The New Frontier of Cooking

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[vc_row][vc_column][vc_separator border_width=”2″][vc_custom_heading text=”The rules and conventions in the kitchen have changed. So have the tools at a home cook’s disposal. Let’s take a look at what being a modern home cook looks like in 2020.” font_container=”tag:h3|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes”][vc_column_text]Cooking is not what it used to be. Yes, a good pot and a flame are still integral but that barely scratches the surface of the possibilities that exist. To some, it’s gotten more complicated, to others, a lot easier. No matter where you stand, it’s impossible to ignore that recent technological advancements in the culinary sector are extraordinary, and have created an entirely new and unique cooking experience. 

We love using time-tested methods like braising and poaching to make great food, but more and more, we have been exploring modern techniques like the sous-vide method and pressure cooking using appliances like the Instant Pot. I know what you’re thinking! Pressure cooking is not a new method, it’s been around for a very long time. That may be true, but long gone are the rickety, noisy pressure cookers that you had to babysit over a heated burner. Now, electric pressure cookers with sophisticated sensor technology and smart Bluetooth pairing have created a massively different experience.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8197″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Without accurate temperature readings, meat, seafood and other ingredients fall into what is commonly referred to as the danger zone, putting people at risk of salmonella infection.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1590183371234{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Sous-vide (pronounced sue-veed) means “under vacuum” in French and refers to the process of vacuum-sealing food in a bag, then cooking it to a very precise temperature in a water bath. Dollop’s test kitchen uses a sous vide machine frequently and there’s no turning back. The controlled temperature ensures a consistent result every time we cook a steak or chicken breast. Depending on what you’re cooking, the length of the cooking time varies. Medium-size shrimp prepared this way takes only 5-10 minutes, while a thick prime rib roast can take up to 6 hours. In all cases, the result is consistent and precise and one can argue that precision in cooking is everything. Without accurate temperature readings, meat, seafood, and other ingredients fall into what is commonly referred to as the danger zone, putting people at risk of salmonella infection. 

It used to be that only expensive restaurants and high budget cooking shows could afford these water circulators but, over time, microchip sensors were developed that made them affordable for the mass market. A gift to the home cook. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8198″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”The Smart Movement” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_class=”uppercase”][vc_column_text]A refrigerator began as a food storage compartment that made it possible to buy items in bulk, then there was the addition of ice makers and water coolers. Now, we find ourselves in the midst of a fridge revolution! The advent of smart refrigerators with touch screen technology, music streaming capabilities, and smartphone connection, look like they’re from the future but they’re appearing in more and more home kitchens around the world. [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”A smart refrigerator is connected to the cloud, which is a shared internet data storage center made available by the Internet.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1590183461265{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]A smart refrigerator is connected to the cloud, which is a shared internet data storage center made available by the Internet. This software allows people to stop  storing and accessing information on their personal computer's hard drive. Depending on the features built into the fridge, like an interior camera, it lets you do such things as using your smartphone to see what's inside; share grocery lists with other family members through an application, and even receive alerts when the refrigerator's door is left open. Talk about a game-changer! Only a few manufacturers, such as Samsung are currently making smart fridges. Samsung's Family Hub refrigerator has the most features available in one unit, with a large touchscreen display that lets you look at a calendar, leave notes, look up recipes and even watch TV. Of course, these conveniences come at a premium. A non-smart fridge retails for around $1k, on average, whereas a smart fridge like Samsung’s Hub will run you anywhere from $3-6k. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8199″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”Largely inspired by NASA’s experiments in space horticulture, smart gardens were invented and have recently become very popular, especially among city dwellers.” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1590183508920{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]It was once true that if you lived in a small apartment without a balcony or yard, the only option for fresh herbs was the produce aisle at the grocery store. That is no longer the case, thanks to science. Largely inspired by NASA’s experiments in space horticulture, smart gardens were invented and have recently become very popular, especially among city dwellers. They are truly a game-changer for urban people living without outdoor space since these LED-lit smart gardens allow herbs in pods to grow indoors, without soil, using a computer to alert the user to add nutrients and an advanced light system to promote growth. [/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”The New Brew ” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:left|color:%23000000″ use_theme_fonts=”yes” el_class=”uppercase”][vc_column_text]When it comes to brewing coffee at home, there have never been more options than exists today. Espresso machines and pod coffee machines are old news.  Today’s choices include vacuum brewing, cold brew, and nitrous coffee but we have two favorite ways to brew joe at home; using an Aeropress and Chemex coffee maker. 

An Aeropress is the brand name for a three-part contraption (plunger, chamber, filter) that uses hand pressure to force water through ground beans – it’s really that simple and it doesn’t even require electricity, making it perfect for travel. Chemex uses the pour-over coffee method. Put a filter on the top, add your ground coffee, pour hot water on top, and let it drip through to the glass flask which doubles as a carafe. The whole coffee maker is made of non-porous Borosilicate glass, which is a nerdy way to say that it will not absorb odors or chemical residues. It’s one of the easiest ways to make coffee and it looks really sleek as well. [/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”8203″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center” style=”vc_box_shadow”][vc_custom_heading text=”This is the kind of eco-technology we need to see in a world (and ocean) that is filled with non-recyclable coffee capsules. ” font_container=”tag:h4|text_align:center|color:%23ffffff” use_theme_fonts=”yes” css=”.vc_custom_1590187830880{margin-top: 30px !important;margin-right: 50px !important;margin-bottom: 30px !important;margin-left: 50px !important;padding-top: 25px !important;padding-right: 25px !important;padding-bottom: 25px !important;padding-left: 25px !important;background-color: #212931 !important;border-radius: 4px !important;}”][vc_column_text]Another thing that we love about both of these manual coffee makers is that they are environmentally friendly. If you’re a fan of java but not waste, Aeropress offers stainless steel filters and Chemex now makes reusable coffee filters made from hemp and cotton. This is the kind of eco-technology we need to see in a world (and ocean) that is filled with non-recyclable coffee capsules. Composting your used coffee grinds will go a long way towards a greener brew too! [/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]As we learn how to embrace and use new culinary technologies to our advantage in the home kitchen, it is exciting to think of what lies on the horizon as well. There’s rumors of talking stovetops, fridges that can self-clean and sense spoiled food and alot more instructions from Alexa and Siri. Only time will tell. [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]