Modernist Cuisine at Home

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The culinary revolution that has transformed restaurant menus around the world is also making its way into home kitchens. The Cooking Lab, publisher of the encyclopedic six-volume set Modernist Cuisine, which immediately became the definitive reference for this revolution, has now produced a lavishly illustrated guide for home cooks, complete with all-new recipes tailored for cooking enthusiasts of all skill levels.
Modernist Cuisine at Home, by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime ...

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The culinary revolution that has transformed restaurant menus around the world is also making its way into home kitchens. The Cooking Lab, publisher of the encyclopedic six-volume set Modernist Cuisine, which immediately became the definitive reference for this revolution, has now produced a lavishly illustrated guide for home cooks, complete with all-new recipes tailored for cooking enthusiasts of all skill levels.
Modernist Cuisine at Home, by Nathan Myhrvold with Maxime Bilet, is destined to set a new standard for home cookbooks. The authors have collected in this 456-page volume all the essential information that any cook needs to stock a modern kitchen, to master Modernist techniques, and to make hundreds of stunning recipes. The book includes a spiral-bound Kitchen Manual that reprints all of the recipes and reference tables on waterproof, tear-resistant paper. Drawing on the same commitment to perfection that produced Modernist Cuisine, Modernist Cuisine at Home applies innovations pioneered by The Cooking Lab to refine classic home dishes, from hamburgers and wings to macaroni and cheese. More than 400 new recipes are included, most with step-by-step photos that make it easy to bring dining of the highest quality to your own dinner table.
Among the amazing techniques you’ll find are:
how to cook fish and steak perfectly every time, whether you’re in the kitchen, the backyard, or tailgating in a parking lot;
how to use a pressure cooker to make stocks in a fraction of the usual time while capturing more of the flavor;
the secret to making quick, sumptuous caramelized vegetable soups and purees;
how to outfit your home oven to make pizzas as crispy as you would get from a wood-fired brick oven
along with recipes for:
perfect eggs and breathtaking omelets that remove the guesswork for stress-free breakfasts, even for a crowd;
gravies and a hollandaise sauce that are wonderfully rich, perfectly smooth, and never separate;
a flawless cheeseburger and an ultrafrothy milk shake;
chicken wings made better with Modernist techniques, plus seven great sauces and coatings for them;
macaroni and cheese, including stove-top, baked, and fat-free versions, that can be made with any cheese blend you like, from gouda and cheddar to jack and Stilton.
Cooking like a Modernist chef at home requires the right set of tools, but they’re less expensive and easier to find than you might think. You’ll also learn how to get the best out of the kitchen appliances you already own. Learn how to use your microwave oven to steam fish and vegetables to perfection, make exceptional beef jerky, and fry delicate herbs.
The first 100 pages of the book are a trove of useful information, such as:
how to test the accuracy of a thermometer, and why it’s time to switch to digital;
how to use (and not to use) a blowtorch to sear food fast and beautifully;
how to marinate meats more quickly evenly by injecting the brine;
the myriad uses for a whipping siphon beyond whipped cream;
why those expensive copper pans may not be worth the price;
how to deep-fry without a deep fryer;
how to stop worrying and get the most out of your pressure cooker;
how to cook sous vide at home with improvised equipment, a special-purpose water bath, or a home combi oven.
Modernist Cuisine at Home is an indispensable guide for anyone who is passionate about food and cooking.

