January 26, 2015

flan aux œufs et fromage

cheese custard

The denaturing of protein and its subsequent crosslinking is fundamental to cooking. Every time you prepare a dish of scrambled eggs, that’s what you’re doing. You mechanically denature some its many proteins when you beat the egg. Then, as the egg warms in the pan, thermal denaturation occurs. At about 60 °C (140 °F), the proteins begin to crosslink and form a gel that traps water droplets in a newly created protein mesh. more »

January 19, 2015

tarte à la crème de vin

wine-cream tart

Don’t ask Wikipedia for a list of pies. The list will be too long to fathom. Still, what are the most common pies in America? Apple certainly. All types of berry and other fruit pies. There’s banana‑ and coconut‑cream pie? In the fall, pumpkin pin. At other times, sweet potato pie. more »

January 12, 2015

champignons tirés

pulled mushroom

There was this one patient in the late 1980s that had ignored a ruptured appendix. Apparently, he just sat on his front porch drinking beer and hoping that the pain would go away. By the time he was brought unconscious to Rochester General Hospital, his sepsis was so bad that edema had formed throughout his body. more »

January 5, 2015

gésier rôti

seared gizzard

“Do you fret your gizzard?” That’s a question that Dr. Johnson may have asked you if you seemed apprehensive. In the literary world, there seems to be an illusion that we have a body part called a gizzard. Samuel Pepys wrote in his diary on June 17th, 1668, “I find my wife hath something in her gizzard that which waits an opportunity of being provoked to bring up. more »

December 29, 2014

mousse de cheesecake au beurre d’arachide

peanut-butter cheesecake mousse

Some are good. Some are bad. Some are great. Some are so bad that I want to put my fist through my monitor. I have a love‑hate relationship with cooking videos. As much as I hate most of them, I’m still attracted to them like the proverbial moth. In the past I’ve mentioned two YouTube series, Cooking with Dog and Ochikeron (Create, Eat, Happy), that I subscribe to and watch on a regular basis. more »

December 22, 2014

tomates demi-secs

half-dried tomatoes

Taillevent didn’t write recipes for you or me. Irrespective of the fact that he was writing his recipes in the first half of the prior millennium, or as has been suggested, that he was dictating the recipes since he probably was illiterate, his intended audience was most likely his employer. His purpose was to provide a record of his cooking. more »

December 15, 2014

biscuit salé de riz et nori

nori-flavored rice crackers

Many food items are intumescent. Add the right heat, and they swell and become less dense. The cooked and dried pasta I used in my macaroni and cheese presentation is an example of intumescence. What causes the expansion is straight forward. When the pasta is cooked, cross‑linked starch molecules trap water droplets. more »

December 8, 2014

soupe de melon

melon soup

My mother insisted on serving me cantaloupe even though I hated it. The more often she served it, the more I hated it. I guess she thought she could win me over. Today, if I’m served a dish with even a single piece of cantaloupe in it, I send it back to be remade. more »

December 1, 2014

poulet riz

chicken rice

Good afternoon, folks. This plate of chicken rice from Maxwell Food Centre is pretty well known around the region after the SingTel Hawkers vs [Gordon] Ramsay competition. Of course, food lovers like me would definitely head down to try. Beware, the queue was long and the shop [Tian Tian, stall 1‑10] attracted tourists too. more »

November 24, 2014

bouillie de pop-corn

popcorn grits

I’m always getting polenta and pancetta confused. Not the actual materials but the words. I think it was in the 1990s when I first repeatedly encountered the words. I was using pancetta in a frisée salad that I learned early in my French cooking days, and polenta was showing up on restaurant menus with increasing frequency. more »

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