Cooking for Geeks, 2nd Edition

Book description

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

More than just a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your curiosity to discovery, inspiration, and invention in the kitchen. 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 we overclock an oven to 1,000 F/540 C? Author and cooking geek Jeff Potter provides the answers to these questions and more, and offers his unique take on recipes -- from the sweet (a patent-violating chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (slow-cooked brisket).

This book is an excellent and intriguing resource for anyone who enjoys cooking or wants to experiment in the kitchen.

  • Discover what type of cook you are and calibrate your tools
  • Learn about the important reactions in cooking, such as protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and how they impact the foods we cook
  • Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, food scientists, knife experts, chefs, writers, and more, including author Harold McGee, TV personality Adam Savage, and chemist Hervé This

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Table of contents

  1. Cover
  2. Title
  3. Copyright
  4. Recipe Index
  5. List of Labs
  6. List of Interviews
  7. How to Contact Us
    1. Safari® Books Online
  8. Introduction
  9. 1 Hello, Kitchen!
    1. How to Think Like a Geek
    2. Know Your Cooking Style
    3. How to Read a Recipe
    4. Fear in the Kitchen
    5. A Brief History of the Recipe
    6. Don’t Always Follow the Recipe
    7. A Place for Everything and Everything in Its Place
    8. A Dinner Party for One
    9. The Power of a Dinner Party
    10. The Basics of Kitchen Equipment
  10. 2 Taste, Smell, and Flavor
    1. Taste + Smell = Flavor
    2. Taste, the Gustatory Sense
    3. Inspiration by Taste Combinations
    4. Smell, the Olfactory Sense
    5. What Is Flavor?
    6. Inspiration by Exploration
    7. Inspiration by Seasonality
    8. Computational Flavor Inspiration
  11. 3 Time and Temperature
    1. Cooked = Time * Temperature
    2. 85°F / 30°C: Average Melting Point of Fats
    3. 104–122°F / 40–50°C: Fish and Meat Proteins Start to Denature
    4. 140°F / 60°C: The End of the Danger Zone
    5. 141°F / 61°C: Eggs Begin to Set
    6. 154°F / 68°C: Collagen (Type I) Denatures
    7. 158°F / 70°C: Vegetable Starches Break Down
    8. 310°F / 154°C: Maillard Reactions Become Noticeable
    9. 356°F / 180°C: Sugar Quickly Caramelizes
  12. 4 Air and Water
    1. Air, Hot Air, and the Power of Steam
    2. Water Chemistry and How It Affects Your Baking
    3. You Must Choose Your Flour, but Choose Wisely
    4. Error Tolerances in Baking
    5. Yeast
    6. Bacteria
    7. Baking Soda
    8. Baking Powder
    9. Egg Whites
    10. Egg Yolks
    11. Whipped Cream
  13. 5 Fun with Hardware
    1. High-Pressure Situations
    2. A Few Low-Pressure Tricks
    3. Sous Vide Cooking: Low-Temperature Poaching
    4. Making Molds
    5. Wet Separations
    6. Chilling Out with Liquid Nitrogen and Dry Ice
    7. Cooking with a Lot of Heat
  14. 6 Playing with Chemicals
    1. Food Additives
    2. Mixtures and Colloids
    3. Preservatives
    4. Flavorings
    5. Thickeners
    6. Gelling Agents
    7. Emulsifiers
    8. Enzymes
  15. Postscript How to Be a Smarter Geek
  16. Appendix: Cooking Around Allergies
    1. Substitutions for Common Allergies
  17. Index
  18. Acknowledgments
  19. About the Author
  20. Backcover

Product information

  • Title: Cooking for Geeks, 2nd Edition
  • Author(s): Jeff Potter
  • Release date: October 2015
  • Publisher(s): O'Reilly Media, Inc.
  • ISBN: 9781491928059