Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Molecular gastronomy day


Kitchens never cease to amaze me. Maybe it's because I suck in the kitchen, but I am fascinated with cooking shows. I watch the Food Network, get inspired and really believe I am the next Julia Child. When it comes down to it, though, I end up eating fat-free Triscuits and Laughing Cow lite cheese for dinner. (But, add a glass of wine to that and it's actually very French!)

Ever since Marcel (a.k.a Spike, from Gremlins) was on Bravo's Top Chef, I have been aware of molecular gastronomy. The best way I can explain it is that you take regular foods, sauces and the like, and then create various chemical reactions to get foams and crazy juices. 

I maintain I could get foams and crazy juices in food without either 1) attending culinary school or 2) trying, but that's just my amazing kitchen prowess. For instance, yesterday I caught another burner on fire with a Pasta Roni boilover, therefore, I created effortless foam.

Today on Good Eats, Alton Brown made souffle, all the while explaining the chemical reactions that must occur in order for optimum finished food fluff. (I came up with that alliteration, not Alton, but he's welcome to it for a consulting fee.) I figured I could give it a whirl, after all, how hard could it be to bake puffy eggs?

I kept trying to whip egg whites and it just wasn't working. When I finally got a few of them to sort of form stiff peaks (which always makes me laugh when I say "stiff peaks"), I thought that would work. "Nay," said the little chef; a dozen eggs later, I had a gooey egg mess that had partially solidified to only one side of the baking dish. Damn you molecular gastronomy, this is why I shun the sciences. Chemistry is not my friend and eggs are dirty bitches.

I went to the gym, I went to the grocery store and despite my best efforts earlier this evening, I ate fat-free Triscuits and Laughing Cow lite cheese for dinner. Merde totale.

4 comments:

1979 semi-finalist said...

"Chemistry is not my friend and eggs are dirty bitches"

BWAH! Best thing I've read in over 100 years!

Holly said...

Thanks Kel! I now have another century to come up with something funny!

kris said...

The Good Eats recipes on the Food Network website are sometimes changed for unfathomable reasons. And sometimes those changes can lead to wholly disastrous results. (Or at least an inedible dish).

Most of the episodes (including Quantum Foam) have been transcribed over on the Good Eats Fan Page. The transcripts are pretty spot on, and a much better source for finding the correct recipe.

You know what's sad? I didn't even have to look up the name of the episode. I knew it just from the recipe you were making.

Holly said...

And now, Kris, my new nickname for you is "Quantum Foam."