Sous vide is the culinary innovation that has everyone in the food world talking. In this revolutionary new cookbook, Thomas Keller, America's most respected chef, explains why this foolproof technique, which involves cooking at precise temperatures below simmering, yields results that other culinary methods cannot. Read more...
Sous vide is the culinary innovation that has everyone in the food world talking. In this revolutionary new cookbook, Thomas Keller, America's most respected chef, explains why this foolproof technique, which involves cooking at precise temperatures below simmering, yields results that other culinary methods cannot. For the first time, one can achieve short ribs that are meltingly tender even when cooked medium rare. Fish, which has a small window of doneness, is easier to finesse, and shellfish stays succulent no matter how long it's been on the stove. Fruit and vegetables benefit, too, retaining color and flavor while undergoing remarkable transformations in texture.
The secret to sous vide is in discovering the precise amount of heat required to achieve the most sublime results. Through years of trial and error, Keller and his chefs de cuisine have blazed the trail to perfection--and they show the way in this collection of never-before-published recipes from his landmark restaurants--The French Laundry in Napa Valley and per se in New York. With an introduction by the eminent food-science writer Harold McGee, and artful photography by Deborah Jones, who photographed Keller's best-selling The French Laundry Cookbook, this book will be a must for every culinary professional and anyone who wants to up the ante and experience food at the highest level.
Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 56.
- Review Date: 2008-11-17
- Reviewer: Staff
The origins of sous vide cooking, or vacuum-packing foods and cooking them at precise, relatively low temperatures for long periods, may have been largely in frozen convenience foods, but it has become standard in top kitchens worldwide, notably Keller’s own. Now, Keller aims to demonstrate the technique to a wider swath of cooks—not the masses, but at least those who can afford this lavish volume and the sous vide equipment. One need not cook the exact recipes (which are unaltered from the restaurant’s) to be inspired by Keller’s careful yet whimsical creations, such as a cuttlefish “tagliatelle” with palm hearts and nectarine or squab with piquillo peppers, marcona almonds, fennel and date sauce. And Keller, with several of his chefs as well as “curious cook” Harold McGee, takes pains in the introduction to explain sous vide fundamentals, arguing persuasively that it is not a fad but an important technique that allows unparalleled control over how ingredients are heated and what flavors and textures result. Still, at least until the equipment is more affordable, most readers will admire this gorgeous book on their coffee tables, from the simple beauty of photos of ingredients in their natural states to plates with a course’s elements so artfully arranged they would not be out of place in a modern art museum. (Dec.)
Grand gifts for gastronomes
Next, we'll head to Per Se in New York or The French Laundry in the Napa Valley, where the revered Thomas Keller's new heating methods are showcased and now revealed in his new book, Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide. It's a gorgeous, large-format, color photo-filled introduction to what Harold McGee calls "a lasting contribution to fine cooking, a technique that makes it possible to cook foods more consistently and delicately than ever before." The recipes here are detailed, the techniques parsed, but unless you have the special equipment (Keller thinks you may have it soon), you'll have to settle for this exciting armchair experience. A must for serious followers of cutting-edge cuisine.