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Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 8)

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Since we are discussing food safety, I would like your opinion on the following. My wife is a do ahead fanatic, especially for Thanksgiving. This morning she made a sweet potato streusel mixture and after boiling the potatoes and such, spied my chamber vac machine. She vac'd her mixture and put it in our 36 degree F fridge. I suggested she put it in a ice bath first but I was overruled. Given the fact that the product was boiled, she probably has nothing to fear, but what do u all say?

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Since we are discussing food safety, I would like your opinion on the following. My wife is a do ahead fanatic, especially for Thanksgiving. This morning she made a sweet potato streusel mixture and after boiling the potatoes and such, spied my chamber vac machine. She vac'd her mixture and put it in our 36 degree F fridge. I suggested she put it in a ice bath first but I was overruled. Given the fact that the product was boiled, she probably has nothing to fear, but what do u all say?

See FOOD SAFETY HAZARDS AND CONTROLS FOR THE HOME FOOD PREPARER page 19-20. If you get your food below 40°F/4.4°C within 14 hours (USDA) you are on the safe side an may keep it refrigerated for 5 days.

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Nathan, first thank you for all you are doing and for being available for questions and problems. In your last post, you suggest that reheating times should equal original cooking times. So a protein at say 140 F cooked for 90 minutes would then need the same time and temperature in the water bath after removing from the refrigerator?

Reheating times depend on thickness, see Douglas Baldwin's tables. If primary heating was just to bring the food (tender meat) to temperature, reheating time is the same, in contrast to the case of primary LTLT cooking to tenderize tough meat. In LTLT cooking cook-chill-store-reheat makes sense. In the case of tender meat, reheating after refrigerating makes sense only for leftovers, not for in-advance-cooking.

My other question is about serving temperatures. If I am doing a steak at 140 for dinner F a la minute, I remove it from the vacuum bag, pat it dry and sear in a hot pan for the maillard reaction, then plate. However, by the time I put the steak on the plate and walk into the dining room, the first bite does not seem 'hot'. If I were at a steakhouse where they broil under significant temperatures, then the first bite is what we have come to expect for serving temperatures. Logically, I know an item prepared sous vide can never exceed the temperatures we have set. Is it our expectation or memory that when we see a steak that the first bites should be hot?

With very hot and very short searing, we miss the temperature and texture gradient of traditional cooking. I quit searing at 240°C (smoke point of rice bran oil is around 247°C) in favor of 180-200°C (temperature in the skillet measured with an infrared thermometer), resulting in a thicker overdone layer (maybe 3mm instead of 1mm).

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I think there may be some confusion possible from recent discussions.

Cooking to pasteurize or tenderize meat involves bringing it up to a core temperature and then holding it at that temperature for a pre-determined time. That is, minimum time to temperature plus some constant.

For re-heating you only need to have it in the bath for the minimum time to bring it up to temperature (what Nathan referred to as 'time to cook').

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Any tips on sous vide meatloaf? I ran a search in this thread and the topic doesn't seem to have arisen.

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Thanks for the detailed reply nathanm -this is exactly what I was looking for!

I had thought that by curing the trout first it would significantly improve the safety issue. Quite sobering to read your response on this...

I will definitely take your advice from this point and cook to order. It seems a few more trials are in order; will also try at 38C.

You're also correct re the temperature of the fish but it is served as a cold starter. It was only meant to bring the fish to room temperature.

Thanks again.

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This year for Thanksgiving, I was thinking of trying to do a Turkey breast "porchetta style" based on Mario Batali's recipe. I was thinking to stuff the breast with a turkey leg sausage and the appropriate seasonings and then cook it sous vide. Is this possible? If I do this can I still cook it to 140-145 like I would the breast itself or will that not work because of the leg meat? Do I need to to cook the sausage first?

Thanks for your advice!

I was considering doing the exact same thing and came here to ask the same question.

