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


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While I love sous vide for many things, I prefer sautéing asparagus in a pan with some oil. This vegetable has an affinity for oil that makes it delicious and much better than either insipid steamed asparagus or what I'd anticipate sous vide asparagus to come out as.

Nick Reynolds, aka "nickrey"

"The Internet is full of false information." Plato
My eG Foodblog

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I just sous vided asparagus, without success. I cooked the asparagus at 85C for 60 minutes (per "Sous vide for the home cook") and they came out completely overcooked.

Has anyone tried sous viding asparagus? What worked for you?

Yes I roast asparagus in the oven with some olive oil and salt and pepper @ 400F for 15 minutes. I then chill and re-therm in the SV when ready to serve. Worked great for me.

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Thanks both for the quick replies!

Yes I roast asparagus in the oven with some olive oil and salt and pepper @ 400F for 15 minutes. I then chill and re-therm in the SV when ready to serve. Worked great for me.

How long do you SV them to reheat?

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Hello. I'm new to post here but I've been a reader for years. I'm also fairly inexperienced to these types of forums in general so I hope you'll excuse my post if I'm in the wrong spot.

I've made a query here and online and I was unable to find what I'm searching so I decided to just ask.

I have a PS SousVide Pro that I bought this month with plans to use it in my small kitchen operation. There are countless benefits for us in my work, and I'll spare you, but I'm beginning to make some cooks and record notes.

I'm constantly trying, on a personal level, to be more organized. And, my ultimate goal in my kitchen is to record, tweak, record, and become absolute....so I can create a product that my very small and less skilled team can reproduce. During my trials, I want to have control and variation recorded to the finest detail.

I use a recipe manager "Paprika", Google Drive/Docs, I purchased SousVide Dash today, etc+.

So my question is this, 'Is there a spreadsheet or efficient note-taking template, that you guys use to record details of your sous vide cooks?'

Thank you for your help and I really love and appreciate my opportunity to absorb the cuisine and tech details the great egullet community has shared.

Yes, I use a spreadsheet, and these are the fields:

  • Date
  • Food group (Meat, Poultry, Fish, Vegetable...)
  • Animal/Food (Beef, Chicken, Carrot...)
  • Cut/Part (Shortribs, Brisket, Thigh...)
  • Portioning ("Deboned ribs in 100 g / 2 inches pieces", "Halved carrots"....)
  • Dish ("MC SV Braised short ribs", "Glazed carrots"...)
  • Pre-treatment ("5 hours in 5% brine", "Marinated in spice mix", "Pre-seared in pan"...)
  • Other bag ingredients ("15 g butter", "50 g chicken stock & coriander")
  • Target core temperature
  • Water temperature
  • Time (where applicable, often just "Use tables as a funcion of width/diameter")
  • Finishing ("Torch seared", "deep-fried 1 min at 190ºC"....)
  • Degree of safety achieved ("As raw", "Surface pasteurization", "pasteurization to core")
  • Result ("Like"/"Not like")
  • Comments

I forgot to include another field I also have on my spreadsheet:

  • Degree of doneness achieved ("Pink", "Well-done", "Medium", etc., without closed values as sous-viding may result in new categories such as those used by Modernist Cuisine like "Tender, yielding", or "Steak like")

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Thanks both for the quick replies!

Yes I roast asparagus in the oven with some olive oil and salt and pepper @ 400F for 15 minutes. I then chill and re-therm in the SV when ready to serve. Worked great for me.

How long do you SV them to reheat?

around 15 minutes

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I just sous vided asparagus, without success. I cooked the asparagus at 85C for 60 minutes (per "Sous vide for the home cook") and they came out completely overcooked.

Has anyone tried sous viding asparagus? What worked for you?

I've done SV asparagus in the past and I thought it came out quite well - especially if you have an application where you don't want the maillard flavors that come with grilling/saute/roasting etc... not there's anything wrong with those, and I do them more often than SV... I posted what I did a long time ago in the first SV thread.... See http://forums.egullet.org/topic/144275-sous-vide-recipes-techniques-equipment-2010/page__st__780__p__1761034#entry1761034 Doing it this way results in a 'crisp/tender' texture that I can't do any other way. Back then, I put butter in the bag, but lately I've been using olive oil.

