zoramargolis

Sous-Vide Cooking

113 posts in this topic

This just doesn't sound good to me:

The watermelon, for instance, was vacuum-packed with 20 pounds of pressure per square centimeter, to compact the fruit's cells and concentrate its flavor. It had the texture of meat.

:P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The finish the duck in a pan after the meat has been cooked sous vide. I have cooked like this recently, it works very well with steak. Once the meat is cooked, dry it and put it on a glowing pan to get a nice crust.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Ax mdt, he had a sous vide duck breast at Citronelle the other evening.  I still don't understand how they got the skin crispy.

The skin of the duck gets crisped in a frypan before serving the dish. The important point about low temperature sous vide is that the product does not loose moisture and does not shrink. Meat/fish/poultry stay naturally juicy.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Mark,

Can you share any pointers on how to get a probe into the bag without it losing air? Someone at the Squires BB (Robertparker.com) suggested using close cell weather striping. Is this what is used at Citronelle?

Edited by Sthitch

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The finish the duck in a pan after the meat has been cooked sous vide.  I have cooked like this recently, it works very well with steak.  Once the meat is cooked, dry it and put it on a glowing pan to get a nice crust.

What do you use for your constant temperature source? Pan, circulating water bath, steam oven?

Note: This thread should probably be moved to the cooking section.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why is it I can only think of those drop-in-boiling water frozen dinners my mom used to buy from Swanson's or Dinty Moore? Is there a difference? :P

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why is it I can only think of those drop-in-boiling water frozen dinners my mom used to buy from Swanson's or Dinty Moore?  Is there a difference?  :P

Read the article and check out the thread on eG. Pretty neat stuff that has been around for a pretty long time.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What do you use for your constant temperature source?  Pan, circulating water bath, steam oven?

Note:  This thread should probably be moved to the cooking section.

My oven has a warming burner, well not really a burner since it is a flat top, but it allows me to keep the water at the proper temperature. When I cook a steak this way, I put the package into water and bring it to 125-130 degrees. I let it cook at least 30 minutes, but it could stay that way all day, since it will never get more than the temperature of the water. I remove it, pat it dry, season it, and then take it to my grill where I have a cast iron pan glowing. Put it on the grill for about 30 seconds per side, and it it perfect.

I have tried it once with a duck breast, and it came out better than cooking it stove top. I have found that it is important to make sure that the meat is cold when you do this. Next I am going to try and artichoke.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The sous vide concept sounds intriguing and apparently works well in certain situations, I don't think it always works well for everything. Specifically, I've had lobster cooked sous vide at Per Se which was surprisingly rubbery. Not what I want from lobster anywhere, particularly at Per Se. I still need to be convinced that cooking this way is truly better so I think this will be a standard question asked when visiting some of the restaurants named in the NYTimes article -- 'was this prepared sous vide?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Why is it I can only think of those drop-in-boiling water frozen dinners my mom used to buy from Swanson's or Dinty Moore?  Is there a difference?  :P

The difference is that the water used in the immersion baths is not boiling. Boiling explodes the cell walls of the food and causes it to lose moisture, ie: shrink and lose flavor. The techniques involve searing the food first, cooling it in steps, cooking to certain temperatures for certain periods of time and then cooling again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Mark,

Can you share any pointers on how to get a probe into the bag without it losing air?  Someone at the Squires BB (Robertparker.com) suggested using close cell weather striping.  Is this what is used at Citronelle?

There is a rubber square about 1/4 inch thick that attaches to the bag. The probe is inserted through the rubber to the center of the food.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
What do you use for your constant temperature source?  Pan, circulating water bath, steam oven?

Note:  This thread should probably be moved to the cooking section.

Alton Brown touts an electric fry pan with thermostat for such purposes.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Alton Brown touts an electric fry pan with thermostat for such purposes.

It has been years since I have seen an electric fry pan, but do they hold at the low temperatures needed for sous vide?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
It has been years since I have seen an electric fry pan, but do they hold at the low temperatures needed for sous vide?

The problem with electric fry pans is that the heating element is always cycling on and off which causes termerature variation. As I understand it, one of the central tenets of sous vide cooking is consistency of temperature.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem with electric fry pans is that the heating element is always cycling on and off which causes termerature variation.  As I understand it, one of the central tenets of sous vide cooking is consistency of temperature.

Just sayin' what the dude sez. :P But you're probably right.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The problem with electric fry pans is that the heating element is always cycling on and off which causes termerature variation.  As I understand it, one of the central tenets of sous vide cooking is consistency of temperature.

That's right. Sous vide uses circulating water baths with precision heating elements.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Regina Schrambling's take.

Did someone say sous vide, or did my pinkie just jerk up reflexively? My advanced age once again forces me to confess that I did a piece for American Airlines' magazine way, way back in the last century -- 1985? ’86? -- on how “boil-in-bag cuisine” was the coming revolution. I did it despite the fact that I was fresh out of restaurant school where we were taught by the late great Jack Ubaldi that Cryovac destroyed meat because it couldn’t age, only virtually ferment to flabbiness in its own blood. So I can only hope the letter-writer who flayed me is still around and ready to type that great American four-letter word: Hype. If not, may the ghost of Curnonsky haunt chefs who aren’t quite clear on Escoffier. Cuisine is when things taste like themselves.

Heh.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Pretty interesting article by Paula Wolfert in the Food & Wine that just came out about making duck confit by sous vide. Basically, by sealing a leg, there's enough fat in the 'package' to confit it, so it eliminates the need for extra duck fat (and getting the fat is the toughest part about confit). And then there's essentially no cleanup either.

Edited by cjsadler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Pretty interesting article by Paula Wolfert in the Food & Wine that just came out about making duck confit by sous vide.  Basically, by sealing a leg, there's enough fat in the 'package' to confit it, so it eliminates the need for extra duck fat (and getting the fat is the toughest part about confit).  And then there's essentially no cleanup either.

I got a vacuum food sealer for Xmas, and put it into action trying this duck confit yesterday. Man, is this easy. There's no need for duck fat, and not a single pot or utensil to clean.

I got some duck legs, cheap, from Grand Mart (I believe they are Pekin, but it doesn't say), sealed them in vacuum bags, put them in a large pot of water, and threw in some silverware to keep the bags submerged. Brought the temp to 180 on the stove and then put the pot in the oven. Periodicaly checking the temp of the water with a probe thermometer (one of those that has a wire attached and sits outside the oven), I found that 225 kept the water at a fairly constant 180 (with some fluctuations of a few degrees on either side). Wolfert says 5 hours, but I let it go for an extra 1/2 hour, since it's difficult to tell through the package if the legs are done. The beauty of sous vide is that you can't really overcook things since you're holding it at the 'final' temp in a sealed bag.

I'll post a pic of the final product.... maybe in some cassoulet this weekend.

Edited by cjsadler

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
There's no need for duck fat
But...but.... :) You CAN use it, right? Right? I like the easy-to-clean aspect of it, though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
But...but.... :)   You CAN use it, right? Right?  I like the easy-to-clean aspect of it, though.

Wolfert says this won't be quite as good as real confit, but darn close. And it is kinda a downside that you won't have all that nice duck fat left over to use for other purposes (like roasting potatoes). There is a decent amount of fat that the legs shed in the bag, though. Enough to roast a batch of potatoes or to use in sauteeing for a cassoulet.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now