5 things I’ve learned from Modernist Cuisine at Home

This blog is about sewing and knitting, and other DIY, yet today I wanted to share what I’ve learned from reading, Modernist Cuisine at Home, a book by Maxime Bilet and Nathan Myhrvold. I’m only 20% through the book, but I wanted to make a note on some things that I thought were worth remembering and sharing! Do you cook as well? (If you do, there are more links to places on this blog, where I talked about food, at the end of this post)

1. Corn is not the only cereal you can pop in the microwave, you can also try quinoa and wheat! You can make your own microwave popcorn bags by using a clean paper bag sealed with toothpicks! Purple Kappa even tested a muslin bag she made for popping corn in the microwave – genius! Lately I’ve been adopting some new habits that have to do with reusing and repurposing and the idea of a reusable popcorn bag sounds really good.

2. You can steam veggies like bok choi, carrots, peppers and potatoes in a ziplock bag, in the microwave. The sealed environment inside the bag is great for perfect steaming, and it takes less time than the stove top. Tested! I still use my bamboo steamer for this, but if you’re out of time and in need of tasty food this works.

3. The idea of sous vide (which means cooking ingredients in a sealed plastic bag or canning jar and then placing them in a water bath) might be trendy, but it is not new. Preserving and cooking food preserved in leaves (like tamales), canned in fat or salt or sealed inside animal intestines is actually a cooking technique found in almost every cuisine. I personally don’t love the idea of using plastic bags for cooking, but I like the idea of cooking sous vide. I would like to experiment with leaves, like plantain leaves or cooking marmalade or sauce in a mason jar.

4. If you’re going to store cooked food, cooking it quickly in a bath of cold water or ice will help maintain juiciness and the flavour of freshly cooked dishes. To me this was surprising as I thought it was better to leave food cool down naturally and then freeze or store in the fridge.

5. If you want to give your barbecue meat a touch of smokiness, you can throw a few chips of wood over the burning coal, as the meat is cooking. It won’t have the same effect as smoking meat for hours, but it will give it a hint of flavour. The authors don’t say which types of wood you can use, though.

cooking modernist cuisine grana padano and fresh pasta

What about you? What are your top cooking tips?

Please note: In the spirit of full disclosure, this post contain an affiliate link, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase this book after following the link. I only recommend products that I use and love myself, and I have not been compensated to write about this product. Any potential commission earned goes back into supporting this website and creating more content. Thank you!

As promised (wow, you made it all the way to here, hooray!), here are some of my recipes on this blog:

My mum’s plum cake recipe

A simple bread recipe (no fancy equipment needed)

An easy pear tart

Cherry tart recipe

The first time I had Ceviche 

A day of Italian food in Bergamo