I was going to base mine off this. That has you butterfly the breasts, make a sausage from the leg meat then cook it all. He cooks it at 275 for 3-5 hours until it hits 145.

He says that if you are careful in removing the silverskin and getting just the dark meat from the legs, then you don't have to worry about cooking it to a higher temp, and it will be 'done' at 145 with the rest.

My main concern is if SVing the breasts takes too long. I know some protiens get mushy and unappetizing after too long in the bath. If these take 3-5 hours in a 275 oven I have no idea how long they would take in a 145 water bath. On one hand the water bath is a better way to transfer heat, but it's a much lower temperature. I think if the time scale is similar it would be doable, but if it takes 6-10 hours or something then it might not come out too great.


Edited by Phaz (log)

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Question on shrimp (apologize if I missed something similar upthread) -

I am planning on serving shrimp remoulade as a starter for thanksgiving; ideally what I'd like to do is SV poach the shrimp the day before, and just toss the whole bag in the fridge (after ice bath) to serve cold the next day. I was probably going to go for about 50 min at 60C with a little oil and maybe some flavoring.

Any suggestions/thoughts? Do you think the shrimp will hold up well the next day with this treatment? Any other ideas on cooking temp/time (I've never done shrimp SV and never done any seafood in advance)

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As none of the usual suspects has answered, I'll offer the shrimp formula I was given by a modernist chef: 2 hours at 123°F/50.5°C. For service, he grilled them for 30 seconds per side, but said that was just to warm them up. 50°C seems low to me, but I have to say the shrimp were perfect.

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I think that sounds reasonable; the only issue is that I would prefer to pasteurize them if I can without a significant degradation in quality (I really don't want to poison my breastfeeding wife) - that's really what led me to 60C for 50 mins. I would love to hear if anyone has tried that and not turned their shrimp to mush or overcooked?

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Thanks, nathan, for the info on the hollandaise. It is good, I can get a 1/2 pint whip for around-the-house for guests and try it out (soda siphons only seem to come in quart sizes).

On a side note, surely some manufacturer can step up to the plate and make a $500 vacuum chamber machine? I'll pony up for it.

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Contact Dave Reuch at Ary, Inc. I believe the model 112 vacmaster is sellIng for 675.00 or so. At least I saw it doing a Google search going for same. Outstanding machine. Not $500.00, but close. I am nuts about mine. The cost of the bags will pay for the machine. I know. I owned 4 Foodsavers that kept crapping out after the warranty period.

alanjesq

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I think that sounds reasonable; the only issue is that I would prefer to pasteurize them if I can without a significant degradation in quality (I really don't want to poison my breastfeeding wife) - that's really what led me to 60C for 50 mins. I would love to hear if anyone has tried that and not turned their shrimp to mush or overcooked?

Douglas Baldwin's book page 210-211 recommends 60°C/for 30-40 minutes (assuming your shrimps are not thicker than 20mm, this is pasteurizing conditions).

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On a side note, surely some manufacturer can step up to the plate and make a $500 vacuum chamber machine? I'll pony up for it.

There is at least one vacuum chamber sealer close to your price. The Ary VacMaster VP-112.

I have seen the VacMaster VP-112 as low as $670 including shipping (at www.qualitymatters.com). There is a VP-112 demo video on the Kodiak Health site (kodiakhealth.com).

The other source for deals in chamber vacuum sealers is to watch for used units on ebay and craig's list. I purchased a large unit in perfect condition for less than 20% of the new price for an equivilent model from craig's list. (A Bizerba 350)

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I think that sounds reasonable; the only issue is that I would prefer to pasteurize them if I can without a significant degradation in quality (I really don't want to poison my breastfeeding wife) - that's really what led me to 60C for 50 mins. I would love to hear if anyone has tried that and not turned their shrimp to mush or overcooked?

I once tried shrimp 60C for ~1 hour (a single layer in the bag) and they were not mushy. I think you should be OK.

