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"Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Bread"
By Lisa Shock
The team over at Modernist Cuisine announced today that their next project will be an in-depth exploration of bread. I personally am very excited about this, I had been hoping their next project would be in the baking and pastry realm. Additionally, Francisco Migoya will be head chef and Peter Reinhart will assignments editor for this project which is expected to be a multi-volume affair.
Mixing with Experimental Cocktail Club
I've been eying this book since I heard about its upcoming release. For me, a cocktail book with a French slant is a hugely appealling. I flipped through it at my local bookstore and was compelled to buy it when I saw a recipe calling for Byrrh, along with a few re-interpreted classics. The recipes are not overly complex and generally don't call for esoteric ingredients. If you have Sam Ross' Bartender's Choice app, it's in the same vein but with a definite French (and international) touch, with recipes calling for things like Suze, Armagnac or Japanese whisky.
Measurements are given in milliliters and ounces, and were probably conceived in metric so they can be a bit unusual sometimes, but this is not a bid deal at all. Each recipe is provided with a little background about its creation or general concept, which I always find the most interesting part of these types of books.
The first thing I mixed was the Byrrh cocktail of course. It had quite a few other ingredients, but luckily I had everything already on hand.
Handsome Jack (Chris Tanner) with Rittenhouse straight rye, Pierre Ferrand 1840, Aperol, Byrrh, green Chartreuse, maple syrup, Angostura and Peychaud's bitters.
As indicated in the notes, it is slightly on the sweet side but it has a slight bitterness that compensates for that (from the Byrrh and Aperol). The flavor is deep and complex. There is almost like a chestnut note with the maple syrup and cognac, and a nice kick from the rye. A very good fall/winter drink.
Review of the book on Eater.
The Thermocouple versus the Thermistor
I emailed OXO a while ago, asking if they could design and market a thermocouple based thermometer. I reasoned that with their market penetration, the cost would be in the same range of current thermometers. I never heard back and cannot guess why there was no response.
Most consumer grade digital thermometers use a thermistor. I had one of the first Polder Probe/wire (or cable) thermos and I loved it. It had a cable or wire, shielded in a metal braid. The new ones, use a silicon covering. Most of the reviews say that probe breaks and Polder has addressed that by adding a "handle" (of sorts) to the probe. Reasonable care while inserting and extracting the probe would have been more sensible by the reviewers who broke there devices, but the handle works, too.
Still, this device and as I said above, most all temperature reading devices use a thermistor, or even a bi-metal strip (don't call me a perv!). The thermocouple devices read a much more accurate temperature range. From here on I'm spelling thermocouple as t/c.
The Cook's Country (and under a multitude of other names) commonly shows the Thermapen t/c. At $100 it's pricey for the kitchen, but not for what it is. I imagine there are loads of industrial, scientific, and technical uses for it. There the $100 is worth it. The website: Cooking For Engineers sells the device for a "MERE" $79. That site reviews a number of thermometers and puts the t/c on top.
So dear reader, I must ask, why have the OXO's and Sur La Tables, Williams-Sonomas, and the like not found a way to place a t/c probe in a thermometer?
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