Tag Archives: sous vide

Valentine’s Day

So did you do something special for Valentine’s Day?  For some it’s just another day… a Hallmark holiday if you will.  For us, we celebrate every occasion… any excuse to celebrate works for us.  We have a special place we discovered… we call it Valentine’s Point… and we go there every year and have a nice lunch ‘out’.

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It’s peaceful and relaxing… and exclusive, as we have it all to ourselves.

For dinner, we made a milk braised salmon.  I sous vide it in a pouch with milk,  a little garlic and seasonings at 115F for 20 minutes.  While it was simmering away in it’s water bath, I made a quick pea puree, using frozen peas that I briefly blanched, added chicken broth, garlic, salt, and just a tablespoon of cream, and a small amount of olive oil.  Then I blanched some snap peas for crunch.

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I also boiled some potatoes, put them through a ricer and added butter, parmesan, cream, salt, 1 egg, and flour.  Then rolled them into a ‘rope’ and cut them in segments, then pan fried them in butter to make a nice gnocchi.

It was delicious.  I loved the tender flakiness of the salmon.  It was melt in your mouth.  The peas popped in your mouth with a delightful crunch and freshness… and the gnocchi were creamy and light.  Definitely a make again.

 

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Truffled Sous Vide Chicken

Have you eaten at a Jose Garces restaurant?  He’s got almost 20 restaurants spanning 6 states.  We are fortunate enough to have one in Scottsdale, AZ.  He has a great twist on Latin American food… and great ceviches.  Having been to Distrito at the Saguaro Hotel in Scottsdale, we were hooked.  But Scottsdale in now a long way from home for us… so we bought his cookbook and thought we’d try our hand at home.

There’s this recipe in his Latin Evolution cookbook for a sous vide chicken that we thought we’d try.  It seemed simple enough.

I roasted some potatoes that I tossed in olive oil and fresh rosemary.

i sous vide the chicken in a mixture of roasted garlic, cream, fresh thyme, truffle oil, and salt at 155F for 4 hours.

I made a ‘broth’ of chicken bones, garlic, carrot, onion, tomato and tomato paste + a couple tablespoons of truffle oil.

sous vide chkn_SsiSuffice it to say… it was EXCELLENT!

I served it with a bit of truffle cream and a fried egg on top.

It was truly decadent.

Sous vide pork medallion

pork med_Ssi

I’m trying to work up a recipe for a group of friends that are planning on a visit.  I want the dish to be impressive, but with little working time from me while they are here.  Thus a make ahead preparation is crucial.  So I decided to sous vide a pork tenderloin.

I cut it into medallions, and tied it with kitchen twine to keep it’s shape.  I marinaded it overnight with salt, pepper, thyme, apple cider, and maple syrup.  Then 3 hours before dinner I put it in a sous vide water bath set at 138F for 2-1/2 hours.  Meanwhile I made a yummy ‘salsa’ to put over top of red onion, garlic, parsley, maple syrup, and apple.. and I finished it with a teaspoon of butter.

Then I pulled the cooked pork from the food saver bag and took the twine off.  I rolled it in a harissa seasoning, then seared the edges in butter just to brown.  Then topped it with my apple mixture.

YUM!  I would definitely make again.  I loved the butter lusciousness of the apples with the tender juicy pork.  It was excellent.

Sous vide tuna

sous vide tuna

This is my first time sous vide’g a fresh tuna.  We keep sushi grade tuna on hand (in our freezer) for sushi fixings.  We buy a large box of it every time we go to Pt Loma Seafoods just outside of San Diego.  I love that we can have sushi at our whim.  Yum!

I saw this Thomas Keller recipe in his sous vide book, UnderPressure, and thought we’d give it a try. The tuna is seasoned with salt and pepper and put in a food saver vacuum bag with a little olive oil and then cooked at 139.1F for 13 minutes.  While it was boiling away in it’s bag at it’s set temp, I made the side… and Mediterranean medley of sautéed dice of eggplant, tossed with raw tomatoes, pitted olives, basil, and roasted pine nuts.  I tossed the medley with a little basil olive oil, and salt. The eggplant medley was easy to make and worth the recipe all by itself.  It was very tasty.

I plated the medley atop a scattering of raw spinach, and then put the tuna on top.

The tuna was luscious and tender.  Honestly though, I’d have been just as happy with a seared rare tuna over that delicious eggplant side.  It was a delicious dish.

Sansaire Sous Vide

Sous vide is that boil-in-a-bag cooking method favored by professional chefs.  Chefs like it because it allows them to make ahead food preparations that are consistently done to their exact specifications.  The concept is that you put your food, (let’s say a nice steak), with your seasonings and aromatics (sprig of thyme, garlic, salt, pepper) in a food saver vacuum seal bag.  You fill your sous vide container with water and install your sous vide water circulator, and set to the desired doneness temperature (let’s say 130F).  When the sous vide water circulator has reached the set temperature, you insert the package of meat and aromatics and allow to cook.  Cook until the food product (meat in this case) reaches your desired temp throughout (for steak, 45 minutes is good).  The great part is it will never overcook, as it never exceeds the pre-set 130F temp.  You could leave the meat in the sous vide for 3 hours with no difference in doneness.

Once it’s done, you remove the meat from the water bath and the vacuum seal bag and sear the meat to get a good crust.  Remember that it is already cooked, so don’t over do the sear step.

This is an increasing popular method of cooking with home cooks, but still a relatively expensive kitchen tool.  Not to mention the ‘floor space’ the new appliance occupies in your kitchen pantry or cabinets.  Enter Sansaire.

sansaire_Ssi The Sansaire unit is easy to use and not huge in size (or required floor space).  It’s not much bigger than a bottle of wine, and can be used in an ordinary large pot of water.  It holds the temperature consistently and does a great job in a smallish package.