Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Chris Hennes

"Modernist Cuisine at Home" by Myhrvold and Bilet

Recommended Posts

Modernist Cuisine was released just over a year ago to much acclaim (we're cooking with it in this topic), but there was an immediate clamor for a more home-cook-friendly volume: as nathanm mentioned here, that clamor is being answered in October 2012 with the forthcoming Modernist Cuisine at Home (eG-friendly amazon.com page).

From nathanm's post on the book:

MCAH is basically all new material. A few of the most popular recipes from MC are carried over, like mac and cheese, but even these have been re-done to be easier to make in a home kitchen.

If you already have MC, then we think of this as being like volume 6 - i.e. a volume covering home cuisine. There is very little duplication of topics between MC and MCAH - about the only ones I can think of are some coverage of sous vide technique, and some basic recipes like stocks, but even there the MCAH versions are different and adapted for the home.

I've been doing a lot of cooking from the original Modernist Cuisine set and it has resulted in some of the very best food I've ever produced, and in some cases the best I've ever eaten: so of course another volume was a no-brainer for me. It's still not cheap, but I'm pretty stoked about it. Eater has an interview with Myhrvold here with some more details. Who's in?

Edited 6/27 to add: book homepage and table of contents.


Edited by Chris Hennes (log)

Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm just starting to do some of the recipes from MC now but over the last months or so I have used/applyd stuff from it. I am looking forward to this next "volume". Probably looking at collecting everything that comes out of that organisation/lab

tom

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I wonder how many of the recipes will be of the "workable on a weeknight" variety (a la the mac and cheese) and how many will be more extensive.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Any idea how big it is. This will be a lot easy to convince people to buy than the full version.


Sleep, bike, cook, feed, repeat...

Chef Facebook HQ Menlo Park, CA

My eGullet Foodblog

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Physically? No. The amazon page says 456 pages: at $140 retail I'd have to guess it's similar in size to a single volume of the original.


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Count me in, enjoyed MC very much but it's a hard sell.

I've been trying to convince other people to buy MC, but there are a few hurdles I hope MCAH will solve those:

- price

- size

- Title of the book. For most people the title is misleading. They think is purely a molecular cooking book(s). So they conclude it's a heafty price for something they will not use.

It's only when they come to my home and have a look into my MC books that they realise there so much more to it than just molecular cooking. And that's when price and size becomes less of a problem.

But when comes MCP (pastery) ? Tommorow? :wink:


Helo

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have the original (yet) but I will get MCaH when it comes out. The price is a bit easier to swallow and it would be a nice place to start and see if the big brother is something I want to invest in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

But when comes MCP (pastery) ? Tommorow? :wink:

Myhrvold has mentioned that they are at least considering it: I'd pre-order that sucker in a heartbeat. It better have a chapter on sourdough!


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm in too! Does anyone know yet what will be covered in this book?


"Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea." --Pythagoras.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

From that Eater article I gather that there are chapters on:

  • custards and pies
  • chicken wings
  • mac and cheese
  • pizza

Presumably there are more, but that's a pretty good set of home-cooking topics. I'm sensing a Modernist superbowl party next year...


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just had a look at the Cooks Forum over at the Modernist Cuisine website, and it looks like only 79 recipes have been commented on. Out of the 1500+ in the books, this is not many at all suggesting that most of the recipes in the books are not attempted, even by those keen enough to sign up for the website (which demonstrates a certain level of enthusiasm in itself...)

The recipe with the most comments by far is the caramelised carrot soup- this recipe is simple, carrots are cheap, the only piece of equipment needed is a pressure cooker, and it tastes delicious. The comments on the forum about the soup are overwhelmingly positive.

If there are more recipes in MC@home that are as accessible as that one, and that tick the same simple, cheap & tasty boxes, then the book is sure to be a hit.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real purpose of MC isn't the recipes, but the techniques. I use what I've learned from Modernist virtually every time I cook. That said, I've attempted a number of recipes from the series and have not documented all the work which means I haven't posted about my experiences with them.


