Thursday, 3 December 2015

Shout-Out: Cooking for Geeks 2nd Edition

A few years ago I reviewed a fascinating book on the science behind cooking, Cooking for Geeks. On October 29th a second edition of the book was released.  It's got 150 new pages and a complete rewrite of the rest of the book.  It now has more than 100 recipes, more than 20 interviews with chefs, writers and researchers, sidebars with information, and labs for parents to do experiments with their kids.

The first edition had a lot of interesting information and a humorous tone to it. And some interesting recipes. I still remember the watermelon, red onion and feta cheese salad recipe I made following a section on taste combinations. I also learned what the difference between baking soda and baking powder is, how cake flour differs from all-purpose flour, why it's important to let roasted meats sit a few minutes before slicing them up, how to take the sting out of red onions, and more.

'Tis the season for gift giving, and if you know a geek who likes science, likes to cook or needs to learn how, this is a great idea.

Why, exactly, do we cook the way we do? Are you curious about the science behind what happens to food as it cooks? Are you the innovative type, used to expressing your creativity instead of just following recipes? Do you want to learn to how to become a better cook?

Cooking for Geeks is more than just a cookbook. Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter helps you apply curiosity, inspiration, and invention to the food you prepare. Why do we bake some things at 350°F / 175°C and others at 375°F / 190°C? Why is medium-rare steak so popular? And just how quickly does a pizza cook if you "overclock" an oven to 1,000°F / 540°C? This expanded new edition provides in-depth answers, and lets you experiment with several labs and more than 100 recipes--from the sweet (a patent-violating chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (pulled pork under pressure).
When you step into the kitchen, you're unwittingly turned into a physicist and a chemist. This excellent and intriguing resource is for inquisitive people who want to increase their knowledge and ability to cook.
  • Discover what type of cook you are and learn how to think about flavor
  • Understand how protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, caramelization, and other reactions impact the foods we cook
  • Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, and writers--including science enthusiast Adam Savage, chef Jaques Pépin, and chemist Hervé This

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