Rick developed a recent fascination with modern cooking styles. Are things done differently in fine restaurants that make their food taste so good? Can we replicate any of that at home? It turns out the answer to both of those questions are “yes.” One technique is “sous vide” — French for “under vacuum.”
So, here’s the latest addition to our kitchen — a sous vide machine.
The food is vacuum-packed then cooked slowly at a consistent low temperature in a water bath. One thing I learned is that what we’re taught about food temperatures is a bit simplistic. Poultry needs to get to 165 degrees Fahrenheit if you’re cooking it quickly. But it’s just as safe to cook poultry for a longer time at a lower temperature.
Rick took the lid off so I could get a photo of the turkey legs in the water.
This photo was mostly because we liked how the bubbles formed under the lid, but it also shows a close-up of the sous vide machine.
Enough juices came from the bag at the end to make gravy!
We had a yummy supper — salad with some of the first lettuce from my garden, stuffing made in the bread machine, tender turkey made using the sous vide method, and gravy!
That turkey supper was our first sous vide success.
We’ve tried salmon a couple of times, using flash-frozen wild-caught salmon. The first wasn’t anything to write home about. The second was better — we brined it — but a little too salty. One of the reasons that we’re interested in restaurant-style cooking at home is because we eat low-sodium. Restaurant food is frequently ruined for us because it’s way too salty. So, we’ll need to work on our salmon technique — possibly shorter brining time, but I think Rick is looking at a sous vide technique that puts lots of oil in the vacuum pack to improve the texture of the fish.
Here was our second big win with the sous vide machine — baby potatoes cooked with salt, pepper, butter, and a sprig of rosemary.
We had our third delicious sous vide meal last night. It was another turkey dish. This time we cooked the turkey legs with the sous vide machine for 21 hours! Besides low-salt, we’re also a no-red-meat household. Rick, who has the meat allergy, misses some things — like pulled pork. Our new answer for that is turkey legs cooked until they’re falling apart and then shredded and served with a tangy sauce. We enjoyed that so quickly that I didn’t get a photo!
Is this the first you’ve heard of sous vide?
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