Andrew Vaserfirer aka avaserfi

Host, eG Forums

avaserfirer@egstaff.org

eG Ethics Signatory

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The real purpose of MC isn't the recipes, but the techniques. I use what I've learned from Modernist virtually every time I cook. That said, I've attempted a number of recipes from the series and have not documented all the work which means I haven't posted about my experiences with them.

+1. My sentiments exactly.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Oh I also agree- I often pick up the volumes and re-read chapters. I've attempted less than 10 recipes in the whole series, yet I read and re-read it more than any other "cookbook" I've ever owned. Volume 1, which doesn't contain any recipes at all, has possibly been the most influential for me with the way it covers hygiene.

There is no doubt that the original 5 volumes have been a huge success - I think they've sold more than 10x the number they thought they would, based on their initial print run of 5000 vs current sales figures close to 50,000. So I would hate to be mis-interpreted as suggesting the books are not successful because not everyone is attempting every recipe.

My point was that the caramelised carrot soup recipe (and the mac & cheese recipe) show a lot of demand and interest in recipes that are more accessible. I can't wait :-)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the Modernist Cuisine website they have a preview of the book with an index that lists all of the recipes. Now I am really excited.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

On the Modernist Cuisine website they have a preview of the book with an index that lists all of the recipes. Now I am really excited.

link


PS: I am a guy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nice: here's the main table of contents they list there—

Chapter 1: Countertop Tools

Chapter 2: Conventional Cooking Gear

Chapter 3: Cooking Sous Vide

Chapter 4: Ingredients

Chapter 5: Basics

Chapter 6: Breakfast Eggs

Chapter 7: Salads and Cold Soups

Chapter 8: Pressure-Cooked Vegetable Soups

Chapter 9: Steak

Chapter 10: Cheeseburger

Chapter 11: Carnitas

Chapter 12: Braised Short Ribs

Chapter 13: Roast Chicken

Chapter 14: Chicken Wings

Chapter 15: Chicken Noodle Soup

Chapter 16: Salmon

Chapter 17: Shellfish

Chapter 18: Pizza

Chapter 19: Mac and Cheese

Chapter 20: Risotto and Paella

Chapter 21: Cornmeal

Chapter 22: Dishes for the Microwave

Chapter 23: Custards and Pies


Chris Hennes
Director of Operations
chennes@egullet.org

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Similar Content

    • By newchef
      So I've now found myself at the water's edge of Modernist Cuisine.  Specifically, using sodium citrate for emulsifying all kinds of cheeses.  What I'm after is making an emulsified Parmesan sauce as well as another emulsified cheese sauce (most likely using Cheddar or Colby) that I can freeze and use later.  I'm a single guy and am no stranger of tweaking recipes for freezing but I haven't done it for modernist stuff yet.  I'd love to make a big batch of cheese sauce, freeze it into ice cubes for up to 3 months or so, and then take a few cubes out to thaw on a weeknight and toss with pasta, drizzle over veggies, etc.
       
      I looked at the modernist cuisine FAQ and saw this specific post about the cheese sauce that is "probably" freeze-able because it uses something called carageenan.  Has anyone been able to freeze sauce and keep it frozen for, say, a few months?  And not have to use carageenan?
       
      Thanks!
    • By Burmese Days
      Hello everyone,
       
      This is my first post, so please tell me if I've made any mistakes. I'd like to learn the ropes as soon as possible. 
       
      I first learned of this cookbook from The Mala Market, easily the best online source of high-quality Chinese ingredients in the west. In the About Us page, Taylor Holiday (the founder of Mala Market) talks about the cookbooks that inspired her.
      This piqued my interest and sent me down a long rabbit hole. I'm attempting to categorically share everything I've found about this book so far.
       
