Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food

Cooking for Geeks: Real Science, Great Hacks, and Good Food

Jeff Potter

Are you the leading edge variety, the prepare dinner who marches to another drummer -- used to expressing your creativity rather than simply following recipes? Are you interested by the technology at the back of what occurs to nutrients whereas it truly is cooking? do you need to benefit what makes a recipe paintings so that you can improvise and create your individual particular dish?

More than simply a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your interest to discovery, concept, and invention within the kitchen. Why is medium-rare steak so well known? Why will we bake a few issues at 350 F/175 C and others at 375 F/190 C? and the way speedy does a pizza cook dinner if we overclock an oven to 1,000 F/540 C? writer and cooking geek Jeff Potter offers the solutions and gives a different tackle recipes -- from the candy (a "mean" chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (duck confit sugo).

This ebook is a wonderful and fascinating source for an individual who desires to test with cooking, whether you do not think of your self a geek.

  • Initialize your kitchen and calibrate your instruments
  • Learn concerning the very important reactions in cooking, resembling protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and the way they effect the meals we prepare dinner
  • Play together with your nutrients utilizing hydrocolloids and sous vide cooking
  • Gain firsthand insights from interviews with researchers, nutrients scientists, knife specialists, cooks, writers, and extra, together with writer Harold McGee, television character Adam Savage, chemist Hervé This, and xkcd

From Cooking for Geeks: Butternut Squash Soup

Purée in a nutrients processor or with an immersion blender:
2 cups (660g) butternut squash, peeled, cubed, and roasted (about 1 medium squash)
2 cups (470g) bird, turkey, or vegetable stock
1 small (130g) yellow onion, diced and sautéed
0.5 teaspoon (1g) salt (adjust to taste)


  • The weights are for the ready elements and basically tough feedback. So, organize each one merchandise separately. for instance, for the squash, peel it, then coat it with olive oil, sprinkle it with salt, and roast it within the oven at a temperature round 400–425 F / 200–220 C until eventually it starts off to brown. if you happen to visit purée the components, carry again a few of the squash and a few of the inventory, style the purée, and notice which you think that it wishes. wish it thicker? upload extra squash. Thinner? upload extra stock.
  • This soup on its own is especially easy. Garnish with no matter what else you have got available that you just imagine may well move good, corresponding to garlic croutons and bacon. Or most sensible with a small dab of cream, a few toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries to provide it a sense of Thanksgiving. How a couple of teaspoon of maple syrup, a couple of skinny slices of pork, and a few clean oregano? Chives, bitter cream, and cheddar cheese? Why no longer! rather than deciding to buy goods to persist with a recipe precisely, test utilizing leftover elements from different food to enrich the squash soup.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you could “jump-start” the squash through microwaving it first. Peel and sector the squash, utilizing a spoon to scoop out the seeds. Then, dice it into 1–2” / 3–5 cm items, drop it right into a glass baking pan that’s either oven and microwave secure, and nuke it for 4 to 5 mins to partly warmth the mass. get rid of from microwave, coat the squash with olive oil and a mild sprinkling of salt, and roast it in a preheated oven until eventually performed, approximately 20 to half-hour. If you’re no longer in a hurry, you could pass the peeling step completely: reduce the squash in part, scoop out the seeds, upload oil and salt, roast it for roughly an hour (until the flesh is soft), and use a spoon to scoop it out.

Pumpkin Cake

There are vast different types of cake batters: excessive- ratio cakes--those that experience extra sugar and water than flour (or via a few definitions, only a lot of sugar)--and low-ratio cakes—which are inclined to have coarser crumbs. For high-ratio brownies, there could be extra sugar than flour (by weight) and extra eggs than fat (again, by means of weight), and the liquid mass (eggs, milk, water) will be heavier than the sugar.

Consider this pumpkin cake, that is a high-ratio cake (245g of pumpkin includes 220g of water--you can glance those types of issues up within the USDA nationwide Nutrient Database, to be had on-line at

In a blending bowl, degree out after which combine with an electrical mixer to completely combine:
1 cup (245g) pumpkin (canned, or roast and puree your own)
1 cup (200g) sugar
3/4 cup (160g) canola oil
2 huge (120g) eggs
1 half cups (180g) flour
1/4 cup (40g) raisins
2 teaspoons (5g) cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
0.5 teaspoon (5g) baking soda
0.5 teaspoon (3g) salt
half teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract

move to a greased cake pan or spring shape and bake in an oven preheated to 350 F / a hundred seventy five C until eventually a toothpick comes out dry, approximately 20 minutes.


  • Try including dried pears soaked in brandy. you may as well carry again a few of the raisins and sprinkle them on top.
  • One great factor approximately high-ratio tarts is they don’t have a lot gluten, so that they won’t end up like bread, in spite of over the top beating. With a complete weight of 920 grams, of which merely approximately 20 grams is gluten, there simply isn’t sufficient gluten found in this cake to offer it a bread-like texture. There’s additionally a reasonable quantity of either sugar and fat to intrude with gluten development.

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