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Tech is changing the kitchen for chefs and home cooks alike

Eliza Mills and Ben Johnson Nov 26, 2015
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Tech is changing the kitchen, and not just for home cooks. There is the wide array of food delivery apps — Grubhub, Postmates, Instacart, etc. — that make it easy to explore new foods and try new recipes. There are ever-evolving pieces of kitchen tech that trickle down from professional kitchens into homes, settling into more accessible price points. And, for chefs, there is social media, which is changing their careers.

For Melissa King, the chef behind the pop-up series Co+Lab, Instagram and other social networks drive her business. After making it to the final four on season 12 of “Top Chef,” King became a social media heavy-weight, and used her online brand to sell tickets to pop-up events and seek out other business opportunities. She says Instagram, which allows chefs to visually showcase their food, has been great for her career. 

Beyond social media, King points to high-end kitchen tech that’s becoming more accessible to home cooks. Sous vide, which professional chefs use to get the exact same cook on meats in a restaurant, is increasingly available and affordable at home. She uses a Nomiku sous vide at home and controls it through an app. 

King shared some of her favorite winter recipes — high and low tech — with Marketplace. The first is for roasted duck with sticky rice, a Thanksgiving staple in her household growing up. The second is for sous vide coffee butter, which King uses in soups and stews or spreads on her morning toast.

Chinese Sticky Rice (Loh Mai Fan)

Ingredients

For the rice:

  • 2 Cups of Chinese/Japanese short grain “sweet” rice (soaked in cold water for 8 hours or overnight, drained well)
  • 5 chinese sausages (Cantonese lap cheong), cut into thin diagonal slices
  • 8 dried shiitake mushrooms (re-hydrate in hot water, cut/remove stem, small dice, reserve mushroom liquid)
  • ¼ cup dried baby shrimp (re-hydrate in hot water, reserve shrimp liquid)
  • 5 Chinese dried scallops (rehydrate in hot water, reserve scallop liquid)
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 scallions, separate the white part from the green parts and thinly slice

For the sauce:

  • 2 Tbsp Shaoxing rice wine
  • 2 Tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp light soy sauce
  • 2 Tbsp oyster sauce
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp ground white pepper

Method: 

  1. Combine the reserved mushroom, shrimp, and scallop liquid together.
  2. Make sticky rice in a rice cooker using 3 cups of this flavorful stock in replacement of plain water. Follow the ratio of 1 cup rice to 1.5 cups liquid.
  3. When the rice is cooked, fluff and set aside to cool.
  4. In a hot wok, sauté garlic, white scallion slices, Chinese sausage, mushrooms, baby shrimp, and scallops in sesame oil for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the cooked sticky rice and fry the rice on high heat for additional 3 minutes.
  6. Add all sauce ingredients and continue frying the rice until the sauce is absorbed.
  7. Adjust seasonings to taste. Top with green scallions. Serve with boiled salted duck eggs or use as a stuffing for roast duck or chicken. You can also add shredded duck meat to the sticky rice.

Celery Root Soup, Spiced Granola, Coffee Butter

 

 

 

Coffee Butter

  • 1 Cup – Your Favorite Coffee Beans (I use Philz Coffee!)
  • 2 Cups – Unsalted Butter
  • Sous Vide Machine – Nomiku

Place butter and coffee into a vacuum sealed bag or a regular ziplock bag.  Place into a waterbath set at 90C and leave it for 3-4 hours.  Remove bag and strain the coffee butter.

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