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I think that sounds reasonable; the only issue is that I would prefer to pasteurize them if I can without a significant degradation in quality (I really don't want to poison my breastfeeding wife) - that's really what led me to 60C for 50 mins. I would love to hear if anyone has tried that and not turned their shrimp to mush or overcooked?

I once tried shrimp 60C for ~1 hour (a single layer in the bag) and they were not mushy. I think you should be OK.

What would be the advantage of cooking shrimp SV? Why not just saute or boil - it just takes seconds?

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What would be the advantage of cooking shrimp SV? Why not just saute or boil - it just takes seconds?

I enjoy being able to control the doneness level, especially to prevent them getting overdone and rubbery. But I like sauted shrimp too.

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Monday we will be posting a recipe for turkey wings to the Modernist Cuisine blog for turkey wings cooked sous vide - you cure them with salt first (as for duck confit) then you cook them 12 hours at 58C/137F for 12 hours.

It's up. Nathan, why 58C for the wings? I'm doing legs and thighs with duck fat SV and keep seeing temps up near 80C. Is the latter more confit and the former less so?

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Has anyone done the retrograde starch mashed potatoes sous vide? I've always just done them with a pot and a thermometer, but it would be simpler to bag a bunch of potato slices and do them in the waterbath (at least the first cook, but probably both).

Do you think there would be an issue with them being bagged vs. in the water? Is that a good or bad thing?

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Oh, I'm hoping for responses on this. I've never been able to pull it off in a pot; something weird always happens.

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Has anyone done the retrograde starch mashed potatoes sous vide? I've always just done them with a pot and a thermometer, but it would be simpler to bag a bunch of potato slices and do them in the waterbath (at least the first cook, but probably both).

Do you think there would be an issue with them being bagged vs. in the water? Is that a good or bad thing?

Ok, I admit it, I am the dummy....what are "retrograde starch mashed potatoes?"

I have done potatoes sous vide at 80C for about 2 hours. I used yellow/waxy ones. They are GREAT for later use on the griddle but otherwise, they were too solid to mash or puree.

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Info here in Jackal10's great post and eGCI course.

To fix the starch you need to go through a process called "retrograde", wich fixes it in its granules, rather than leaking out. Cook the potato slices at 70C/160F for 30 mins, then cool quickly to room temperature, under a running tap, for example.

You can then cook them normally and beat the sh*t out them without getting glue.

You can also reheat them with a little more hot milk.

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Info here in Jackal10's great post and eGCI course.

To fix the starch you need to go through a process called "retrograde", wich fixes it in its granules, rather than leaking out. Cook the potato slices at 70C/160F for 30 mins, then cool quickly to room temperature, under a running tap, for example.

You can then cook them normally and beat the sh*t out them without getting glue.

You can also reheat them with a little more hot milk.

WOW what a great thing to know! Thank you. Is one kind of potato better to use that another? I often use a mixture of waxy (red or yellow) with your basic Russet to get the consistency I want but I do this mostly to avoid that "glue" effect.

EDIT: Thanks for the link to the potato primer. I will read it all. I never met a potato I didn't like!


Edited by Merridith (log)

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Info here in Jackal10's great post and eGCI course.

To fix the starch you need to go through a process called "retrograde", wich fixes it in its granules, rather than leaking out. Cook the potato slices at 70C/160F for 30 mins, then cool quickly to room temperature, under a running tap, for example.

You can then cook them normally and beat the sh*t out them without getting glue.

You can also reheat them with a little more hot milk.

WOW what a great thing to know! Thank you. Is one kind of potato better to use that another? I often use a mixture of waxy (red or yellow) with your basic Russet to get the consistency I want but I do this mostly to avoid that "glue" effect.

EDIT: Thanks for the link to the potato primer. I will read it all. I never met a potato I didn't like!

That primer may have been the first thing to bring me to eGullet - it's spectacular, and the mashed potatoes work great.

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