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 cutting edge sort, the cook dinner who marches to another drummer -- used to expressing your creativity rather than simply following recipes? Are you interested by the technological know-how in the back of what occurs to nutrition whereas it is cooking? do you need to profit what makes a recipe paintings so that you can improvise and create your personal special dish?

More than simply a cookbook, Cooking for Geeks applies your interest to discovery, proposal, and invention within the kitchen. Why is medium-rare steak so well known? Why can 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 special tackle recipes -- from the candy (a "mean" chocolate chip cookie) to the savory (duck confit sugo).

This e-book is a wonderful and fascinating source for a person who desires to scan with cooking, whether you do not give some thought to your self a geek.

  • Initialize your kitchen and calibrate your instruments
  • Learn in regards to the vital reactions in cooking, reminiscent of protein denaturation, Maillard reactions, and caramelization, and the way they impression the meals we prepare dinner
  • Play along 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 foodstuff processor or with an immersion blender:
2 cups (660g) butternut squash, peeled, cubed, and roasted (about 1 medium squash)
2 cups (470g) poultry, turkey, or vegetable stock
1 small (130g) yellow onion, diced and sautéed
half teaspoon (1g) salt (adjust to taste)


  • The weights are for the ready elements and in basic terms 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 till it starts off to brown. if you visit purée the constituents, carry again many of the squash and a few of the inventory, style the purée, and notice which you're thinking 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've got to be had that you just imagine may possibly move good, reminiscent of garlic croutons and bacon. Or best with a small dab of cream, a few toasted walnuts, and dried cranberries to offer 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 now not! rather than deciding to buy goods to stick with a recipe precisely, try out utilizing leftover elements from different foodstuff to counterpoint the squash soup.
  • If you’re in a hurry, you could “jump-start” the squash through microwaving it first. Peel and region 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 gentle 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 solely: minimize 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 huge varieties of cake batters: excessive- ratio cakes--those that experience extra sugar and water than flour (or by means of a few definitions, only a lot of sugar)--and low-ratio cakes—which are inclined to have coarser crumbs. For high-ratio tarts, there may be extra sugar than flour (by weight) and extra eggs than fat (again, through weight), and the liquid mass (eggs, milk, water) will be heavier than the sugar.

Consider this pumpkin cake, that's a high-ratio cake (245g of pumpkin comprises 220g of water--you can glance those types of issues up within the USDA nationwide Nutrient Database, on hand 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 0.5 cups (180g) flour
1/4 cup (40g) raisins
2 teaspoons (5g) cinnamon
1 teaspoon (5g) baking powder
half teaspoon (5g) baking soda
half teaspoon (3g) salt
0.5 teaspoon (2g) vanilla extract

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


  • Try including dried pears soaked in brandy. you can even carry again many of the raisins and sprinkle them on top.
  • One great factor approximately high-ratio brownies is they don’t have a lot gluten, in order that they won’t prove like bread, in spite of over the top beating. With a complete weight of 920 grams, of which purely approximately 20 grams is gluten, there simply isn’t sufficient gluten found in this cake to provide it a bread-like texture. There’s additionally a reasonable volume of either sugar and fat to intervene with gluten development.

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