Guidelines & Assumptions
20 Dec 2017
Aka, "how to use this site".
Generally speaking, this site contains advanced recipes aimed at experienced cooks. A basic foundation of cooking knowledge and intuition is assumed. While modern techniques and equipment offer more precision and control than ever, it is ultimately impossible to perfectly represent the cooking process in writing. There is some art to the science! Sometimes a sauce or a puree may need a little more or less liquid; sometimes a pan may require more or less heat. Use your intuition and common sense when preparing these recipes for best results.
Unless otherwise specified:
- Staple ingredients such as cooking oil, salt and pepper are assumed and generally not listed in recipes
- All salt is kosher salt
- All milk is whole milk
- All cream is heavy cream
- All eggs are large
- Straining implies the use of a fine-mesh strainer, like a conical chinois
- All vegetables are washed, peeled (when applicable), and trimmed
- All gelatin is silver leaf gelatin, 170 bloom
- If an ingredient quantity is not specified, it is implied to be to taste / as needed. A quantity prefixed with a "~" such as ~400g is approximate; certain recipes are more forgiving and exactness is not necessary.
- Blending implies the use of a high-power blender such as a Vitamix. If you do not have a high-powered blender, do the best you can and blend very thoroughly until as smooth as possible.
Be cautious of additional heating from friction. This is usually combined with fine strainers from above to yield luxuriously smooth results.
If you do not have an immersion circulator, you can replicate sous vide cooking using a pot on the
stove with a thermometer, adjusting the heat to maintain an even temperature. However
immersion circulators are unmatched in terms of precision and consistency.
If a recipe calls for vacuum packing anything with liquid, a chamber-style vacuum
sealer is assumed. If you do not have a chamber vacuum sealer, you can still cook
foods with liquid using the water immersion method: submerging a ziploc bag
in a water bath will naturally force out the air. However for other preparations like
vegetable compression there is no substitute.
If you do not have a dehydrator, you can substitute drying in an oven set to its lowest
temperature, monitoring as appropriate. A dehydrator will yield the most consistent and
When weighing ingredients, always use the tare function on your scale to make sure
you are excluding the weight of the container. This may sometimes require e.g. recording
the weight of a pot before adding ingredients so it can be subtracted later. For more information on weighing ingredients, see How and Why to Measure Ingredients by Weight.