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  1. I made a brisket a few weeks ago that came out nicely, though it was a little drier than I expected. This is probably because it was a supermarket flat cut that was trimmed a little too much. Anyway, I hit it with some salt and pepper and then seared the meat before bagging it. I used The French Laundry temp/time (147F/48hrs). Honestly, I probably could have done a better job on the sear, but I ended up broiling it for a few minutes to develop a crust after I took it out of the water. Next time I try this, I'm going to get a better piece of meat, maybe the point if I can find one. Anyway, here's a pic.
  2. So I've had beef short ribs in the bath at 60C/140F since Wed. night for a Saturday dinner party. This morning, I woke up to the alarm on my immersion circulator. Apparently one of the bags had floated up into the heating element and it shut itself off. I ran downstairs and the water temp was down to 43C/109.4F. I immediately turned it back on and it got to temp pretty quickly but I think that the circulator had been off for around an hour. Last time something like this happened, the water temp was really low (33C/91.4F) when I discovered the problem and I threw that batch of ribs out and replaced it. I picked up a flank steak this evening to replace the short ribs in case I have to toss this batch, too. What should I do? Did the water temp go down too far? Thanks in advance...
  3. We have the Foodsaver from Costco and I think the Pulse feature is essential for sous vide. It lets you have control over the vacuum so you can decide when you want to seal the bag. I almost always use the Pulse feature instead of the automatic settings.
  4. I use the "Pulse" setting instead of the automatic "Vacuum and Seal" setting and then seal it. Haven't had any issues with bubbles.
  5. On an episode of Chef's Story, Thomas Keller used white asparagus and added milk, "a little sugar" and "a little salt" to the bag and said 20 minutes at 85C.
  6. If you sear or broil the steaks after you take them out of the water bath, you can get a really nice crust on the meat. These ribs sound great. I tried doing SV ribs once but it didn't turn out like I'd hoped. This makes me want to try it again. What was temperature did you use?
  7. Daniel, when I've made it, I've done a simple brine and then sous vide with lemon and herbs. Then I the dredge the chicken in buttermilk and a mixture of flour, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne. You could probably double dredge this if you want. I haven't tried cooling down the chicken first, but I might soon. I'm making fried chicken for Christmas dinner.
  8. We took my parents to dinner at Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc the Friday after Thanksgiving and had a brief discussion with Nick, one of the assistant managers about sous vide. The menu for the evening featured surf-n-turf (hangar steak and shrimp), and like almost every meal I've had at Ad Hoc, the main courses were prepared sous vide. When I mentioned this to Nick, he said that they (Keller's restaurants) were the only ones around (not sure if he was referring to just Yountville) really doing sous vide. I asked if this was for safety reasons, and he said that it was due to the overall cost of the equipment. This lead to a discussion about ebay, the immersion circulator I picked up there, Foodsavers, etc., and I got some tips on preparing beef short ribs — stuff I've read here, too — i.e. 72 hours, sear before bagging, etc. My parents had really no idea what we were talking about, but my mom liked the short ribs that we prepared for Thanksgiving so much that she wants them for Christmas dinner. But the most interesting thing he told me was that a new French Laundry cookbook was coming out some time next year and that it would be all sous-vide recipes. He also said Ad Hoc's cookbook was coming out in 2009, which will likely feature a good dose of sous vide recipes. So in addition to this amazing thread, it looks like we're finally going to get another source of sous vide information from one of its biggest proponents.
  9. Thanks, Ruth. I've done the same with steaks, as well, and they always come out great. I was just concerned that frying the chicken post sous vide might do more "damage" to the meat than the pan sears I've done previously, but I guess it's basically the same concept. My main concern would be overcooking the chicken since it'll take a little while to get the breading the right color, unless of course the oil is really hot (> 400F?) to reduce the frying time. I don't know when I'm making fried chicken again, but I think I'm going to give this method a shot.
  10. Food & Wine has an article this month about a Napa Valley garden party the features Thomas Keller and his recipe for the famous fried chicken they serve at Ad Hoc in Yountville. I've had Ad Hoc's fried chicken and love it so much, so I was excited that the recipe showed up in the magazine. I made it last night and it was really good, although I did scorch some of the chicken. Still, the chicken was juicy and the crust was crispy, and for a first effort, I thought it went very well. I was talking to a friend about it this morning and he suggested sous vide. Process the chicken to temperature in the brine and then dredge and fry it at a fairly high temperature to make it crispy. We agreed that the juiciness of the meat would be amplified using this method and a nice contrast to the crispy crust. Does this sound like it would work? Or would the frying negate the benefits of the sous vide?
  11. Thanks, slkinsey. I figured that to be safe, that was what I was going to have to do. Well, I got some replacement short ribs, and I plugged the circulator into a non-resetting plug (I know, I should have been doing that the whole time...lessons learned). The first time I did these short ribs, I did a 36-hour process and it was great, but I really wanted to see how the meat's texture would change after 12 more hours. But the dinner party's tomorrow night, so 31 hours will have to do. :-)
  12. I'm working on a batch of 48-hour short ribs and the power in the kitchen went out last night (sometimes the fuses reset...it's frustrating). When I turned the circulator back on, the water was at 33/C, and I think the power was out for at least 4 hours. Is there any danger involved here? They still have around 31 hours left to go. Thanks in advance...
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