Nuance – Finding The Foundation For The Science Of Cooking – Trick Vs. Technique

Nuance – Finding The Foundation For The Science Of Cooking – Trick Vs. Technique

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I was studying to fill in gaps in my education. Engineering and computer science problems, and the math problems that entertained Einstein, require someone to be good at doing elementary math (arithmetic), algebra, geometry, and trigonometry. While I was doing this, I got a copy of Euclid’s Elements, and I read the forward. It was written by someone that used manuscripts from London and Paris and other places. After searching around on the internet, I discovered that people from Portugal have an interesting and technical approach to cooking food. I lacked the knowledge I needed to describe what I was searching to understand. There was something similar to the forward in Euclid’s Elements and recipes from Portugal. What I was searching for appeared to be related to math and science. Not necessarily contemporary industrial science, but natural philosophy and mathematics. While I was searching the internet for a cookbook, I found Escoffier. His books seemed to excite me in the same way that a geometry book excites me. After meeting Escoffier, I found Jacques Pépin. At his Facebook website, he has introduced me to gastronomy, Brillat-Savarin, and Oliver Raymond. His recipes are very exciting. After shopping for cookware, I met Thomas Keller. I read his books often. His books and my experience cooking with his recipes, and the recipes I have from meeting Jacques Pépin, led me to what I originally needed to know. I needed to know that a culinary artist must work to have new techniques and methods. Techniques and methods give a person the opportunity to think and understand how to cook. A collection of techniques and methods may be similar to learning the foundations of a science. Without knowing techniques and methods, I was collecting tricks for cooking. I believe that people would reject me if I said the phrase “tricks of the trade” because this would be a clear sign that I lack something that is important to the pretensions of my culture. I believed that people would believe that I am ignorant. Because contemporary philosophy is usually psychology, and since elementary knowledge is something given to children, I lacked the ability to be creative. I have had to give myself seminary lessons, prepare to read ancient Greek philosophy, and to be able to do arithmetic and algebra to solve problems, and finally study the culinary arts to recover from being abandoned to live as a critic of psychology. I am very happy that I met these chefs because they have given me the opportunity to be happy. I am now able to understand how I can use science to be a more creative person.

 

Great Balls Of Gluten

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These are pictures of gluten. This experiment is at the website of the Exploratorium in San Francisco. A famous physicist named Paul Hewitt worked at the Exploratorium. Using the books of Paul Hewitt to study physics makes gastronomy more exciting. His approach encourages people to think about something using examples that enable a person to use ideas from physics to understand that physics is obviously true. This may enable a person to be more exciting and creative (because people may be encouraged to reason using ideas from physics). This experiment makes understanding gluten very simple.

According to the information at this website, which seems consistent with other information that I have read, gluten is the combination of two proteins, gliadin and glutenin [1][2]. This experiment removes the starch, sugars, and other things in bread. Once all these things are removed from the dough, only the gluten remains.  The dough becomes a “gummy, slimy network of gluten strands.” The baked gluten is chewy. Gluten makes bread chewy. The smell from the oven while baking the gluten was sweet. The smell was very different than the smell from baked bread. The website explains that the rubbery gluten traps the gas from fermenting yeast to make leavened bread. This was very exciting. Natural laws are working all around us!

Poaching Eggs

Poaching Eggs

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Note: 1) I may have used the word congeal when I meant to use the word coagulate [1][2]

This is a technique of Jacques Pépin for making poached eggs. Failing is not possible using this technique; this is a reliable and exciting technique. People can poach 6 eggs simultaneously using this technique. I was so happy to watch the egg whites coagulate instantly that I thought about smiling. This is one of those things that ALL OF SOCIETY has never mastered on the internet. Jacques Pépin leads people to the finish line with this technique. These poached eggs have great texture. The whites do not feather. I cannot find a simple and complete explanation on the internet to explain why egg whites coagulate when there is vinegar in the water. Since vinegar is acidic, the explanation may involve the presence of acid. An explanation may be that acid coagulates albumen, or that acid changes the temperature of the water to cook the egg whites more quickly. If the acid changes the temperature of the water, then simmering water may have a temperature closer to the boiling point. This may confuse instructions for poaching an egg that use a thermometer since water containing vinegar may, for example, simmer at the boiling point. Using more vinegar causes the egg whites to coagulate completely and immediately.