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I just sous vided asparagus, without success. I cooked the asparagus at 85C for 60 minutes (per "Sous vide for the home cook") and they came out completely overcooked.

Has anyone tried sous viding asparagus? What worked for you?

Are you talking about white or green asparagus? For relatively thin green asparagus, MC recommends 15 minutes at 85 °C. For the thicker white asparagus, I prefer 25 minutes at the same temperature.

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Green asparagus, quite thin. Yeah, I saw the MC recommendation for 15 minutes after I finished cooking them. KennethT (above) cooked them for 8 minutes with success.

I don't mind them not being brown - I just want them crisp. I usually stir-fry them Chinese style (high heat on a wok), which chars them nicely and retains their crispiness. They're amazing cooked that way, but I was looking for a change.

I think I will have to do another experiment. I'm thinking of trying 10 or 12 minutes at 85C next. I'll report back.

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Green asparagus, quite thin. Yeah, I saw the MC recommendation for 15 minutes after I finished cooking them. KennethT (above) cooked them for 8 minutes with success.

I don't mind them not being brown - I just want them crisp. I usually stir-fry them Chinese style (high heat on a wok), which chars them nicely and retains their crispiness. They're amazing cooked that way, but I was looking for a change.

I think I will have to do another experiment. I'm thinking of trying 10 or 12 minutes at 85C next. I'll report back.

ChefSteps had a recipe that looked pretty decent. Everytime I've made them, ended up being too mushy. I had bunch of bags that turned out like that - popped into the Vitamix and out came asparagus soup! :-) No waste, and it was delicious!

Todd in Chicago

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OK, I just finished sous viding (is that a verb?) another batch of very thin green asparagus. I cooked them for 10 minutes at 85C and they came out excellent. Cooked enough, but still retained their crispiness. For asparagus this thin, I may try 8 min next time, to see if that improves them even more.

One thing I did different this time was the way I measured the time. The first time, I added the asparagus to the water bath when the temperature reached 84.5C. The temperature then dropped, and it took several minutes for it to reach 85C and for the timer to start. This time, I let the temperature reach 85C, and then I added the asparagus immediately. The water temperature dropped as low as 83C, and it took several minutes for it to get back to 85C, but the timer was counting that time.

I cook a lot of tough meats sous vide, and never really had to think about the exact timing of adding the bag before. But I think it makes a difference when cooking more time-sensitive ingredients.

Edited by seabream (log)
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ChefSteps had a recipe that looked pretty decent. Everytime I've made them, ended up being too mushy. I had bunch of bags that turned out like that - popped into the Vitamix and out came asparagus soup! :-) No waste, and it was delicious!

Todd in Chicago

It's obvious in hindsight, but I wish I had thought of that yesterday. I threw the asparagus away, thinking that it's a small cost to pay for the learning I got out of it. But yeah, asparagus soup would have been nice...

Edited by seabream (log)
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Hey all, I'm back in the sous vide topic. I had some horrible technical issues with a brand new Polysciene Sous Vide :sad: took a month of stress and awkward phone calls to sort it out. Really put me off sous vide for a while but now I'm getting back into it after getting a replacement unit. Phew!!!

Anyway, anyone have any recommended times & temps for pork belly? Specifically for a traditional braised texture that will then be portioned then deep fried.

Thanks

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Hey all, I'm back in the sous vide topic. I had some horrible technical issues with a brand new Polysciene Sous Vide :sad: took a month of stress and awkward phone calls to sort it out. Really put me off sous vide for a while but now I'm getting back into it after getting a replacement unit. Phew!!!

Anyway, anyone have any recommended times & temps for pork belly? Specifically for a traditional braised texture that will then be portioned then deep fried.

Thanks

Hmmm. Can I ask what the issue was? I'm wondering if I have a failing new unit....

