Series: Modernist Cuisin at Home (Book 1)
Hardcover: 456 pages
Publisher: The Cooking Lab; Pck Slp Sp edition (October 8, 2012)
Product Dimensions: 11.1 x 2.6 x 13.7 inches
Shipping Weight: 11 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (267 customer reviews)
Best Sellers Rank: #11,341 in Books (See Top 100 in Books) #28 in Books > Reference > Encyclopedias & Subject Guides > Cooking #31 in Books > Cookbooks, Food & Wine > Cooking Education & Reference > Reference
For those of you that don't want to read the silly-long review I wrote, scroll down to "BOTTOM LINE" for the important stuff.I'll start with a disclaimer: Do not buy this book until you are familiar with the original "Modernist Cuisine." By that I do not mean you need to own that set first (quite the opposite, this is the stepping stone to the full set), but you should understand that it encompasses a style of cooking that can be crudely summarized as "cooking for scientists" or "how to make dinner in a laboratory." Once you know what you're getting into, decide if it's worth around $140 of your hard-earned cash.Now, on to the good stuff. For those of you who salivated for a year, wishing you could justify buying "Modernist Cuisine" but knowing you wouldn't be able to use it to it's full potential (like me), your prayers have been answered! "Modernist Cuisine" made headlines (in the Food and Travel section) for:1. Deconstructing the science of cooking rather than just listing recipes2. Focusing on modern methods of preparing foods using tools such as combi ovens, sous vide setups, emulsifiers, etc3. Including some rather stunning photography of the equipment and ingredients withinI am happy to say that all three are present in the "at Home" version. First, "Modernist Cuisine at Home" (MCAH hereafter) introduces a consolidated set of kitchen tools and gadgets that the home chef can reasonably afford. Don't have the funds for the laboratory-grade centrifuge featured in "Modernist Cuisine?" No problem. Not only does MCAH omit the prohibitively expensive tools from its recipes, but many of them are the same recipes found in the original, redone for the home cook.
First: A disclaimer. I have no connection with the authors of this book or the publishers. As a matter of full disclosure, I have been a cook for over thirty years, and I majored in Biology, so scientific terms don't scare me. My motto is: if someone else can do it, so can I.Now for the review: The problem with most cookbooks is they do not provide the cook with a reasonable starting point from which to make excellent cuisine. I remember the days when I used to struggle to try to make recipes from Larousse Gastronomique and Joy of Cooking that were spectacular, but that end always seemed to elude me. I never felt as though I prepared a meal- ANY meal which rivaled or surpassed that of my favorite restaurants. Those cooks in the high end restaurants knew things that I didn't know, and used equipment I had never seen, let alone used. Well, that is no longer the case. I picked up the original tome (Modernist Cuisine) and extracted from it the recipes I could do in my kitchen at home, and at once realized that there was a whole world of phenomenal food out there, waiting to be tasted.I cooked chicken breast sous vide (using a Rube Goldberg contraption I have since replaced with the SousVide Supreme) and the breasts were done perfectly, with all the delicate tastes intact. Wild duck breasts that had been lying in the back of my freezer because I knew they would taste like cardboard? They were the best poultry I had ever tasted. With those two successes under my belt, it was on to fish! I live in Florida, and so am fussy about my fish. My first foray was into cobia, and that dish, on that day, was the best fish I have ever tried, let alone made. And so on. Best green beans. Best carrots. Best risotto. Best salmon. You get the idea...
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