      Reading it online
      Early in my search, I found an online preview (Adobe Flash required). It shows you the first 29 pages. I've found people reference an online version you can pay for on the Chinese side of the internet. But to my skills, it's been unattainable.
       
      The Title
      Because this book was never sold in the west, the cover, and thus title, were never translated to English. Because of this, when you search for this book, it'll have several different names. These are just some versions I've found online - typos included.
      Sichuan (China) Cuisine in Both Chinese and English Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (In English & Chinese) China Sichuan Cuisine (in Chinese and English) Chengdu China: Si Chuan Ke Xue Ji Shu Chu Ban She Si Chuan(China) Cuisinein (Chinese and English bilingual) 中国川菜:中英文标准对照版 For the sake of convenience, I'll be referring to the cookbook as Sichuan Cuisine from now on.

       
      Versions
      There are two versions of Sichuan Cuisine. The first came out in 2010 and the second in 2014. In an interview from Flavor & Fortune, a (now defunct) Chinese cooking
      magazine, the author clarifies the differences.
      That is all of the information I could find on the differences. Nothing besides that offhanded remark. The 2014 edition seems to be harder to source and, when available, more expensive.
       
      Author(s)

      In the last section, I mentioned an interview with the author. That was somewhat incorrect. There are two authors!
      Lu Yi (卢一) President of Sichuan Tourism College, Vice Chairman of Sichuan Nutrition Society, Chairman of Sichuan Food Fermentation Society, Chairman of Sichuan Leisure Sports Management Society Du Li (杜莉) Master of Arts, Professor of Sichuan Institute of Tourism, Director of Sichuan Cultural Development Research Center, Sichuan Humanities and Social Sciences Key Research Base, Sichuan Provincial Department of Education, and member of the International Food Culture Research Association of the World Chinese Culinary Federation Along with the principal authors, two famous chefs checked the English translations.
      Fuchsia Dunlop - of Land of Plenty fame Professor Shirley Cheng - of Hyde Park New York's Culinary Institute of America Fuchsia Dunlop was actually the first (and to my knowledge, only) Western graduate from the school that produced the book.
       

      Recipes
      Here are screenshots of the table of contents.  It has some recipes I'm a big fan of.
       
      ISBN
      ISBN 10: 7536469640   ISBN 13: 9787536469648 As far as I can tell, the first and second edition have the same ISBN #'s. I'm no librarian, so if anyone knows more about how ISBN #'s relate to re-releases and editions, feel free to chime in.
       
      Publisher
      Sichuan Science and Technology Press 四川科学技术出版社  
      Cover
      Okay... so this book has a lot of covers.
      The common cover A red cover A white cover A white version of the common cover An ornate and shiny cover  There may or may not be a "Box set." At first, I thought this was a difference in book editions, but that doesn't seem to be the case. As far as covers go, I'm at a loss. If anybody has more info, I'm all ears.
       
      Buying the book
      Alright, so I've hunted down many sites that used to sell it and a few who still have it in stock. Most of them are priced exorbitantly.
       
      AbeBooks.com ($160 + $15 shipping) Ebay.com - used ($140 + $4 shipping) PurpleCulture.net ($50 + $22 shipping) Amazon.com ($300 + $5 shipping + $19 tax) A few other sites in Chinese  
      I bought a copy off of PurpleCuture.net on April 14th. When I purchased Sichuan Cuisine, it said there was only one copy left. That seems to be a lie to create false urgency for the buyer. My order never updated past processing, but after emailing them, I was given a tracking code. It has since landed in America and is in customs. I'll try to update this thread when (if) it is delivered.
       
      Closing thoughts
      This book is probably not worth all the effort that I've put into finding it. But what is worth effort, is preserving knowledge. It turns my gut to think that this book will never be accessible to chefs that have a passion for learning real Sichuan food. As we get inundated with awful recipes from Simple and quick blogs, it becomes vital to keep these authentic sources available. As the internet chugs along, more and more recipes like these will be lost. 
       