2013 IACP Cookbook Award Winner in the Food and Beverage Reference/Technical Category

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It is instructive to know that before Myhrvold became an expert on the science of cooking, he was the first chief technology officer at Microsoft. Aided by deft, culinary handyman Bilet, he has assembled a “device” that is as visually stunning as it is scientifically vigorous and mathematically complex. Essentially a desktop version of the authors’ 2,400-page mainframe (Modernist Cuisine, 2011), the book is divided into two sections. Part one focuses on the machinery of the modernist kitchen, exploring the tools needed to pull off such inventive restaurant techniques as sous vide, and expounding upon the joys of whipping siphons, blowtorches, and pressure cookers. Many of the accompanying photos provide striking cutaway views of gadgets. It’s Popular Science on steroids. Part two is a collection of 406 recipes, primarily comfort foods that have found their way into a lab to have their DNA experimented upon. There are more than a dozen variants of chicken noodle soup, from pho to goulash broth, and nine types of mac and cheese, including a mac with jack and stilton. Each entry is a study in metric system precision, with ingredient charts listing not only amounts (in grams), but also volume, as well as a scaling percentage to be used in calculating the number of servings. Photos illuminate every step of the instructions for more than 100 of the recipes, and notations are made when special equipment and ingredients are required. As a result, it is a safe bet that their turkey confit recipe is one of the very few places where the terms needle-nose pliers and duck fat can be found listed side by side.” (Oct.)
From the Publisher
Modernist Cuisine at Home is destined to change the way we cook—and the way we use recipes. For all of us who cook regularly, this book opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It is full of insights that encourage us to try something new, and that teach us something on every single page.
-Martha Stewart

Modernist Cuisine at Home offers useful techniques and solutions that expand our abilities, and it provides us with a practiced and thorough understanding of why things happen the way they do. Most importantly, it ignites a curiosity within and compels us to ask ourselves not “What should we make for dinner?” but rather, “What can we make for dinner?”
-Thomas Keller

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780982761014
  • Publisher: Cooking Lab, The
  • Publication date: 10/8/2012
  • Edition description: Includes 230p Kitchen Manual in slipcase
  • Pages: 456
  • Sales rank: 40,034
  • Product dimensions: 11.50 (w) x 16.40 (h) x 2.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Dr. Nathan Myhrvold is chief executive officer and a founder of Intellectual Ventures, a firm dedicated to creating and investing in inventions. In addition to stimulating the invention of others, Myhrvold is himself an active inventor, with nearly 250 patents issued or pending—including several related to food technology. Before founding his invention company, Myhrvold was the first chief technology officer at Microsoft. He established Microsoft Research, and during his tenure he oversaw many advanced technology projects. He left Microsoft in 1999 to pursue several interests, including a lifelong interest in cooking and food science.

Myhrvold competed on a team that won first place in several categories at the 1991 World Championship of Barbecue, including first prize in the special pasta category for a recipe that Myhrvold developed on the day of the contest.

After working for two years as a stagier at Seattle’s top French restaurant, Rover’s, Myhrvold completed culinary training with renowned chef Anne Willan at the Ecole De La Varenne. In addition, he has worked as Chief Gastronomic Officer for Zagat Survey, publisher of the popular Zagat restaurant guidebooks. Through his many visits to the world’s top restaurants, Myhrvold has become personally acquainted with many of the leading Modernist chefs and the science-inspired cooking techniques they have pioneered.

Myhrvold is himself an accomplished practitioner of Modernist cuisine. He has contributed original research on cooking sous vide to online culinary forums, and his sous vide techniques have been covered in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and PBS’s “Gourmet’s Diary of a Foodie” television series.

Myhrvold’s formal education includes degrees in mathematics, geophysics, and space physics from UCLA, and PhDs in mathematical economics and theoretical physics from Princeton University. In his post-doctoral work at Cambridge University, Myhrvold worked on quantum theories of gravity with the renowned cosmologist Stephen Hawking.

Maxime Bilet received a BA in creative writing, literature, and visual arts from Skidmore College. Bilet then graduated with highest honors from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. He completed a stage at Jack’s Luxury Oyster Bar and was quickly hired to the head chef position there by Jack Lamb. Moving to London, he accepted a stage with Heston Blumenthal’s development team at The Fat Duck. Just prior to joining the culinary team as head chef for recipe research and development at The Cooking Lab, Bilet trained as sous chef to open the London branch of Auberge de L’Ile. In 2011, Bilet was named to Forbes Magazine’s 30 Under 30 list in the category of Food and Wine.

