Modern Techniques for Home Cooks
Radishes Three Ways
At Forage in Salt Lake City, Viet Pham and Bowman Brown drizzle a bright citrus vinaigrette over fresh, grilled and sweet-firm sous vide radishes.
Slow-Baked Sea Bass with Egg Sauce and Garlic Foam
Sea bass turns ultratender and satiny baked at a very low temperature of 160 degrees. Michel Bras serves the fish on a frothy sauce inspired by aigo bulido, Aubrac patois for a simple garlic broth Bras's mother used to make for him when he was sick.
Sous Vide Salmon with Cucumbers
Maria Hines of Tilth in Seattle turns salmon buttery-soft and rare in just 12 minutes. For more-well-done fish, up the water temperature.
Sous Vide Tri-Tip with Cilantro Butter
Michael Ruhlman, co-author of Thomas Keller's sous vide bible, Under Pressure, likes to drop a Cryovac'd tri-tip straight from the butcher into a water bath.
Pan-Seared Chicken Breasts with Barley Foam
Michel Bras keeps his chicken breasts extra-moist by cooking them on the bone, crisping their skins in a buttered skillet. He serves the chicken with a foamy barley sauce made with a pureed soft-boiled egg, which adds a pleasing heft.
Cod with Ham Powder and Garlic Wafers
The traditional Basque dish that inspired this recipe, merluza en salsa verde, consists of hake (a flaky white fish similar to cod) pan-cooked and topped with a thick sauce of parsley mashed with garlic. Chefs Juan Mari Arzak and Elena Arzak recast the classic by lightly poaching the fish in an ethereal clam broth and transforming the sauce's components into airy distillations: the parsley into crunchy sprigs, the garlic into light, crispy wafers.
Slow-Roasted Sweet Onions with "Licorice" Powder
One of Michel Bras's favorite garnishes is a sweet-savory combination of ground almonds, dehydrated olives and demerara sugar (a coarse, raw cane sugar with a subtle molasses flavor); the taste reminds him of licorice. Here it serves as a topping for buttery-soft, slow-roasted whole onions.
Fruit Meringue Kebabs
Fantastical "lollipops," often in outlandish flavors like black truffle, are a signature at El Bulli. "Chupa Chups Julio Verne" or "Jules Verne Lollipops" is what Ferran Adrià calls these fun and easy meringue-coated fruit skewers, presumably because they resemble something from an old-fashioned science fiction movie.
"It's really, really hard to make a good vegan brownie," says chef Erin McKenna. These wheat-free, butterless brownies use xanthan gum, a commercial stabilizer.
Goat Cheese Puddings
Poppy, known for simple, seasonal dishes from chef Jerry Traunfeld, keeps a molecular gastronomist in the pastry station. Dana Cree uses techniques she picked up at the Fat Duck in the U.K. and New York City's WD-50. "I learned to divorce flavors from their original textures to create something new," she says.