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Thread: Modernist Cuisine - $625 cookbook

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2011

    Modernist Cuisine - $625 cookbook

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    Has anyone else ordered their copy of Modernist Cuisine? With its name, you might think the only thing primal about it is the fact it weighs 43 pounds. But I think this book might get chefs cooking just a little more primally (or at least, with more high-fat cuts of meat).

    Here's one interesting excerpt from an interview

    [Did you discover] Anything controversial?
    We spent a bunch of time talking about what food is really good for you, what food isn't really good for you using the latest scientific and statistical analysis. And that's going to be quite surprising for folks, because a lot of the things that are popularly assumed to be bad for you, like saturated fats, there is essentially little or no evidence that it is bad for you in the way people say. We might get a little bit of controversy in the book because we're basically standing up for bacon. When people call a dish a heart attack on a plate or a cardiologist's worst nightmare, most of the reasons they are saying that don't have any kind of truth to them. And that can be surprising to folks.
    There are lots of other goodies, like a beef-suet mayonnaise for 'the perfect burger' recipe (a recipe which takes 30 hours). Their Christmas feast is pretty much primal aside from the crust of the pumpkin pie. And looking at the table of contents, there's some delicious primal-sounding dishes on there:
    • Beef Rib Steak
    • Autumn Harvest Pork Roast
    • Braised Short Ribs
    • Osso Buco Milanese (veal shanks braise in vegetable broth)
    • Poularde en vessie (chicken cooked in a pig's bladder)
    • Skate in Black Butter
    • Oyster Stew
    • Crispy Cauliflower

    But the best one, I think, is the seemingly pasta-free pasta dish spaghetti alle vongole.

    We served one of my favorite dishes, which is a riff on the classic Italian dish, spaghetti alle vongole – spaghetti with clam sauce. Instead of using spaghetti pasta, however, we cut thin strips of geoduck clam for our “pasta.” When properly cut and then gently heated, it has an amazing sweet clam taste and looks and feels enough like a noodle that the dish comes off.
    There's even a recipe for edible rocks (made from prunes, Armagnac, sugars and baking soda):

    While I'm fairly sure Grok didn't cook his meat sous vide (vacuum sealed and in a temperature-controlled water bath) or use liquid nitrogen, centrifuges or vacuum chambers, I'm really excited about this book. I can't wait to see if I can primalise the recipes, or adapt them to make some amazing primal dishes. And I just wanted to share my excitement. I'm such a fanboy.
    Last edited by Doddibot; 04-08-2011 at 06:03 PM. Reason: annoying asterisks
    "Thanks to the combination of meat, calcium-rich leaf foods, and a vigorous life, the early hunter-gatherers were robust, with strong skeletons, jaws, and teeth." - Harold McGee, On Food And Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    I read about this a while ago - it's not something I'd ever see myself using (I'm pretty basic when it comes to cooking and hate exact measurements/finicky recipes, although I wouldn't say no to eating these if someone else did all the work), but it's definitely interesting. A lot of the recipes sound really, really good, and the photos are stunning. Definitely share any adaptions you might come up with!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    $625 for a cookbook? Uh. No.
    MTA: because it is rare I dont have more to say

    "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - my daughter Age 7

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Ohio, its not the heart of it all
    $625 is a mortgage payment for some.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Eastern PA
    For $625 it would have to come with the StarTrek Food Replicator!
    This time, like all times, is a very good one, if we but know what to do with it. Ralph Waldo Emerson

    Any given day you are surrounded by 10,000 idiots.
    Lao Tsu, founder of Taoism

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Pensacola, FL
    I ordered this set awhile ago but apparently it's out of stock and will be for awhile. I am very excited to get it, because despite my stupid posts like "1 minute muffins" and "bachelor balls", I actually do try to cook interesting stuff most of the time.

    Rivvin's Modern Cuisine: $625 dollars cheaper than that book set.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    I'd rather buy $625 of meat. If you buy that cookbook you are the definition of a jackass

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    While the pricetag is quite high, the books represent the absolute pinnacle of cooking theory available today. Most cookbooks today are simply a rehashing of the same sorts of ideas that were appearing in the original Roman cookbooks, quite stagnant in their delivery and ideas. The Modernist Cuisine books are not some randomly scribbled notes about what someone's grandmother threw into a mixing bowl. They are thoroughly researched recipes documenting exactly what our current level of Culinary Science has discovered.
    "You can demonstrate the purpose and limits of human digestion with a simple experiment: eat a steak with some whole corn kernels, and see what comes out the other end. It won’t be the steak."

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    London, Ontario, Canada
    I want some of those prune meteorites!

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Shop Now
    Quote Originally Posted by Dualhammers View Post
    I'd rather buy $625 of meat. If you buy that cookbook you are the definition of a jackass
    I'm glad you are around to define what the appropriate use of people's money is. Do you have some sort of list that I could consult to tell me which hobbies it is appropriate to spend money on, and which it is not?

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