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Table of Contents


Chapter 1: Countertop Tools
Invaluable Modern Tools
Digital Scales
Digital Thermometers
Silicone Mats and Molds
Mixers and Frothers
Ice-Cream Makers
Sieves and Strainers
Whipping Siphons

Chapter 2: Conventional Cooking Gear
Pots and Pans
Pressure Cookers
Conventional Ovens
Combi Ovens
Microwave Ovens

Chapter 3: Sous Vide Cooking Gear
Four Simple Steps
Getting the Air Out
Cooking Sous Vide

Chapter 4: Modern Ingredients
Uncommon Ingredients
Not Your Parents’ Supermarket
Walk on the Wild Side
Unusual Fruits and Vegetables
Foraged Foods


Chapter 5: Composing and Plating
Flavor Combinations
Plate-Up Techniques

Chapter 6: Basics
Pressure-Cooked White Chicken Stock
Brown Beef Stock
Sous Vide Fish Stock
Sous Vide Vegetable Stock
Corn Stock
Mushroom Jus
Redeye Gravy
Brown Chicken Jus
Red Wine Sauce
Home Jus Gras
Pan Gravy
Fluid Gel
Common Problems When Thickening and Gelling
Pressure-Cooked Gravy
Pistachio Pesto
Pesto Variations
Mughal Curry Sauce
Curry Sauce Variations
Sous Vide Hollandaise
Basic Mayonnaise
Mayonnaise Variations
Not-So-Secret Special Sauce
Salsa Verde
Marinara Variations
Strawberry Marinara
Thai Sweet, Sour, and Savory Glaze
Oils and Fats
Sous Vide Lemon Herb Oil
House Vinaigrette
Spiced Chili Oil
Montpelier Butter
Stovetop Carotene Butter
Pressure-Cooked Shellfish Butter
Pressure-Rendered Chicken Fat
Grilled Applesauce
Pressure-Cooked Pickled Mustard Seeds
Garlic Confit
Pressure-Cooked Caramelized Onions
Tomato Confit
Tomato Leather
Pickled Vegetables
Vacuum-Infused Celery
Basic Brine for Poultry
Sweet Brine for Meat
Fish Brine
Marinade Variations
Spice Mixes
Special Curry Spice
Chaat Masala
Fish Spice Mix
Pain d’Epices Powder
Chili Spice Mix
Basic Meat Rub
Chapter 7: Breakfast Eggs
Egg Textures
French Scrambled Eggs
Omelet Fillings
Steamed Omelet
Striped Mushroom Omelet
Mushroom Puree
Cream of Mushroom Variation
Shiitake Marmalade
Eggs Sunny-Side Up
Chapter 8: Salads and Cold Soups
Raspberry Gazpacho
Fruit Minestrone
Sous Vide Vichyssoise
Onion Slaw
Engineering a Great Salad
Green Salad
Pressure-Cooked Quinoa Salad with Cauliflower
Pressure-Cooked Chickpea Salad
Sous Vide Tuna Confit
Pressure-Cooked Lentil Salad

Chapter 9: Pressure-Cooked Vegetable Soups
Caramelized Carrot Soup
Caramelized Vegetable Soup Variations
Pressure-Cooked Vegetable Jus
Pressure-Cooked Vegetables
Pressure-Cooked Barley
Vegetable Soup Plate-Up and Presentation

Chapter 10: Steak
Sous Vide Steak
Low-Temp Oven Steak
Sous Vide Steak in a Cooler
Creamed Spinach
Grilled Steak
Grilled Pork Chop
Lamb Skewers

Chapter 11: Cheeseburger and Milk Shake
Modernist Hamburger Patty
White Sandwich Bread
Ultrafrothy Milk Shake
Cheeseburger Assembly
Meatloaf Sandwich

Chapter 12: Carnitas
Pressure-Cooked Carnitas
Carnitas Variations
Crispy Pork Chicharrón
Refried Bean Foam
Pressure-Cooked Spiced Black Beans
Pressure-Cooked Pork Belly Adobo

Chapter 13: Short Ribs
Sous Vide Short Ribs
Potato Puree
Pork Belly B.L.T.
Lamb Curry
Chapter 14: Roast Chicken
Home Roast Chicken
Roast Chicken Variations
Baked Chicken with Onions
Sous Vide Chicken
Sous Vide Turkey Legs
Sous Vide Turkey Breast

