Thursday, January 7, 2016

Stand Back! I'm Going to Try Science! Part 1

(Hat tip to XKCD)

I got a new cook book for Christmas, The 4-Hour Chef by Tim FerrissThere's a lot to unpack (a lot), which I'll come back to in another post. But for now, i want to talk a bit about the Molecular Gastronomy section.

The preferred term these days is "Modernist Cuisine," because some mad scientist chefts have ruined it for everyone by focusing on technique over flavor or product. It's that one guy on the cooking reality show that automatically goes for the sous vide machine even though the challenge is a cold salad.

 I have dabbled about in these waters before. There is a lot you can do without fancy tools. Cooking things at very low and slow temps, or using  a pressure cooker for example. I once cooked a steak with hot tap water, a cooler, and a blow torch. Good times.

I havevalways wanted to do more, especially with chemicals (insert evil laugh here).

Two recipes caught my eye. The first was a bacon-infused bourbon. The second was a bloody mary gel in a celery cup. I decided to combine the two.

The trickiest part of the recipe was finding the gelling agent. Instead of using gelatin, it uses Agar-Agar, which comes from seaweed.

I found mine at the health food store, but you might also find it in an Asian foods store. 

One is more powdery, the other is grainy, like Kosher salt. If you get the grainy stuff, like i did, be prepared to stir for  a little while to make sure it dissolves completely. Or, you might try putting it in a grinder. 

Stay tuned for more from my kitchen laboratory, and, if all goes well, the recipe.

Update: It's alive. And damn delicious.