In my line of work, this is the most wonderful time of year.
The holidays — in terms of recipe developing, testing and photographing — are nearly done. The real holidays are still to come. Which means that my work winds down just in time to actually take a breath to enjoy the season.
And most years, mostly without planning, I gravitate to a project, something fun and foodie, but that the typical routine of my life just doesn’t allow me to explore.
In years past I’ve taken on baking, pasta making, cookbook writing, etc. This year… I’ve decided it will be modernist cooking.
Despite my initial reluctance, I’m totally wowed by Nathan Myhrvold’s new book, “Modernist Cuisine at Home.” This generally is not my style of cooking. Not even a little.
But as special projects go, it seems kind of fun. He’s all about the sous vide and foams and wacky cooking techniques.
A few weeks ago, for example, Parker and I made sous vide steaks using a ice cooler and a blow torch. It was delicious fun.
Flipping through his book last night, I got inspired to try his modernist milkshake, which involves blending milk with whey protein, powdered egg whites and sugar. So I made it with Parker’s breakfast this morning.
True to billing, it was fantastic. And, more importantly, there was enough left over to put some in his lunch.
My next project — to see how inexpensively I can build (with my engineer dad’s help) a sous vide cooker. Because now I want to try tuna and salmon and more steak cooked this way.
But in the meantime, there still are lunches to pack. And since milkshakes, even modernist ones, aren’t a sufficient lunch, I also made some steak and cheese mini quiches and tossed in some leftover mashed potatoes and fruit.
So close to vacation, I can nearly taste it…