Archive for August, 2007

Immersion blenders: Crazy kitchen power

August 2007

Los Angeles Times/June 2007


Not long ago I watched a chef visiting from Italy make a showstopper of a dish, little pasta “hats” stuffed with beets, drizzled with a three-cheese sauce and garnished with twists of beet greens and cubes of beet gelée. He blazed right through this elaborate production not only with knives and whisks but with an immersion blender: puréeing Gorgonzola, mascarpone and Roquefort cheeses with cream for the airy sauce, dissolving gelatin in beet juice, whizzing beet juice and soy sauce into the inevitable foam.

And it was not the first such performance I had seen lately. The immersion blender has become so essential to chefs it could almost be considered a third hand, and not just because of the molecular craze. No other tool seems to work such immediate magic in emulsifying, aerating, puréeing and whipping. (more…)

Bad Reception

August 2007

Why is what’s served at weddings so wretched?

Tray sad

August 2007

Whimsy from salon

The big chill

August 2007

What’s behind the refrigerator door? Too much.

The fifth dimension

August 2007

Metropolitan Home

In the age of molecular gastronomy, the whole language of cooking is changing fast. Tradition-flouting chefs are throwing around such terms as osmosis and desiccation and sous-vide, all of which are fine and kitchen-scientific. But the most important new word is actually as accessible to home cooks as it is to wizards of foam: Umami. (more…)