Chapter 15: Chicken Wings
Sous Vide Buffalo Wings
Crispy Chicken Wings, Korean-Style
Crispy Fried Chicken Wings
Boneless Yakitori Wings
Skewer Variations
Buffalo Sauce
Honey Mustard Sauce
Yakitori Sauce
Korean Wing Sauce
Blue Cheese Sauce
Chinese Garlic Chili Condiment

Chapter 16: Chicken Noodle Soup
Aromatic Chicken Broth
Aromatic Broth and Soup Variations
Fresh Noodles
Dressed Noodle Variations
Pressure-Cooked Carrots and Leeks
Chicken Noodle Soup

Chapter 17: Salmon
Fragrant Sous Vide Salmon
Crispy Fish Skin
Selecting Salmon

Chapter 18: Shellfish
Lobster Roll
Poached Lobster Variation
Mussels Marinière
Clams in Chowder Sauce
Sous Vide Braised Snails

Chapter 19: Pizza
Neapolitan Pizza Dough
Rustic Pizza Dough
No-Knead Pizza Dough
Pizza Margherita
Oven-Fried Pizza
Pizza Toppings

Chapter 20: Mac and Cheese
Mac and Cheese
Cheese Variations
Baked Mac and Cheese
“Fat-Free” Mac and Cheese
Cheese Crumble
Perfect Melting Cheese Slice
Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Chapter 21: Risotto and Paella
Parcooked Vegetable Risotto
Pressure-Cooked Paella del Bosco
Risotto and Paella Variations
Chapter 22: Cornmeal
Pressure-Cooked Polenta
Shrimp and Grits
Fresh Corn Tamale
Hush Puppy Variation

Chapter 23: Dishes for the Microwave
Microwave Eggplant Parmesan
Sichuan Bok Choy
Bok Choy Variations
Microwaved Trout with Scallions and Ginger
Microwaved Fish Variations
Microwaved Beef Jerky
Crispy Beef Strands
Crispy Beef and Shallot Salad
Microwave-Fried Herbs
Instant Chocolate Cake
Instant Cake Variations

Chapter 24: Custards and Pies
Coffee Crème Brûlée
Vanilla Panna Cotta
Lemon Posset
Sous Vide Lemon Curd
Sous Vide Crème Anglaise
Pistachio Gelato
Gelato Variations
Short and Flaky Pastry Dough
Sous Vide Pastry Cream

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 7 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 4, 2014

    A must-buy for any avid cook who wants to produce great results

    A must-buy for any avid cook who wants to produce great results CONSISTENTLY. There aren't a ton of recipes in here, instead you will learn the fundamental techniques and methodologies that will allow you to execute modern recipes at home with a relatively small investment in some non-traditional equipment. This book took my cooking to a whole new level.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 26, 2014

    Amazing encyclopedia

    Great book for all you will ever need to know about kitchen equipment and tools. Also fabulous reference for technique from sophisticated to the very simple; all the way down to the types (and pictures) of eggs. What they look like at different stages of cooking. An AtoZ on cooking. Highly recommend.

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  • Posted December 16, 2013

    Bought it as a gift, but couldn¿t part with it

    After buying so many cookbooks over the years, I now prefer cookbooks that also focus on technique, not just ingredients, which is what this book delivers. It inspired me to purchase a pressure cooker, which is now my new favorite tool. (Many of us grew up with moms/grandmas who inadvertently blew up something in a pressure cooker…spaghetti sauce on the ceiling, etc.,…so many of my friends are surprised to hear that they are back in vogue.) I also appreciate the tips on non-traditional ingredients, for example, sodium citrate, which helps to prevent cheeses from separating in dishes such as mac & cheese.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 25, 2013

    Highly recommended - you must check it out

    It is a great book for both the home cook and the professional cook.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 4, 2013


    I am waiting for my book.

    I dont receive it yet.

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 1, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

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