About Me

I have been cooking my way through life for over 50 years, beginning with mud pies as a child. I've turned a corner now and feel a Renaissance in my life. Recipes and Random Thoughts is my personal spin in a blog about how to prepare good food and how it prepares you for life. I want to share with you, honest to goodness food punctuated with perspective from the special memories and moments that have marked my journey.

Sunday, October 30, 2016

Up Your Cooking Game With Sous Vide

Chicken Breast Stuffed with Duxelles
I've been fighting the urge to buy a sous vide machine for years until a smaller version for the home cook came on the market for about $200 so I took the plunge into modernist cuisine with the click of a mouse.  If you are the least bit serious about cooking, pay attention, times are changing.  Long used in high end restaurants,  sous vide machines are an immersion circulator that achieves evenly cooked food through out most any protein (i.e. meat, poultry, fish or egg). It also intensifies flavor and retains nutrients often lost in traditional cooking methods.  Think of a pork tenderloin seared in a pan and then finished in the oven; heat penetrates the exposed surface first then radiates to the interior.  While the center of the meat may register optimal desired doneness, the ends are more done due to the tapered shape of the meat.  With the sous vide method, the entire piece of meat is cooked to the same degree of doneness end to end.

Sous vide isn't necessarily quicker.  Like barbecue, it's a slow and low method in a circulating water bath.  The food is sealed in a plastic bag (vacuum seal preferred) then submerged in water heated to a precise temperature by the mechanism for an exact length of time.  It can remain at that temperature for an extended period without over cooking too.  It even saves on utilities by not running the oven and operates through an App on my cell phone.

Its hard to screw up and the end product is tasty, tender and amazing.  Some vegetables cook exceptionally well by this method.  A carrot taste more carroty.  Most surprising are eggs poached in their shells.  They come out a velvet custard texture that I can't describe any better.  This size mechanism has its' limits but can manage large roasts and burgers are suppose to be fantastic.  I'm still exploring the options.  It's an impressive cooking tool and would make a great Christmas gift for the cooking enthusiast in your family.

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