Form a loose patty, place it in a zipper-lock baggie, and squeeze out the air. Then, cook the burger for approximately 30 minutes “sous vide” (in a hot water bath.) Drain the cooked burger and dip it in liquid nitrogen for 30 seconds (as in -330° F nitrogen) to produce the perfect seared crust. Remove the burger, pop in the deep fryer for about 1 minute, and Voilà … the perfect medium rare hamburger.
I said you wouldn’t believe it.
This recipe comes from, what in my estimation, must be the most unique and interesting cookbook of all time. Modernist Cuisine: The Art and Science of Cooking, by Nathan Myhrvold, Chris Young, and Maxime Bilet combines the latest concepts of the culinary arts with some very serious science, to produce what can only be called “radical cookery.”
“Modernist cuisine doesn’t bring science into the kitchen; science has always been in the kitchen. Modernist cuisine takes the ignorance out of the kitchen.” –Nathan Myhrvold
The original six-volume, 2400 page hardback version of the book weighs in at 40 pounds, and costs $625. Yikes! This cookbook is difficult to describe, and really has to be seen to be believed. In addition to being a wonderful source of information and recipes, the artistic photos and illustrations make it a joy just to page through.
If you want to know the science behind food, why it cooks and tastes as it does, and ways to maximize flavor, these books are for you. As for me, given the requirement for things like liquid nitrogen, I’m unlikely to buy the books or cook many of the recipes, but they certainly make for interesting reading. And if you’re lucky like me, your local library will have a copy. Check it out.