Jacques Pépin explains that boiling water will agitate the egg while it cooks. He poaches eggs in simmering water. Simmering water makes small bubbles. Boiling water may feather the egg whites. Crack the eggs as close to the surface of the water as possible, or put an egg in a small bowl and slide the egg into the water. Egg whites that splash or hit the surface of the water may feather or spread out. Use a slotted spoon or flexible (plastic) spatula to move the eggs slightly because the eggs can stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook the eggs for 3 or 4 minutes. Put them in ice water to immediately stop them from cooking. The water may remove some of the flavor of vinegar from the eggs. I may prefer the texture and flavor of an egg poached in more vinegar. An egg poached without a lot of vinegar is wet and slimy and may have an unexciting texture. When using less vinegar, a poached egg may be trimmed to remove the egg whites that did not coagulate attractively. Some people explain that using salt water makes a poached egg float. The salt changes the density of the water, and a poached egg may be less dense than salty water; a poached egg may be buoyant in salty water.

  • Notes:
    • In a saucepan, boil 2 1/2 – 3 quarts water and 1/4 cup white vinegar
    • Simmer the water, must see small bubbles, do not use still water, boiling water will agitate the egg, put the eggs over simmering bubbles to help to restrict them from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan
    • Using a slotted spoon, flexible (plastic) spatula, move eggs around so that they do not stick to the bottom of the pan
    • Crack barely over water, or put in a small bowl if worried about burning fingers
    • 4 minutes firm, 3 minute less firm
    • Put in ice water to immediately stop cooking the egg and to remove some of the vinegar flavor

Poaching Eggs

4 Minutes

3 Minutes

Poached Eggs

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Some Links (Remember That The Technique Of Jacques Pépin Is Reliable And The Important Knowledge To Have Is Why Egg Whites Coagulate When Vinegar Is Put In The Water):

Cracking The Poached Egg Code

Bing Search: deep fried poached eggs

How to Poach Eggs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Chef John’s Poached Eggs

Bing Search: egg white white vinegar albumen

How does a splash of vinegar help when poaching eggs?

Exploratorium (San Francisco): Cooking Eggs

How to Poach Eggs

1. Jacques Pépin: Jacques Pépin’s Complete Techniques (New York: Black Dog & Leventhal, 2001), 66-68.

Brining Meats And Fish

Brining Meats And Fish

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These are shrimp that were put in brine for 5 minutes. This was great! I am so excited! The shrimp were juicy and the flavor was exciting. I currently associate flavorful shrimp with a multi-colored translucent shell and a clean smell of seafood. I used to eat shrimp in Las Vegas when I was young. They had a lot of flavor. I had shrimp from the Gulf this year that had great flavor. These shrimp had great flavor. Brining these shrimps made them more exciting to eat.

Here is a discussion on brining. Chef Thomas Keller [1][2] says that an herb infused brine makes meat more juicy and gives meat a “wonderful aromatic” flavor. He brines meat for several hours, but he only brines fish for a couple of minutes. I assumed these shrimp were fish. Supposedly, brining fish will eliminate the appearance of coagulated proteins when cooking fish. I have observed coagulated proteins appear on fish while poaching fish. Brining uses osmosis [1][2] to carry sodium and the flavor of herbs inside the meat. I learned about osmosis in a biology class. Osmosis probably explains how sodium travels though a cell membrane, and why the sodium concentrations inside a cell, and surrounding a cell are equal.

Molly Stevens prefers to dry salt meat. She calls brining wet salting. She learned about dry salting in San Francisco. Thomas Keller may be from Northern California. Osmosis [1 osmosis][2 diffusion][3 concentration gradients] is similar in both techniques, but dry salting does not add liquid to the meat. She says that dry salted meat has the appearance of dry aged beef.  She suggests that adding liquid makes meat bland by diluting the flavor of the meat. After about 12 hours, the salt completely disappears. Because of osmosis, sodium and the flavor of any surrounding spices travel through the meat.  Both agree that salted meat loses less juice while cooking because cooked salted meat weighs significantly more than cooked unsalted meat. Molly Stevens uses the word hydroscopic to describe how sodium attracts water. The hydroscopic property of sodium prohibits juices from leaving the meat during the cooking process. The word hydroscopic and hygroscopic may describe the same observations.

