Named one of the Best Fall Cookbooks 2020 by The New York Times, Eater, Epicurious, Food & Wine, Saveur, CNN Travel, The Kitchn, Chowhound, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune, and many more.
Aroma, texture, sound, emotion—these are just a few of the elements that play into our perceptions of flavour.
The Flavor Equation demonstrates how to convert approachable spices, herbs, and commonplace pantry items into tasty, simple dishes.
In this groundbreaking book, Nik Sharma, scientist, food blogger, and author of the buzz-generating cookbook Season, guides home cooks on an exploration of flavour in more than 100 recipes.
- Provides inspiration and knowledge to both home cooks and seasoned chefs
- An in-depth exploration into the science of taste
- Features Nik Sharma’s evocative, trademark photography style
The Flavor Equation is an accessible guide to elevating elemental ingredients to make delicious dishes that hit all the right notes, every time.
Recipes include Brightness: Lemon-Lime Mintade, Saltiness: Roasted Tomato and Tamarind Soup, Sweetness: Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Crème Fraîche , Savoriness: Blistered Shishito Peppers with Bonito Flakes, and Richness: Coconut Milk Cake.
- A global, scientific approach to cooking from bestselling cookbook author Nik Sharma
- Dives deep into the most basic of our pantry items—salts, oils, sugars, vinegars, citrus, peppers, and more
- Perfect gift for home cooks who want to learn more beyond recipes, those interested in the science of food and flavor, and readers of Lucky Peach, Serious Eats, Indian-Ish, and Koreatown
- Add it to the shelf with cookbooks like The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science by J. Kenji López-Alt; Ottolenghi Flavor: A Cookbook by Yotam Ottolenghi, and Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat: Mastering the Elements of Good Cooking by Samin Nosrat
Baked Sweet Potatoes with Maple Crème Fraîche
We all adore certain pantry staples. Kefir and crème fraîche are two of my favourites. I’ve been testing new ways to improve on roasting sweet potatoes in the oven, and I found that a combination of steaming and roasting works great for a dish like this for both the texture and the extra set of aroma molecules that comes through. The first step, partial steaming, keeps the moisture inside the sweet potato while cooking, and the second step, uncovered roasting, helps create a robust flavour profile. I recommend using fragrant nuts. Toasted hazelnuts are a good substitute for the peanuts.
For the sweet potatoes:
4 sweet potatoes (each 7 oz [200 g]), preferably a yellow-fleshed variety such as Garnet or Jewel
2 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
Fine sea salt
For the dressing:
½ cup [120 g] crème fraîche or sour cream
1 Tbsp maple syrup or honey
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp fish sauce (optional)
½ tsp ground black pepper
Fine sea salt
2 Tbsp thinly sliced scallions, both green and white parts
2 Tbsp roasted peanuts
1 tsp red chilli flakes, such as Aleppo, Maras, or Urfa
½ tsp lime zest
THE FLAVOR APPROACH
Butter works as the fat of choice here due to its higher smoke point. As the butter melts, it separates into its constituents—fat, water, sugars, and milk solids—which undergo caramelization and the Maillard reaction.
The sugars concentrate as the water evaporates during cooking.
Fish sauce adds a spot of umami to the sauce, but you can use vegan fish sauce as an alternative.
The peanuts and scallions provide crunch against the softer textures of the potato and the dressing.
To prepare the sweet potatoes, preheat the oven to 400°F [204°C].
Rinse and scrub the sweet potatoes under running tap water. Slice them lengthwise and place them in a roasting pan, cut side facing up. Brush with the butter and season with salt. Cover the pan with a sheet of aluminum foil and press around the edges to seal snugly. Bake for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the foil, flip the sweet potatoes, and cook, uncovered, for 20 minutes more, until the sweet potatoes are cooked thoroughly and are tender; a knife inserted into the center of the sweet potato should slide through easily. Remove from the heat and let rest for 5 minutes.
To prepare the dressing, in a small bowl, combine the crème fraîche, maple syrup, lime juice, fish sauce, if using, and pepper. Taste and season with salt.
To serve, top the warm roasted potatoes with a few tablespoons of the maple crème fraîche dressing. Sprinkle with the scallions, peanuts, red chilli flakes, and lime zest. Serve with the extra dressing on the side.
Excerpted from The Flavor Equation: The Science of Great Cooking in 114 Essential Recipes by Nik Sharma (C) 2020 Reproduced by permission of Chronicle Books. All rights reserved.