Rotary Vacuum Evaporator.

My Cooking Wishlist

Today I have decided to write up a quick list of things I would like to add to my kitchen collection. My “cooking wishlist” so to speak. Most of these things are fairly straight forward but some are used for some more advanced techniques.

Now the real question is what to start with. Recently I started following a company on twitter that makes Pizza Steels. Well they now have a new really cool product that is a stove top griddle. So it is a steel plate that that sits on top of your burner basically giving you a flat top griddle like the ones used in a lot of restaurants. The reason I want one of these is because there are so many uses, especially when cooking meat sous vide.  Not only that but you can do bacon, eggs, hash browns and all kinds of other stuff.

Next on my list is the iSi Thermo Whipping Siphon. These are the canisters that you put some kind of a liquid or batter in and charge it with a little co2 tank. These are really great for things like making foams or microwave cakes. The downside to them is that because they are kind of a specialized product they happen to be really expensive.

iSi Whipping Siphon

iSi Whipping Siphon

One of the other things that I have found myself without that would really nice to have is a good Vita-Mix. Most of you know the reasons that this would be a really thing to have around the kitchen, anything from a nice sauce to a perfectly blended soup.

Vita-Mix 750

Vita-Mix

I never run out of my list of cookbooks that I would love to add. I always keep a running list of books going on my amazon account. One of the ones at the top of my list is the big brother to one I already have. It is the Modernist Cuisine. I have the “At Home” version but I really would like to get the more advance and complete set. This set of books is super intense and for the home cook the “At Home” version would probably be the better choice.

Modernist Cuisine Set

Modernist Cuisine Set

Now for the super fun toys that have a higher price tag but would be a blast to have. There are several of these on my list made by one of my favorite companies. That’s right you guessed it, Polyscience. They make a couple of different things that I would love to get my hands on and play around with. One is the Anti-Griddle. It is a cooking tool that has a plate similar to a griddle but instead of getting hot to cook things it does the opposite, it gets super cold. And by super cold I am talking -30 F. This allows you to do some cool stuff such as frozen vinaigrette’s that melt on your plate or desserts with a cold center. All kinds of crazy cool stuff.

Anti Griddle

Anti Griddle

The other tool that I would love to get from is a Rotary Evaporator. This is a tool that can evaporate, distill, separate and purify liquids which will allow you to easily concentrate, capture and infuse flavors. Lots of different things you can do with this such as flavors for foods and drinks.

Rotary Vacuum Evaporator.

Rotary Vacuum Evaporator.

Well these are just a few of the many things I would like to add to my collection but there are always new things I am adding to it and can always use like spoons and spatulas and other random things

I would love to know what things are on your wish list. Leave a quick list in the comment section!

The dishes that Wai-Man and I cooked up

Our Version of “Chopped”

Our own version of “Chopped”

For the last few weeks instead of having a class on Tuesday’s we have been doing a cooking demo. It has been a lot of fun. Not only does it allow us to use up extra product and keep it from going bad but it has also allowed me to do some cooking. So the premise behind these demos is to take things out of the fridge and trying to make dishes out of them. I have really enjoyed this process because it has made me really do some creative cooking!

So this last demo we did had a little twist to it. Myself and my assistant, Wai-Man, had a cook off with a tray of ingredients that was wrapped in foil, so we had no idea what was on it. It was in essence our own version of “Chopped” without the prize money!

Now to what was on the tray, because i’m sure your wanting to know what we had to work with. When we unwrapped the tray there was a chicken breast, a shot of bourbon, a Fresno chilli, a 1/4 head of red cabbage, a couple of slice of bacon, 2 red potatoes, and a granny smith apple, and the real brain teaser was 2 amareti cookies. So many good ingredients, and so many possibilities. The only thing that threw a wrench into all plans was the cookies. They are delicious on their own, sweet and crispy, but a tough thing to work into a savory dish.

Now we were just planning on having a nice friendly cook off, however the people that were there watching us cook decided that it was necessary for us to have a time limit. So we set the time limit at 25 mins, enough time to get everything cooked but also keep a little pressure on us. Continue reading

Metal clamps for meat

Continue to Learn

The Never Ending Quest for Knowledge

One of the best parts of teaching classes at Sur La Table, other than getting to teach people and use lot of fun tools, is the fact that I get asked some really great questions and this is why I must continue to learn my craft.

Yoda meme

Every time I teach a class I am always surprised and excited by the questions I get asked. People are so creative with the thoughts they have. They are not always good ideas but to me it is really exciting that people are thinking about different ways of doing things. Then comes the fun part of trying to put those ideas to the test to see if they can work. Not only do they come up with some great ideas but I always have fun showing them things they never knew. Such as during the class I teach on cooking sous vide, showing them that you can make the most amazing creme brulee. It shocks people when you show them how simple it is but at the same time how delicious and amazing it is. Continue reading