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Equilibrium-brined pork tenderloin

First steps in equilibrium brining

One of the terms that came up frequently right after Modernist Cuisine was released was “equilibrium brining,” but it took me a long time to fully internalize the concept and get around to trying it out. Traditional brining involves placing meat in a relatively concentrated salt solution for a short length of time. You have […]

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Cereal Milk Truffle-1

No crying over spilt milk: Cereal milk truffles

Last weekend was the annual eGullet chocolate and confectionery workshop, held this year at Niagara College in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. The first night of the workshop usually functions as a sort of “show and tell,” where the chocolatiers and confectioners who have gathered from across North America share samples of the treats they’ve been working on […]

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Apples and Malic Acid

Bobbing for apple flavour: Seasoning with malic acid

It’s become a common refrain that acidity is as important to balancing the seasoning of a dish as salt is. Just as salt, properly used, doesn’t necessarily make food taste “salty,” acid doesn’t necessarily make food taste sour; the word usually used is “brightness.” Acid is especially useful in balancing sweetness, which can lurk in […]

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MC mac and cheese

Modernist Cuisine’s mac and cheese

My first plan for my newly acquired powders – and one of the main reasons I picked up some carrageenan – was to finally try the mac and cheese recipe from Modernist Cuisine, arguably the most famous and frequently made dish from the book. The recipe uses sodium citrate and carrageenan to make a cheese […]

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Powder to the people

Fresh ingredients: Powder to the People!

Recently, I was in Ottawa, where I took the opportunity to stop by Powder to the People to pick up some new ingredients I’ve been wanting to try out: malic acid, Versawhip, and a couple of types of carrageenan. With luck, I’ll have some time soon to put them to the test and write about […]

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Rhubarb compote

Improved rhubarb compote

A recent Twitter conversation with Laura raised an interesting challenge: Is there any way to make a rhubarb compote that keeps the pieces of rhubarb intact? I’ve often found that cooked rhubarb disintegrates very easily, and I was pleased to know I’m not the only one. It was tempting to see what a temperature-controlled sous […]

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7. Foie Gras 2

Lunch at Eleven Madison Park

I’ve just returned from New York City, where I enjoyed a wonderful 4-hour lunch at Eleven Madison Park. As a rule, I don’t do restaurant reviews on my site. And what could I possibly say about EMP, except that it lived up to – and exceeded – my very high expectations? The food was creative, […]

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Fluid gel 1

Fluid gel

A common sauce-making technique used in contemporary recipes is the fluid gel. A fluid gel is a substance that behaves as a solid when still, but moves like a fluid when exposed to enough outside force, a property known as “shear-thinning” or “thixotropy”. The textbook example of a shear-thinning fluid is ketchup: in the bottle, […]

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IIF Preserved Lemons

Ideas in preserved lemons

When I said recently that there is very little variation among most of the recipes I have for preserved lemons, I was deliberately omitting one specific recipe from that generalization: the one in Ideas in Food. Obviously, the main problem with the traditional recipe for preserved lemons is the amount of time they take. It’s […]

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Sous Vide Professional

Is modernist cooking soulless?

A pair of companion interviews with Timothy Hollingsworth and Eli Kaimeh, chefs de cuisine of the French Laundry and Per Se, respectively, were making the rounds on social media last week. They both offer interesting insights into the cultures of two of the finest kitchens in North America, and are both very much worth reading. […]

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