Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food

Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food Author Jeff Potter
ISBN-10 0596805888
ISBN-13 9780596805883
Year 2010-08-12
Pages 432
Language English
Publisher O’Reilly Media
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Are you the innovative type the cook who marches to a different drummer used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes Are you interested in the science behind what happens to food while it s cooking Do you want to learn what makes a recipe work so you can improvise and create your own unique dish More than just a cookbook Cooking for Geeks applies your curiosity to discovery inspiration and invention in the kitchen Why is medium rare steak so popular Why do we bake some things at 350 F 175 C and others at 375 F 190 C And how quickly does a pizza cook if we overclock an oven to 1 000 F 540 C Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides the answers and offers a unique take on recipes from the sweet a mean chocolate chip cookie to the savory duck confit sugo This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who wants to experiment with cooking even if you don t consider yourself a geek Initialize your kitchen and calibrate your tools Learn about the important reactions in cooking such as protein denaturation Maillard reactions and caramelization and how they impact the foods we cook Play with your food using hydrocolloids and sous vide cooking Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers food scientists knife experts chefs writers and more including author Harold McGee TV personality Adam Savage chemist Herv This and xkcd From Cooking for Geeks Butternut Squash Soup Pure in a food processor or with an immersion blender 2 cups 660g butternut squash peeled cubed and roasted about 1 medium squash 2 cups 470g chicken turkey or vegetable stock 1 small 130g yellow onion diced and sauted 1 2 teaspoon 1g salt adjust to taste Notes The weights are for the prepared ingredients and only rough suggestions So prepare each item individually For example for the squash peel it then coat it with olive oil sprinkle it with salt and roast it in the oven at a temperature around 400425 F 200220 C until it begins to brown When you go to pure the ingredients hold back some of the squash and some of the stock taste the pure and see which you think it needs Want it thicker Add more squash Thinner Add more stock This soup by itself is very basic Garnish with whatever else you have on hand that you think might go well such as garlic croutons and bacon Or top with a small dab of cream some toasted walnuts and dried cranberries to give it a feeling of Thanksgiving How about a teaspoon of maple syrup a few thin slices of beef and some fresh oregano Chives sour cream and cheddar cheese Why not Instead of purchasing items to follow a recipe exactly try using leftover ingredients from other meals to complement the squash soup If youre in a rush you can jump start the squash by microwaving it first Peel and quarter the squash using a spoon to scoop out the seeds Then cube it into 12 35 cm pieces drop it into a glass baking pan thats both oven and microwave safe and nuke it for four to five minutes to partially heat the mass Remove from microwave coat the squash with olive oil and a light sprinkling of salt and roast it in a preheated oven until done about 20 to 30 minutes If youre not in a rush you can skip the peeling step entirely cut the squash in half scoop out the seeds add oil and salt roast it for about an hour until the flesh is soft and use a spoon to scoop it out Pumpkin Cake There are two broad types of cake batters high ratio cakes those that have more sugar and water than flour or by some definitions just a lot of sugar and low ratio cakeswhich tend to have coarser crumbs For high ratio cakes there should be more sugar than flour by weight and more eggs than fats again by weight and the liquid mass eggs milk water should be heavier than the sugar Consider this pumpkin cake which is a high ratio cake 245g of pumpkin contains 220g of water you can look these sorts of things up in the USDA National Nutrient Database available online at http www nal usda gov fnic foodcomp search In a mixing bowl measure out and then mix with an electric mixer to thoroughly combine 1 cup 245g pumpkin canned or roast and puree your own 1 cup 200g sugar 3 4 cup 160g canola oil 2 large 120g eggs 1 1 2 cups 180g flour 1 4 cup 40g raisins 2 teaspoons 5g cinnamon 1 teaspoon 5g baking powder 1 2 teaspoon 5g baking soda 1 2 teaspoon 3g salt 1 2 teaspoon 2g vanilla extract Transfer to a greased cake pan or spring form and bake in an oven preheated to 350 F 175 C until a toothpick comes out dry about 20 minutes Notes Try adding dried pears soaked in brandy You can also hold back some of the raisins and sprinkle them on top One nice thing about high ratio cakes is that they dont have much gluten so they wont turn out like bread even with excessive beating With a total weight of 920 grams of which only roughly 20 grams is gluten there just isnt enough gluten present in this cake to give it a bread like texture Theres also a fair amount of both sugar and fats to interfere with gluten development

Cooking for Geeks

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ISBN-10 9781491928141
Release 2015-09-28
Pages 488

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Release 2012-04-24
Pages 311

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ISBN-10 9781569769607
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