
  • More than 300 pages of new recipes for plated dishes suitable for service at top-tier restaurants, plus recipes adapted from master chefs including Grant Achatz, Ferran Adrià , Heston Blumenthal, David Chang, Wylie Dufresne, David Kinch, and many others
From the professional chef to the home cook, Modernist Cuisine is an indispensable guide for anyone who is passionate about the art and science of cooking.

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