My brine may have been too salty. I used a ratio of (5 cups water : 1 tablespoon Diamond Kosher salt). I will have to experiment to know what I believe. Diamond Kosher salt supposedly has a lower density than Morton Kosher salt, less mass per volume, and Diamond Kosher salt lacks an anti-caking agent. If this is true, recipes designed for using Diamond Kosher salt may require less Morton Kosher salt.

I put the shrimp in brine for 5 minutes. Then, I sautéed them in butter, white wine, and lemon juice. I added more salt. I am not certain if adding more salt was necessary. Maybe adding more salt would be exciting if my brine was less salty since the salt may add an intense flavor. I removed the shrimp with tongs after a minute and I reduced the sauce. I poured the sauce over the shrimp.

1. Thomas Keller: ad hoc at home (New York: Artisan, 2009), 75, 399.

2. Molly Stevens: All About Roasting (New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2011), 26 – 29.

The Physiology Of Taste By Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin

I enjoyed reading The Physiology of Taste. I believe that Brillat-Savarin gave me something that will make me a more intelligent person. His stories were not offensive to me, and they were entertaining. He disappointed me once by explaining that he manipulated someone to have food while he was hungry. The stories of Brillat-Savarin do not mention the gossip, fashions or lifestyles of worldly people. At first sight, I believe that his book documents the interests of a busy person that desired to have great experiences while nourishing and restoring his body.

Note: 1) physiology is the study of how the organs of the body function, 2) papillae on the tongue assist people to taste food, some animals may have fewer papillae on their tongues than people, this may be related to intelligence

My Critical Comments On Brillat-Savarin

Brillat-Savarin writes extensively on the polytheistic realities of Greeks and Romans. He only mentions the Biblical tradition by writing about his experience visiting a monastery. He glorifies polytheism by creating the goddess of gastronomy in the final part of the first part of the book (meditation 30). Her name is Gasterea. She has black hair and blue eyes. I am able to fantasize about her standing in the shell of a scallop (or in an au gratin).

Brillat-Savarin introduced me to the practice of idolatry by explain how some people worship Gasterea. She is their source of inspiration for living. They visit a sculpture of her every morning to put a crown of flowers on her head. The people live to have feasts to celebrate her presence in their lives. I would argue that she is a physical embodiment of their lusts, and a convenient diversion for manipulating people.

The problem with not mentioning the Biblical tradition or philosophy is that there are fewer opportunities to identify injustice. Appreciating polytheism while appreciating natural laws is an interesting position. God incarnate may be related to these ideas. I do not appreciate believing that God has a body. Believing in gods helps me to fulfill my desires. Brillat-Savarin would obviously want people to observe me wearing my miter with my crosier. Some might suggest that he and his friends ate most of the truffles in France, observed the morels in America, and that he published his memoirs.

All The Senses Should Be Stimulated Simultaneously While Gourmandizing

BrillatSavarin (pronunciation) argues that sexual desire is one of six senses of a person that people should understand to appreciate gastronomy. He enjoyed celebrating life while nourishing himself with good company. Many cultures associate food with romance. When I studied biology, sexual selection and reproduction were interesting topics. People argued that reproduction was the meaning of life. BrillatSavarin wrote the book The Physiology of Taste.

https://timothysnapmassey.wordpress.com/2017/02/05/polenta-and-seared-chicken-breasts-with-white-wine-and-lemon-juice/

Important Parts Of French Culture Near The Time Of Napoleon (Definition Of Gastronomy)

According to Escoffier, cooking was originally a French art. The information published by BrillatSavarin is better than the information published today. French culture from a student of BrillatSavarin should probably believe that there are several important parts of French culture: 1) gourmandism, 2) coquetry, 3) (definition of gastronomy) using observations from natural laws to make the intellectual and physical experience of nourishing the body more exciting.

