Category Archives: kitchen

Yes, You Need a New Coffee Dripper

When I first saw the headline, I was skeptical.

This May be the Best-Designed Drip Coffee Maker Ever!

To be clear, I am a french press guy. Have been for decades. Every now and then I pull out my espresso maker. But pressed coffee won me over long ago. And I never bought into the electric drip machines. Which is surprising, since I am a sucker for kitchen gadgets.

But perhaps it was because the drip coffee machines I have tried were not properly designed! Perhaps it was because they were not … adjustable!

That is the pitch for the December Coffee Dripper.

Unlike other drip coffee makers, the contraption has three settings that control the speed with which water is released into the mug. Nicholas Cho, one of the designers of the December Dripper, explains in his Kickstarter video that how fast or slow water is let out from the maker depends on how many cups of coffee you’re making. Too fast for one cup and you won’t get the full flavor of the roast. The maker was also specifically made to have a flat bottom to encourage even distribution of water over the grounds.

Of course! Will I join their kickstarter campaign? Stay tuned.

Meanwhile, check out the video at the above link. It is fun … with coffee.


Prep&Cook. The Gadget that Will Eat Your Kitchen!

Today appears to be expensive kitchen gadget day. Below, I posted on the Hestan Cue, and here the Prep&Cook. Yes, it costs errr … $1k. And yes, it is big.  Here is the pitch from Epi

Prep&Cook is identified as an “all-in-one” appliance, and it appears to work just like the Thermomix does: you chop or purée ingredients using the 12-speed food processor, then keep those ingredients right in the bowl as the appliance heats up and cooks them.

Not enough?

the Prep&Cook also kneads doughs, whips cream, steams rice, slow-cooks meat, and stir-fries vegetables. (Over at the New York Times, however, the always-exacting Florence Fabricant found something the Prep&Cook can’t do, noting that “it cannot make neat shreds or slices.”)

Hmmm … does one really need such a thing? No. Would it be fun to try it out? Yes.

Hestan Cue: When You Must Have Perfect Scallops ..

I am a gadget freak. I usually cannot resist new kitchen gadgets and easily succumb when something new is on offer.

Ok. Confession over. Now to the trend. The Anova made a significant splash by introducing an affordable new capacity in the kitchen — precisely controlled temperature. Of course, I got one and I love it.

And no huge surprise, other kitchen gadget makers have taken note. Why not use induction to create a precise stove top gadget? Enter, among other contestants, the Hestan Cue.

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It is a pricey portable induction hot plate that connects via bluetooth to a stainless steel pan and your IPad. The IPad delivers the recipe needs, and the induction plate and pan the precise temperature. to make it happen.

BA offers a glimpse of scallop perfection using the Hestan Cue. Will I get one? I am tempted, but my precision cooking needs are already met by my Anova. But I will follow the trend!

A new cookbook: Salt, Fat, Heat

From reviews of series of new cookbooks. I like this idea

In the Bay Area, writer and chef Samin Nosrat has cult followings both for her pop-up dinners at Tartine Bakery in San Francisco and her cooking classes, which friends swear have changed their time in the kitchen. The affable former Chez Panisse cook, whose recipes will appear in our June issue, distilled the essence of both experiences into a teaching philosophy that became the title Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking. Like McFadden, she believes in balancing the aforementioned components and tasting like crazy until the dish is right.

This is a new kind of book. Lots of words to live by before you get to her kitchen basics and, finally, recipes more than halfway through. Wendy MacNaughton’s delightful illustrations capture Nosrat’s infectious joy for the subject. Just reading Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat will make you a better cook, adept at seasoning, balancing, understanding what it really is you’re doing and why. Hey, you might not even need those recipes by the time you get to them, but they are nice, a mix of Chez Panisse-y Cal-Med and Nosrat’s Cali-Persian heritage: Persian-ish rice, tuna confit with simmered white beans, rhubarb and frangipane tart with vanilla cream. Make room on the bedside table—and the countertop.

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And here is a peek inside

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Remembering Marie.Antoine Carême

Have you ever wondered how our modern kitchen routines got started? For example, who were the first celebrity chefs? How did they achieve their status?

If you are intrigued by these questions, the check out the life of Marie-Antoine Carême, the first celebrity chef.   How is this to get the story started

The bustling Paris streets were rutted and caked in thick mud, but there was always a breathtaking sight to behold in the shop windows of Patisserie de la Rue de la Paix. By 1814, people crowded outside the bakery, straining for a glimpse of the latest confection created by the young chef who worked inside.

Yup. It was the young Carême. What were the people looking at?

Carême fashioned edible replicas of the late 18th century’s most famous buildings — crumbled confectionery ruins of ancient Athens and pastry towers of Chinese fortresses with flowing trellises of appetizing greenery. Bailly displayed these opulent creations — often as large as 4 feet tall — in his bakery window.

And he was still just a teenager. He went on to cook for diplomats, kings, and Napoleon as well. He also wrote cookbooks that set the standard for the day.

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Very cool!