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Modernist Cooking Made Easy: Party Foods: Create Remarkable Cocktails, Hors d'Oeuvres and Small Plates That Will Amaze Your Friends Paperback – September 23, 2014
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Top Customer Reviews
It really has helped to clarify how stuff works and what proper techniques are. I have had several successes now and feel a lot more confident in what I am doing.
I gave it only 4 stars because the images in it aren't that great. They are all online though so you can see them in full color but I would have like better ones in the book itself. I guess that's why this book is $75 less than the other ones, a small trade off in my mind.
On the good side, the book contains excellent descriptions and examples of the terms of modernist cuisine: airs, gels, liquid gels, foams, and so on. For example, I now understand the practical application differences of spherification and reverse spherification, which is significant. For practical applications, it also has generous tables in the back for sous vide timing. ("Cooking for Geeks" can tell you how to hack a slow cooker to do this.) It has also over 80 recipes, so you can try your hand.
But don't think of it as a cookbook. First of all, as mentioned elsewhere, the photos are black-and-white and fairly inelegant, sometimes unappetizing (and therefore discouraging). Second, some of the recipes are for things like a thickened vinaigrette (so it will suspend the ingredients better). I'm guessing that many interested in modernist cuisine would simply find them too ordinary for their interests, and these recipes are otherwise nothing special. Also, at least one recipe for a bourbon sauce (which looks delicious)is essentially included three times, with very minor variation. I guess you should also know that it's not a very big book, and has a lot of white space, at that.
Overall, I guess the audience for this book would be for ambitious cooks without a ton of experience, or those who really want to start slowly and get very good at the basics before moving on. Since I've been cooking for a long time, it's a little too slow for me.
He gives a really nice overview of modernist cooking that defines it, provides a high level view of the basic principles, and discusses the equipment that you really need and that you probably really want, but can do without.
He has well-written sections about a number of newer cooking techniques divided into emulsification, gelling, foams, low temperature cooking, spherification and thickening. Each is defined and there is an explanation of how the process works, the type of equipment and ingredients used in each, and then some representative recipes that show you how you might apply the technique.
There is a very useful section of the book that discusses a number of newer ingredients and how they work and how you might use them. Its a very helpful part of the book that you can refer to quickly when you are cooking and forget the proper ration of an ingredient.
There is also a helpful section that gives sources for ingredients (which used to be pretty hard to find in quantities for the home cook, but now are readily available from the sources that he lists).
I highly recommend that you get a copy if you are interested in expanding your cooking technique repertoire. I know that I refer to mine frequently.
Oh, and this is a bargain, especially compared to the $600 Modernist Cuisine.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Ok, I know 20 dollars for a book is not much, but surely it warrants at least the cheap black & white ink...Read more