4 Recipes Created By A Computer

Photo: Courtesy of Sourcebooks.
After kicking Ken Jennings' butt on Jeopardy, the IBM cognitive computer Watson was put to a different kind of test — one that was a little bit tastier. In an effort to push chefs out of their culinary boxes, Watson was enlisted to provide some recipe inspiration.

Drawing on our vast amount data on food pairing patterns, nutrition, and chemical interactions, Chef Watson's first recipe suggestion was...surprising. The ingredient list for Watson's "Spanish Almond Crescents" included the usual pastry flour and, of course, almonds. But, it also included saffron, honey, and coconut milk. 

From there, it was up to a team of professional chefs at the Institute of Culinary Education and chef James Briscione (he's the Director of Culinary Development and a Chef-Instructor at the Institute of Culinary Education) to turn it into a final, edible treat. That's how all the recipes in Cognitive Cooking With Chef Watson were created — Watson suggests, experts perfect. The idea isn't necessarily that Watson tells you how to cook; instead the computer is cooking with you.

The end result: dishes that are equal parts unexpected, intricate, and delicious. Click through to see four recipes from the book, officially released tomorrow. 
1 of 4
Grilled Corn & Nectarine Salad With Toasted Spice Vinaigrette

4 ears corn, husked
1 tbsp plus 1/4 cup olive oil
Kosher salt
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp coriander seeds
1/2 tsp cumin seeds
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
Several dashes of hot sauce
Freshly ground black pepper
2 nectarines or peaches, sliced into 1/2-inch thick wedges
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 cup fresh basil leaves, torn
1/2 cup crumbled queso panela or Cotija cheese

1. Prepare grill for medium-high heat. Brush corn with a total of 1 tablespoon oil. Season with salt and sprinkle with chili powder. Grill, turning occasionally, until tender and lightly charred in spots (6 to 8 minutes). Transfer to a cutting board and let cool, then cut kernels from cobs.

2. Meanwhile, toast coriander and cumin seeds in a dry skillet over medium heat, tossing until fragrant (about 3 minutes). Let cool, then chop with a knife or coarsely grind in a spice mill. Whisk lemon juice, rosemary, hot sauce, and remaining 1/4 cup oil in a medium bowl. Season with salt and pepper. Add corn kernels, nectarines, shallot, basil, and cheese. Toss to combine.
2 of 4
Japanese Wasabi Cocktail

Wasabi Water Ingredients:
1 bar spoon wasabi powder
2 oz water

1. In a mixing glass, mix the wasabi powder and water, stirring well to dissolve.

To Serve:
2 ounces sake
Juice of 1/2 lime, plus lime rind
1/2 ounce wasabi water
3 sprigs thyme

1. In a mixing tin half-filled with ice, add the sake, lime juice and rind, wasabi water, and 2 sprigs of thyme.

2. Shake until the tin is frosted. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice and garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme.
3 of 4
Spicy Tomato Gazpacho With Ginger


1 thick slice of country bread, torn into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Preheat an over to 425ºF. Toss the bread with olive oil and salt, and transfer to a baking sheet. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes. Toss the croutons, and bake an additional 3 to 4 minutes until golden.


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 cup leeks, rinsed, and finely chopped
Kosher salt, to taste
2 tbsp dry sherry
1 large beefsteak tomato, cored, and chopped
4 tsp fresh ginger, minced
12 oz cherry tomatoes
1 cucumber, peeled, seeded and chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded, and chopped
4 tsp white balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup water
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

1. Heat the olive oil in a saucepan over medium high heat. Add the leek and season with salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened (5 to 7 minutes). Add the sherry and cook until almost completely reduced. Add the beefsteak tomato and ginger. Cook, stirring until the tomato just begins to release its juices (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2. Combine the leek mixture with the cherry tomatoes, cucumber, jalapeño, balsamic vinegar, and water in a blender. Purée until very smooth (about 2 minutes). Season with salt and pepper. Thin with water as necessary for desired consistency.

To Serve:
1 avocado, pitted, chopped
1 tablespoon dill, finely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil, as needed

Divide the gazpacho among serving bowls and top with the croutons, chopped avocado, dill, and a drizzle of olive oil.
4 of 4
Roasted Tomato & Mozzarella Tart

1 14-oz sheet puff pastry, thawed according to package directions
12 oz cherry tomatoes, halved
3 plum tomatoes, cored, and quartered
4 sage leaves
3 sprigs oregano
1 sprig rosemary
2 tbsp olive oil
Kosher salt
Freshly ground pepper
2 eggs
1/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
8 oz mozzarella, torn into bite-sized pieces

1. Preheat oven to 425ºF. On a lightly floured surface, roll the puff pastry out to a 12-inch circle. Carefully transfer to a 10-inch tart pan, leaving a 1-inch overhang. Fold the overhang in and press to seal. Prick bottom of the pastry all over with a fork. Freeze for 30 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, toss the cherry tomatoes, plum tomatoes, and herbs with olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tomatoes collapse and begin to blister (25 to 30 minutes). Set aside to cool.

3. Place the tart shell on a rimmed baking sheet. Cover the pastry with parchment or foil, leaving a 2-inch overhang, and fill with pie weights or dried beans. Bake until edges are golden brown (20 to 25 minutes). Remove pie weights and parchment, and continue to bake until bottom is golden brown (10 to 15 minutes).

4. Beat together the eggs, milk, sour cream, and cayenne. Season with salt and pepper. Arrange the tomatoes, herbs and mozzarella inside the tart shell and top with the egg mixture.

5. Bake until the cheese is melted and egg is set (30 to 35 minutes). Cool before serving.

More from Tech


R29 Original Series