Friday, August 28, 2009

How Cool is Alton Brown?

Pretty darn cool.
Gizmodo intereviewed him on the hacks he does in the kitchen. Gawd, I wish I was a science nerd.
I do like to have liquid nitrogen around, for when we suddenly come into large amounts of fruit. I have a source at a medical supply company. I can instantly make ice cream—just crank up the stand mixer, puree some fruit, pour in a liter of liquid nitrogen and in 30 seconds you have some ice cream. Depending on the sugar level, sometimes it takes up to a minute.

When I get a really ripe watermelon, I sometimes puncture the skin with a drill bit and drain the juice. I will stick that into a mixer for 30 seconds with liquid nitrogen for instant sorbet. But nitrogen displaces oxygen in air, and the human body is not programmed to send messages to the brain when it's getting too much nitrogen. So I do this in a relatively ventilated place.

Sometimes I smash up some dry ice with a hammer, throw it in a cooler with some blueberries, and shake the cooler around until the berries sound like marbles. Open the spigot outside to let the sublimated CO2 run out. It quick-freezes the berries for storage. The faster they freeze, the smaller the ice crystals that form, the less mushy they are when they thaw. I love blueberries in the winter, but I'm not going to buy them shipped in from Chile. I buy a lot in the summer and freeze them, but I don't freeze them in regular temperatures because it takes too long.

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