      You'd expect the internet to keep information alive, but in many ways, it does the opposite. In societies search for quick and easy recipes, a type of evolutionary pressure is forming. It's a pressure that mutates recipes to simpler and simpler versions of themselves. They warp and change under consumer pressure till they're a bastardized copy of the original that anyone can cook in 15 minutes. The worse part is that these new, worse recipes wear the same name as the original recipe. Before long, it becomes harder to find the original recipe than the new one. 
       
      In this sense, the internet hides information. 
       
    • By WackGet
      Recently I picked up a few different types of emulsifiers in bulk powder form when I saw them in passing at a catering wholesaler.
       
      Having never used powdered emulsifiers before in cooking or baking, I figured I'd find pretty comprehensive instructions for their use on the web - but I can't.
       
      I'm not a stranger to food science but nor am I a chemist. I understand that emulsifiers are at least sometimes prepared by pre-mixing them into a (heated?) liquid or fat and then using the resulting solution in the actual recipe, which may explain why a lot of commercial emulsifier mixtures are packages as tubes of gel or paste. I've also checked several industry-level textbooks about emulsifiers and while they are fantastic for in-depth explanations of the chemistry behind each emulsifier, they do not (as you might imagine) provide guidance on how a lowly baker or cook would actually use a powdered form.
       
      So does anyone know how to prepare and use a dry powdered form of any of the following in a real recipe?
       
      Specifically I am most interested in enhancing baked goods and adding stability to sauces, but would also like to know how to use them for other processes such as sausage-making too.
      E471 Mono- and diglycerides of fatty acids E481 Sodium stearoyl lactylate E482 Calcium stearoyl lactylate E472e DATEM (diacetyl tartaric acid ester of mono- and diglycerides)
        Thanks.
    • By mjbarnard
      I cooked two turkey breasts sous vide. This year had access to the Meater+ thermometer probe which I managed to vacuum seal in the bag without difficulty (it is small). Since it works wirelessly I was able to monitor and it records the internal temperatures at the thickest part of the breast.
      I thought the results were interesting. I cooked at 60C for 8 hours. I have always used https://www.chefsteps.com/activities/a-better-way-to-turkey-cook-that-bird-sous-vide-for-the-best-feast-ever which gives long cooking times at lower temperature. I have found that as according to this page https://www.seriouseats.com/recipes/2014/11/sous-vide-turkey-breast-crispy-skin-recipe-thanksgiving.html that 55C gives turkey which is just a little too pink for most tastes. Over the last few years have increased the temperature up to 59/60 and I find it perfect - very moist and tender, but pale not pink.
      See attached images. I changed my mind a couple of times and started at 58 then 60 then 59 again, so ignore the slight variations. The thing I found interesting was that the thickest part (of a large breast) reached 55C in around 1 hour 40 mins and target of 59 in 2 hours 30 mins. Now I appreciate that sous vide is a combination of temperature and time or duration, but the data make me think that around 4 hours would be sufficient, as per the seriouseats table. I have previously used the chefsteps 55-58 for their much longer advised times, up to 12 hours and the meat is still quite pink at the end, so I dont believe 55 for 12 hours would effectively be the same.
      From now on I will watching the internal temperatures with interest. This has always been the (relative) unkown for sous vide amateurs. 


    • By TexasMBA02
      After batting about .500 with my previous approach to macarons, I came across Pierre Herme's base recipe online.  After two flawless batches of macarons, I've been re-energized to continue to work at mastering them.  Specifically, I want to try more of his recipes.  My conundrum is that he has, as far as I can tell, two macaron cookbooks and I don't know which one I should get.  I can't tell if one is just an updated version of the other or a reissue or what the differences really are.  I was hoping somebody had some insight.  I have searched online and haven't seen both books referenced in the same context or contrasted at all.
       
      This one appears to be older.

       
      And this one appears to be the newer of the two.

       
      Any insight would be helpful.
       
      Thanks,
       
  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×
×
  • Create New...