Archive for July, 2011

23rd July
2011
written by scott

Last week, Monster Kitchen premiered on the Food Network, featuring yours truly!  In case you missed it, the show is now available to watch online! 

Do you know what it takes to make a 6-foot donut?  My friend (and rival food geek on the show) Jeff Potter explains some of the math and physics over on his blog

[Note: you’ll have to click play twice, and ignore the annoying popup – sorry, the video is hosted elsewhere]

22nd July
2011
written by scott

centrifuged watermelon cocktail
I sure do love watermelon.  I also like cocktails, particularly refreshing cocktails with just the right amount of kick.  I came up with the idea for this drink after having a watermelon and strawberry agua fresca at a local Mexican joint.  The flavor was fantastic, but the texture of crushed watermelon and strawberry felt messy in my mouth – it was like sucking down a glass full of pulp.  I decided to ditch the strawberry and clarify the watermelon using my centrifuge.  It did a fantastic job of separating out the solids (including a very thin layer of “watermelon butter”, which was bright pink and a little tart) and leaving me with a clear juice that tastes very strongly of everyone’s favorite comedically-shashable fruit.  To give the drink some edge and balance, I add a splash of tequila and a shot of hot sauce.

Makes: 1 cool cocktail
Total Kitchen Time: 1 minute (+15 minutes prep, + 30 minutes wait)

Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. centrifuged watermelon juice (see below)
  • 1 oz. Cazadores Reposado Tequila
  • 2 drops Tabasco Sauce

To make the centrifuged watermelon juice:

  1. Cut one fresh watermelon into halves lengthwise, then halves again.  Remove the flesh from the watermelon, leaving the bitter rind.  Cut the watermelon into 2” pieces.
  2. Working in batches, puree the watermelon pieces until smooth.  Divide the mixture evenly between your centrifuge containers.  A typical watermelon will yield about 2 liters of puree. 
  3. Centrifuge the watermelon puree for 30 minutes at 1300Gs.  Carefully remove the centrifuge containers and skim off any film that may have formed at the top.  Decant the clear watermelon juice into a 2 liter container.  You may want to decant through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to ensure that solid matter doesn’t accidentally come along for the ride.

Note: if you don’t have a centrifuge, you can clarify the watermelon juice by holding it near, but not too near, an active black hole.  The extreme gravity will clarify out the juice.

To make the Hot Gallagher:

  1. Combine the watermelon juice and tequila in a cocktail shaker full of ice.  Shake vigorously and pour into a lowball glass over cubed or cracked ice. 
  2. Garnish with 2 drops of Tabasco, or another favorite hot sauce. 
14th July
2011
written by scott

food network

On Tuesday, July 19th, Food Network will air a new show titled Monster Kitchen, and I’m on it.  The show centers around a grudge match between two Los Angeles chefs: Eric Greenspan of The Foundry on Melrose and Michael Fiorelli of mar’sel.  They put their ego’s on the line in a battle for doughnut supremacy, and in this case, size does matter.  Both chefs call on a food geek (me and Jeff Potter, the author of the fabulous book Cooking for Geeks) and a pastry chef (Michelle Cozens and Amy Brown) to help them pull off the challenge.  I haven’t yet seen the show, but I can tell you that the competition is fierce.  Making a gigantic doughnut requires some clever engineering, a ton of work, and a whole lotta frosting. 

Tune in to Food Network Tuesday, July 19th at 9PM to see what happens!

07th July
2011
written by scott

cookie

For some reason I can’t remember, Jessie Oleson (of the fantastic blog Cakespy.com) and I decided to get together and absolutely destroy a few sweets using some of my favorite kitchen tools: the sous vide machine, the centrifuge, the rotor-stator homogenizer, the blowtorch, the vacuum chamber, and the blender.  I took photos of our mayhem and Jessie illustrated them and crafted a story in her signature style.  The result is… disturbing.  Without further ado, here is the Photo Story of the Misfit Pastries.

In a land not so far away, in the dark endcap displays of the grocery store, exists the land of misfit pastries.

These are the sad, stale, and typically on-sale sweets that have not been purchased, the unloved in a generally lovable section of the food pyramid.

Like shooting stars, their futures initially looked bright. But as someone (don’t ask me who, probably a lighting salesman) once said, "the brighter the light, the bigger the shadow". And here, we are going to delve into some of the bad things that can happen to fallen pastries.

Take here the hapless cookies, so festive and fresh a few days ago, which are now inspiring the ire of a rather dapper Watermelon. What will happen next in this scene? We cannot be sure, but one thing is certain: that Mr. Watermelonsworth is displeased, and his monocle and mustache should tell you that he means business.

mr watermelonsworth

…or see how cupcakes have fallen into an unfortunate series of events. sometimes we do senseless things when we are bored or just hungry. were these purposeful lures or simply a cupcake playdates gone bad? Nobody can be sure, but one thing’s certain, these poor Hostess cupcakes are never gonna be the same, and their friends are looking hungry.

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