French cookbooks invite people to use science. There is no reason to be superstitious when learning the French art of cooking. I plan on using the ideas of gastronomy to make a recipe from Louisiana more French in the immediate future. Science is a powerful tool in the hands of a gourmand that can work. BrillatSavarin argues that the root of the word gourmand is not gluttony in English or Latin. Jacque Pepin introduced me to BrillatSavarin on his Facebook page.

https://timothysnapmassey.wordpress.com/2017/02/18/salmon-burgers/

Gourmandism is exciting people to be free and excited to gourmandize. Brillat-Savarin explains that the economy of France depended on gourmandism. People from the North of Europe, after having made war with France, and after stealing wine in cellars in France, returned to the North, and began to buy wine from France. In my opinion, gourmandism is a part of a good culture. Inviting people to eat may be a sign of less corruption in a population. The “promised land” is a place where people “can have all they can eat.” People say thank you to remind themselves of the liberation and miracles that God gave to the Israelites.

Osmazome Is A Theoretical Term For The Chemical Substance That Creates The Flavor In Meat [1 Translation][2]

There is a gastronomically significant conversation that people should have when examining a recipe for boudin balls. BrillatSavarin uses the term osmazome to describe the chemicals that someone removes from meat when boiling meat. Boiled meat appears to have no flavor. The broth contains the flavor that was in the meat. I am shocked that I do not know an English word for this substance. Since the broth is returned to the filling of the Boudin balls, and since less than 2 cups of broth was required to make the filling. I am suggesting that people slowly roast the meat and make less than a quart of vegetable broth. Otherwise, someone must completely reduce the broth to put the osmazome in the filling. I became worried and upset when I thought that I might have to waste the broth and when I believed that my filling lacked flavor. If I had not been informed about cooking, I would have not enjoyed myself. I would have ignorantly wasted my osmazome and eaten a bland meal.

BrillatSavarin suggests that he does not prefer eating boiled meat. Since boiling meat puts the osmazome in the water, boiled meat has less flavor. He calls boiled meat bouilli. I believe that someone making a French version of Boudin Balls should consider not boiling the meat. The meat should be roasted. The drippings in the roasting pan should be added to vegetable broth. This method would eliminate people from eating bouilli. The texture of the boudin balls may not change significantly. A finer flavor may be created by the caramelized edges of the roasted meat.

https://timothysnapmassey.wordpress.com/2017/02/19/boudin-balls-and-osmazome/

This creates problems because Brillat-Savarin would passover a brisket or a French dip sandwich. Maybe the scientific explanation is that tough meat does not releases juices in warm water. The Biblical tradition includes being cursed or vexed. Someone that appreciates Moses may enjoying steeping their curses to make a delightful tea.

History (Philosophy) Of Gastronomy From Literature

Using literature and his imagination, BrillatSavarin gives a history of gastronomy. He introduces people to our ancestors that once ate raw flesh. He describes how people discovered fire. Using the Iliad and the Bible, BrillatSavarin demonstrates that people in ancient Greece roasted meat, and that the people in the Bible had metal tools, brass bowls, and clay pots. Later in Greece, people laid on couches at banquets while eating and drinking wine. Romans originally had poor manners. Romans obtained their manners from Greece. He describes that the excitement at banquets was limited by not having alcohol. Romans did not have sugar but BrillatSavarin explains that they enriched wine, which he believes suggests that the Romans were searching for the recipe for making alcohol.

In the Late 17th century, people in France had sugar and Louis XIV created brandy. Supposedly, Louis XIV originally made brandy using prickly pears. Long before the time of Louis XIV, Christianity discarded the manners of the Romans and the Greeks. Christianity put people at a table sitting upright. Great banquets were eliminated. During the time of Louis XIV, people ate something similar to a Thanksgiving dinner with alcohol, which is very different from eating at a banquet where people serve 5,000 tongues from ostriches, or fish preserved in jars of honey.

