It’s been a long three months since my last post here, and for that I apologize. Between getting married, going on our honeymoon, Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Years, and work, I’ve been buried. On the other hand, it’s been a productive time off of blogging, and I have lots of amazing recipes in development for you all. Perhaps the most important changes, though, are in the future. I have two blog-related resolutions this year, and one of them will result in a slight change in the format of this blog.
First: we’re going to a Tuesday/Friday posting schedule. Tuesdays are going to be a renewal of the old Technique Tuesday concept, with me posting blogs on what I consider basic techniques and recipes. Strawberry orange jam, cheese souffle, and chili promise to make appearances soon. Fridays, on the other hand, will be more experimental and have a Modernist bent. Sous vide, pressure cooking, and ingredients like sodium citrate and agar will be concepts I’ll explore there.
That brings me to my second resolution, which is to really spend this year learning. I now have a serious stockpile of science-based cookbooks, which I will be working my way through and posting here, on my Facebook page, and with frequent tips on Twitter. Here’s an example: Did you know that salt counteracts bitterness? The next time you have a savory dish that has become too bitter, try adding salt rather than sugar. To test this yourself, pour 8 oz. of tonic water and sip, slowly adding salt. Eventually, the bitterness will disappear. It should take about half a teaspoon to do this. At least, this is according to Heston Blumenthal. I plan on testing it soon, but we’re apparently out of tonic here.
As this year is largely aimed at education, and I’ve always tried to make this blog as educational about the whys and hows of cooking as I can, I’ll be far more active on Facebook and Twitter than I have in the past. I also welcome any questions, whether about my cooking or just general cooking questions that you have, as well as requests. Have you always wanted to try a souffle? A friend of mine asked that, so I promised her to work up a post for her, complete with common pitfalls and techniques that help avoid them. Wondering the best, easiest way to make your own chicken stock from leftover chickens? I’ll be posting that in a few weeks, and the basic answer is to use a pressure cooker. So feel free to ask me questions, via email, on Facebook, or on Twitter.
And now, in case anyone wants to join me in my reading resolution, the list of books:
Heston Blumenthal at Home (a famous British chef and owner of the Fat Duck, considered one of the top 10 restaurants in the world)
Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking (yes, the full insane set, which was a combined birthday and Christmas gift by my wife!)
The Professional Chef (the main textbook of the Culinary Institute of America)
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen (by Harold McGee, and according to Alton Brown, “the Rosetta Stone of the culinary world”)
The Kitchen as Laboratory: Reflections on the Science of Food and Cooking (Arts and Traditions of the Table: Perspectives on Culinary History) (a series of essays and recipes on the science of cooking)
The Science of Good Cooking (Cook’s Illustrated Cookbooks) (Cook’s Illustrated’s cookbook on the science of cooking)
Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food (a book I picked up on a whim, which arrives tomorrow)
CookWise: The Hows & Whys of Successful Cooking, The Secrets of Cooking Revealed (A more home-oriented approach to scientific cooking, often compared to Alton Brown and Harold McGee)
And with that, I’m off to read more on the science of cooking!