Thursday, January 19, 2012


Be More Nathan Myrhvold

The New York Times and Nathan Myrhvold show you how to do some of those weird cooking techniques the show offs on Top Chef are always busting out. For example, how to sous vide salmon at home without one of those sous vide machines that I imagine cost $1,000. (If only there were a way to find out.) Also gin-infused celery and seared frozen steak. Can you show us foams next, Nathan? And can you send me your cookbook, please? Don't even worry about it, just send it.

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My roommate has a sous vide machine. It is needlessly complicated and honestly, I can't really taste the difference. I guess maybe if I wanted to make science-y food it would come in handy. But I think yes, it cost like $1000. If I sous vide salmon tonight I'll let you know how it turns out.*
*I will not do this, probably.


Be less Heather. And Sarah. And Lindsay.

hero worship

@velcrosneakers AGREED. Why are all the female chefs such bullies this season?


(If only there were a way to find out.)

The use of the parentheses here is pure comedy gold.


That would be a step up from eating oatmeal out of a mug for every meal, and I respectfully decline to make any attempt at progress.


@yeah-elle My manfriend has been out of town for a week and somehow every mug in the house is dirty and almost none of the plates. What HAVE I been eating??


FYI... you can sous vide in a beer cooler. I've been meaning to try this:



@LornaLoo oh wait... did i miss a sarcastic google joke in "(If only there were a way to find out.)"?


@LornaLoo A friend of mine did that with steak - said it came out no better than cooking on a stovetop (which you have to do anyways to give the steak a nice sear)


We are the insufferable assholes who have both Modernist Cuisine and a sous vide machine.

We use them almost on the daily, if that matters. Cooking at home is kind of our thing, and the more I try and experiment, the better I get at it.


@karion I put a sous vide machine on my wedding registry because I will totally use it! Cooking at home is fun and experimenting is the best part of it--now when I go to restaurants and food is sub par I'm a lot more critical because I could have made it well for less money.


@karion - can I move in w/ you? I'm an experienced third-wheel with excellent references (still extremely close with a couple I lived with for five years). I also have my own wusthof le cordon bleu II knives (ill die if they ever break because they're no longer made and my favorite ever) so won't have to use yours, and I'm an excellent sausage maker.


@parallel-lines: Our sous vide was a wedding present! I am sort of on the fence about it, primarily because my experiments have not gone as well as his. I have come to the bigger realization that he is a better cook than me because he isn't afraid of a failed experiment. I, on the other hand, will fret every decision in the process, which never leads to good things.

I watch enough Top Chef to know that confident cooking is the best kind of cooking. I am still tentative and more afraid to fail.

@leon: Our spare bedroom has been tentatively reserved since we moved in, and is now a man cave. But we are all about the dinner parties in 2012. The Mr. is the sausage maker, but bring your knives - hot damn, I want to see those.

A Satisfied Customer

Be less Nathan Myhrvold!

He's a pretty shady operator, apparently. A patent troll. Jane, you should know this: http://www.thisamericanlife.org/radio-archives/episode/441/when-patents-attack

Plus, if we decide to hate him, I don't have to feel so bad that I can't afford his amazing cookbook.


@A Satisfied Customer: that is actually completely (God, how I want to say patently) untrue.

It would take a whole bunch of back and forth on the internet to really get into it, and I am just not feeling it today. I am an intellectual property attorney with over 10 years' experience. I know a shit ton about the business model of IV, and know an awful lot about patent trolling as well. IV (his company) is not - at all - a patent troll company. They aren't a litigation-based company at all.

Gah. I have had this conversation a couple of times with folks who all read the same articles, none of which evidenced a fundamental understanding of IP, and all of which evidenced a crazy distrust of a company that leverages patents.

Suffice to say, I strongly disagree, but I have quite a few conflicts of interest here. All that being said? I know why people think that about IV and Myhrvold, and while I disagree, there are good faith reasons to be skeptical of a company with the patent holdings of IV.


@karion Can you provide links? I've only heard negative things about IV and would love to hear a counter reasoning.


I bought some sodium alginate and calcium chloride powders to make this asparagus caviar recipe, although I still haven't gotten around to it. Has anyone else spherified things? What was the craziest/most successful result? I really want to make little spheres of oatmeal or chocolate stout and incorporate them into a dessert, but I feel like the chemistry of the beer will require a little tinkering with the solution concentrations.


Melissa Clark is da bomb. Her recent "Cook This Now!" is a winner, IMO. (I was going to defend her against the "bully" epithet, but now that I think about it, that's kind of a bullying title.) As for Myrhvold's cookbook, hey, no one ever points out that you can get free SuperSaver shipping on it from Amazon!

the angry little raincloud

The man I am currently seeing has the whole set. He's yet to cook properly for me (by properly, I mean he whipped up something from leftovers and made a salad one night. I want real food from this dude).


OHMYGOD - please just tell me how to make gin celery right now. I can't watch the video and I NEED it (gin celery).


Jane, you can actually build your own sous vide rig at home, if you're feeling crafty.

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