Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work

Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work

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Overview

Alex Talbot and Aki Kamozawa, husband-and-wife chefs and the forces behind the popular blog Ideas in Food, have made a living out of being inquisitive in the kitchen. Their book shares the knowledge they have gleaned from numerous cooking adventures, from why tapioca flour makes a silkier chocolate pudding than the traditional cornstarch or flour to how to cold smoke just about any ingredient you can think of to impart a new savory dimension to everyday dishes. Perfect for anyone who loves food, Ideas in Food is the ideal handbook for unleashing creativity, intensifying flavors, and pushing one’s cooking to new heights.
 
This guide, which includes 100 recipes, explores questions both simple and complex to find the best way to make food as delicious as possible. For home cooks, Aki and Alex look at everyday ingredients and techniques in new ways—from toasting dried pasta to lend a deeper, richer taste to a simple weeknight dinner to making quick “micro stocks” or even using water to intensify the flavor of soups instead of turning to long-simmered stocks. In the book’s second part, Aki and Alex explore topics, such as working with liquid nitrogen and carbon dioxide—techniques that are geared towards professional cooks but interesting and instructive for passionate foodies as well. With primers and detailed usage guides for the pantry staples of molecular gastronomy, such as transglutaminase and hydrocolloids (from xanthan gum to gellan), Ideas in Food informs readers how these ingredients can transform food in miraculous ways when used properly.
 
Throughout, Aki and Alex show how to apply their findings in unique and appealing recipes such as Potato Chip Pasta, Root Beer-Braised Short Ribs, and Gingerbread Soufflé. With Ideas in Food, anyone curious about food will find revelatory information, surprising techniques, and helpful tools for cooking more cleverly and creatively at home. 

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307717405
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 12/28/2010
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 187,641
Product dimensions: 6.70(w) x 11.34(h) x 1.07(d)

About the Author

AKI KAMOZAWA and H. ALEXANDER TALBOT met in the kitchen at Clio in Boston in 1997 and have been cooking together ever since. They own Ideas in Food, a consulting business based in Levittown, Pennsylvania, and have worked with individual chefs as well as with companies such as No. 9 Group in Boston, Fourth Wall Restaurants in New York City, Frito Lay, and Unilever. Their company grew out of their Ideas in Food blog, which they started in 2004. Together they wrote an online column called “Kitchen Alchemy” for Popular Science. Visit them at www.ideasinfood.com

Read an Excerpt

No-Knead Brioche Dough
Makes two 9 x 5-inch loaves
 
Good brioche is an amazing thing. The bread is light, buttery, and full
of flavor. It can be somewhat labor intensive in its original form, so we
were immediately intrigued by the idea of creating a no-knead version.
Normally the butter is beaten into the dough, but here we melt it and
add it to the wet ingredients. The long resting period allows it to be
fully absorbed into the dough without all that extra work. This may
seem like a large recipe, but the dough can be used to make various
sweet breads like the sticky bun recipe that follows, and the plain loaves
freeze beautifully.
 
6 ½ cups/975 grams all-purpose flour
½ cup/100 grams sugar
3 ½ teaspoons/20 grams fine sea salt
½ teaspoon/2 grams instant yeast
8 large eggs
1 cup/230 grams room-temperature water
½ cup/135 grams milk
1 pound/450 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Milk or heavy cream for brushing the loaves
 
Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk to thoroughly blend.
 
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, water, and milk. Once they are well blended, whisk in the butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed and there are no lumps. The mixture will resemble muffin batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. The dough will rise to approximately one and a half times its initial volume.
 
Using a rubber spatula, gently loosen the dough from the bowl.
Dampen your hands with cool water and, with the dough still in the bowl, slide one hand under one side of the dough. Fold that side of the dough into the center and press down gently so the dough adheres to itself. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the folding process. Do this two more times. After the fourth fold, flip over the dough so the seams are on the bottom. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. The dough will double in size.
 
Repeat the folding procedure, ending with the seams on the bottomn.
The dough is now ready to use.
 
To Bake the Brioche
Divide the dough in half. Place each half in a greased 9 × 5-inch loaf pan. (You can also bake half and reserve half for the sticky bun recipe that follows.) Cover the pans with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the pans while you preheat the oven to 375oF
(190°C) or 350oF (175°C) with convection.
 
Brush the loaves with milk and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour. The loaves are done when they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped firmly with your finger. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Turn the loaves out of their pans and return them to the rack to cool completely.

Recipe

No-Knead Brioche Dough
Makes two 9 x 5-inch loaves

Good brioche is an amazing thing. The bread is light, buttery, and full of flavor. It can be somewhat labor intensive in its original form, so we were immediately intrigued by the idea of creating a no-knead version. Normally the butter is beaten into the dough, but here we melt it and add it to the wet ingredients. The long resting period allows it to be fully absorbed into the dough without all that extra work. This may seem like a large recipe, but the dough can be used to make various sweet breads like the sticky bun recipe that follows, and the plain loaves freeze beautifully.

6 ½ cups/975 grams all-purpose flour
½ cup/100 grams sugar
3 ½ teaspoons/20 grams fine sea salt
½ teaspoon/2 grams instant yeast
8 large eggs
1 cup/230 grams room-temperature water
½ cup/135 grams milk
1 pound/450 grams unsalted butter, melted and cooled
Milk or heavy cream for brushing the loaves

Combine the flour, sugar, salt, and yeast in a large bowl. Whisk to thoroughly blend.
In a separate bowl whisk together the eggs, water, and milk. Once they are well blended, whisk in the butter. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry mixture and stir with a rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the liquid is absorbed and there are no lumps. The mixture will resemble muffin batter. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 3 to 4 hours. The dough will rise to approximately one and a half times its initial volume.

Using a rubber spatula, gently loosen the dough from the bowl. Dampen your hands with cool water and, with the dough still in the bowl, slide one hand under one side of the dough. Fold that side of the dough into the center and press down gently so the dough adheres to itself. Give the bowl a quarter turn and repeat the folding process. Do this two more times. After the fourth fold, flip over the dough so the seams are on the bottom. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let it rise at room temperature for 8 to 12 hours. The dough will double in size.

Repeat the folding procedure, ending with the seams on the bottomn. The dough is now ready to use.

To Bake the Brioche

Divide the dough in half. Place each half in a greased 9 × 5-inch loaf pan. (You can also bake half and reserve half for the sticky bun recipe that follows.) Cover the pans with a towel or plastic wrap. Let the dough rest in the pans while you preheat the oven to 375oF (190°C) or 350oF (175°C) with convection.
Brush the loaves with milk and bake on the middle rack of the oven for 1 hour. The loaves are done when they are a deep golden brown and sound hollow when tapped firmly with your finger. Cool for 10 minutes in the pan on a wire rack. Turn the loaves out of their pans and return them to the rack to cool completely.

Customer Reviews

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Ideas in Food: Great Recipes and Why They Work 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Harlan879 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Aki and Alex have turned their immensely successful blog, catering business, and teaching experience into a book for ambitious professional and home cooks. The recipes and the techniques they illustrate are fascinating, novel ways of bringing together flavors and textures, and their excitement at these techniques came through well. However, large sections of the prose were extremely poorly/hastily written, with jarringly bad paragraph construction and narrative flow. Whether the book was unedited or merely underedited, it seriously could have used another hand to make it enjoyable to read as a book qua book. As a cooking reference for people interested in modern techniques, however, it is unmatched for the price.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
These authors have a unique concept and their imagination in cooking is unparalleled. Wish the cookbook with illustrations weren't so expensive.