In the time of BrillatSavarin, restaurants became fashionable. People had the option of visiting a place to pay cash to eat food. “A (restaurant is a) business (that) consists in offering to the public a repast which is always ready, and whose dishes are served in set portions at set prices, on the order of those people who wish to eat them.”

https://timothysnapmassey.wordpress.com/2017/02/21/blueberry-blackberry-and-kirschwasser-coulis-and-a-gelatin-mold/

Turkeys appealed to Brillat-Savarin. He may have called them coq d’inde since people may have confused the New World with India. He may have told the story that explains why turkeys are named after Turkey. One explanation might suggest that settlers in America used the name given to a different bird called the guinea fowl from Africa. The guinea fowl was imported to Europe through the Ottoman Empire, or the land of the Turks. People called the guinea fowl the turkey-cock or turkey-hen. Since the birds had a similar appearance, settlers called the American bird a turkey.

Brillat-Savarin explains how people understood obesity during his life. There were many obese people. People generally believed that wheat caused people to be obese. People today are concerned about eating wheat. I have always eaten wheat by consuming bread and alcohol. Wheat is also supposedly a source of mental illness. I listened to a lecture by a doctor that wrote a book that may be called “Wheat Belly.” I considered what he said, and concluded that similarly to using medication, I would use wheat until I was normal or very functional. He explained that most wheat has been genetically modified by humans. There is very little wheat remaining that has not been altered by people. Brillat-Savarin suggest that people should lose weight by avoiding wheat, eating broth and vegetables, and by exercising. There were practical problems with exercising during the time of Brillat-Savarin. Once reason was that shoes were not as durable. His explanation for some things were much better than the explanations that people give today.

The translator M.F.K Fisher argues that Brillat-Savarin may not be a careful thinker since (he refers to oracles, and) since he cooks a fish without explaining why he is not concerned about losing the ozmasome. She was also disappointed after he laughed at British people for being rich but assumedly being ignorant of gastronomy. Brillat-Savarin ate minerals by crushing rocks (amber). He crushed poultry (whole birds) in a large mortar and pestle that he used for making stocks and broths to restore his health (that had restorative benefits). Brillat-Savarin traveled to buy a new perfume to excite his senses (not to smell good). Brillat-Savarin was threatened by his government, and he lived in exile in America. He was a lawyer. While in America, he went hunting in Connecticut. I believe that he lived in New York City. He may have been a violinist. He appreciated music and the science of harmony (possibly music theory). One critic said that he was a dull person because he probably did not excite people by reciting the gossip from the entertainment and fashion section from an important imaginary news paper; he was not interested in the world. His critics may not be busy people concerned with law or science.

Tell me what kind of food you eat, and I will tell you what kind of man you are.

The pleasure of the table belongs to all ages, to all conditions, to all countries, and to all areas; it mingles with all other pleasures, and remains at last to console us for their departure.

The destiny of nations depends on the manner in which they are fed.

And any human being whose digestion is happy will, as the Professor has often remarked of certain gastronomical reactions, see miracles happen (Brillat-Savarin, M.F.K. Fisher, 199).

Here is a link to song sung by a person that was carried from a table by staff that competed with Brillat-Savarin at gourmandizing: Rule Britannia (With lyric annotations).

Some Recipes:

Syllabub

Matelote

Company Punch [1][2]

Company Punch  Of Shelia Hibben For The Chatham Artillery Of Georgia From Her American Region Cookery (Brillat-Savarin, M.F.K. Fisher, 199)

1 1/2 gallons green tea

2 1/2 pounds light brown sugar

juice 3 dozen oranges and 1 1/2 dozen lemons

1 quart Gordon gin

1 1/2 gallons catawba wine (pronunciation)

1 quart Cognac

1/2 gallon St. Croix rum

1/2 pint Benedictine

1 1/2 quarts rye whiskey

1 pint brandied cherries (?macerate)

1 case champagne

1. Jean Anthelme BrillatSavarin (Author), M.F.K. Fisher (Translator), Bill Buford (Introduction): The Physiology of Taste: Or Meditations on Transcendental Gastronomy (New York: Vintage Classics, 2011).