May 12, 2013

The four hour chef by Timothy Ferriss

The four hour chef by Timothy Ferriss  

[The reason I decided to write a review for this cooking book, not because of cooking material, but because other related interesting info. A great treasure for anyone who like to be wonderful cook/chef]

Building better fires:
·         Put the largest logs at the bottom, ensuring there is no space between them whatsoever
·         Lay a second perpendicular layer of smaller log on top of the largest, again ensuring there are no spaces between them
·         Repeat with perpendicular layers until you get to the top, where you will put strips of crumpled paper and at the very top-3-5 fire starter squares or fire starter sticks
·         Once about 75% of the shingle wood is burned, the fire will start to give off a lot of heat. the flame from the top warms the air in the flue and creates a more efficient current of air for cross-ventilation and there is little warmth wasted. This has following three advantages
o   No smoke or minimal smoke
o   No management
o   No ashes

Herbs: are from the leaves and stems of plants
Spices: are from the root, bark and seeds.

Without flavor, it is difficult to differentiate food from one another. Beef would be interchangeable with lamb. Raspberry, mango, grape, and [each would all be sweet, tart and difficult to distinguish from one another. it is the odor component that makes their flavors unique and gives a seemingly endless variety of flavor experience.
Taste qualities =5 (sweet, sour, salty, bitter, and umami

(Umami - Japanese professor Ikeda isolated umami as glutamic acid and commercialised his finding as monosodium glutamate (MSG). Tomatoes, parmesan, and chicken broth all have high glutamate content)

Smelling your food before eating it will radically change how you experience flavor.

Not all taste buds are located on the tongue. Some are found on the roof of the mouth and in the throat. Taste receptors are also found in the lining of the intestine, suggesting that our concept of the sense of taste should include these chemical sensing systems.

If you eat hot dishes (even hot chilies), drink curd, milk to reduce the pain. Use fat, not water to counter hotness. Capsaicin is fat-soluble.

Saffron can be replaced with tarragon
Sage with rosemary (both contain eucalyptol)
Lemongrass with lemon peel, ginger and basil

Different taste by mixing with different component.
For example, eat mango alone, Then shake some cayenne powder (red chili powder) and try. Thirdly, put some sea salt and try

Different interesting combinations
Cinnamon and chili powder on vanilla ice cream
Olive oil on chocolate ice cream (if possible fried sage leaf on top)
Cinnamon on bacon
Almond butter on hamburger
Black pepper on water melon
Mustard on black-eyed peas
Cinnamon on grilled pineapple

Fat loss minimal effective dose (MED) consume 30g of protein within 30 min of waking up
Female weight loss = five minutes of kettlebell swings, three times per week.
To learn a new language - learn 1200 words focusing on highest frequency
Marketing MED= read Kevin Kelly’s article “1000 true fans”

Quick snack:
Heat some butter in a pan
Chop some tomatoes and put them in the pan
Cook for 3 min
Then add little salt and little cream

Read Ben Hogan’s Five lessons - The modern fundamentals of golf by Ben Hogan (
Not for golf learning, but to know some interesting learning skills)

Watch 8 videos

Four step-by step instructions

The reason to use cold water instead of hot water for cooking at home is because hot water runs through a hot water heater which can taint the taste.
Salt beans after cooking. If you salt them during cooking, they take longer o cook
The magic number for stove top frying is 350 degree.
For almost any protein cooked on a stove-top at medium or higher heat, about four minutes per inch will you get you to done. So, if it i s1” think, cook two minutes on each side. If it is 1.5”, three minutes per side. This applies up to 2 inches.

Here is the recommended TV/film/magazine info:
The 4-Hour Chef Total Culinary Immersion Resources

{Out of these, following are more recommended)
Jiro Dreams of Sushi (Japan) is the most beautiful shot film.

The 80/20 pantry:

Buying produce by the numbers.
If fruits/vegetables sticker number starts with 9, it signifies that it was grown organically.
The less pesticide infected fruits are the one with outer layers(banana, pineapple, etc)

Gee: clarified butter (meaning, milk solids have been removed, making ghee slow-carb, rich, and butter like in taste. It is also able to withstand higher heat). In Hindu food practices, ghee is categorized as Sattvic food: balancing to the body, purifying to the mind and calming to the spirit”

For smearing at higher heat, use oil that has higher boiling point (aka smoke point) (only listing degree in F)

Butter 250 degree F/ 120 degree C
Coconut oil - 350
Coconut (refined) - 450
Virgin Oil - 391
Grapeseed oil - 420 (neutral flavored oil)
Extra virgin oil - 468
Ghee - 485
Soybean - 495 F (257 C)
Safflower (normal / refined- 250 F / 510 F
In cooking, the smoke point of an oil or fat is the temperature at which it begins to break down to glycerol and free fatty acids, and produce bluish smoke. The glycerol is then further broken down to acrolein which is a component of the smoke.

Garlic: most good chefs’ believe there is no such thing as too much garlic
Mustard is one of the French cuisine's secret.

Building flavor:

Holy trinity of Western cooking is celery, onions, and bell peppers.
French - equal quantities of onions, carrot 7 celery
Italians - 50% red onion, 25% celery & 25% carrots

Books recommended
A Scientific Approach to Flavors and Olfactory Memory’ food and the memory: Proceedings of the Oxford symposium on food and cookery 2000 (Totness, UK Prospect books, 2001)
Josh Waitzkin : The art of learning: An inner journey to optimal performance
Thich Nhat Hanh : The miracle of Mindfulness: A manual on Mediation