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Hey all, I'm back in the sous vide topic. I had some horrible technical issues with a brand new Polysciene Sous Vide :sad: took a month of stress and awkward phone calls to sort it out. Really put me off sous vide for a while but now I'm getting back into it after getting a replacement unit. Phew!!!

Anyway, anyone have any recommended times & temps for pork belly? Specifically for a traditional braised texture that will then be portioned then deep fried.

Thanks

Hmmm. Can I ask what the issue was? I'm wondering if I have a failing new unit....

Sure,

To be honest I think it was transportation damage but either way the screen had this big water smudge underneath it, it made a very slight grinding sound as the pump blades spun, and for some reason it's memory didn't work, every time I turned it on the temperature was reset to the low factory setting ... takes a long time to turn the temp from 18°C all the way up to 64°C on that thing!

It was a real bummer. ... Whats going on with your unit?

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Hey all, I'm back in the sous vide topic. I had some horrible technical issues with a brand new Polysciene Sous Vide :sad: took a month of stress and awkward phone calls to sort it out. Really put me off sous vide for a while but now I'm getting back into it after getting a replacement unit. Phew!!!

Anyway, anyone have any recommended times & temps for pork belly? Specifically for a traditional braised texture that will then be portioned then deep fried.

Thanks

Hmmm. Can I ask what the issue was? I'm wondering if I have a failing new unit....

Mmmmm. I have a SideKIC with a pump that just stopped working. Duncan is sending out a new one and was very quick to respond but makes me wonder if these home based units are built well enough to provide years of service. Is that an unrealistic expectation?

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Mmmmm. I have a SideKIC with a pump that just stopped working. Duncan is sending out a new one and was very quick to respond but makes me wonder if these home based units are built well enough to provide years of service. Is that an unrealistic expectation?

I built my own SV setup so i cant comment on the SideKIC but i can tell you from experience that over time plastics will degrade from prolonged high temps. Also any metal that is not Stainless steel will either rust or degrade aswell. Even if the metal doesnt submerge in the water bath the steam rising will get in and cause it to rust. An example of metal degrading is aluminum. I had to make a bracket out of aluminum 1/4 inch aluminum strip and even though aluminum doesnt rust, I started to get calcium build up on it within one 24 hour session. The calcium clings to it like a magnet would to metal. After brushing off all the calcium, there was pits in the aluminum bracket. I probably wont get much more use out of the bracket and will have to special order some 1/4 strip in stainless steel for long term use.

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I never buy frozen fish, but I just read a tidbit in Michael Chiarello's Bottega cookbook about slacking, or slowly thawing out frozen fish in the refrigerator over three days. I've never considered buying frozen fish, but I need to -- for convenience's sake and just getting more fish into my diet.

My SV question -- if you bought pre-vacuum-packed frozen fish, would you thaw it for three days, and then SV it? Or thaw, drain, re-seal? Or just go straight to the SV?

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First of all not all frozen fish is the same.

Ive been very happy with some frozen fish from trader joe's, paying careful attention to the plastic wrapper to make sure there had not been a pinhole leak that let are into it: easy to tell: frost and a non air tight fitting.

not that this is Gospel: I take out the frozen fish, use my seasoning and the re-bag and SV

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My SV question -- if you bought pre-vacuum-packed frozen fish, would you thaw it for three days, and then SV it? Or thaw, drain, re-seal? Or just go straight to the SV?

Im sure others will disagree, or say im being to cautious, but I always thaw meats/poultry,fish in a bucket of cold water for 30 min per pound to thaw, then i SV. Its the safest way to thaw and cook.

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Im sure others will disagree, or say im being to cautious, but I always thaw meats/poultry,fish in a bucket of cold water for 30 min per pound to thaw, then i SV. Its the safest way to thaw and cook.

Hi there, I disagree and say you're being too cautious :laugh:

As I requoted here -- http://egullet.org/p1907543 -- it seems perfectly safe and prudent to cook items from a frozen state.

Do you have any published information to the contrary?

So we finish the eighteenth and he's gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won't be any money. But when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness."

So I got that goin' for me, which is nice.

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Im sure others will disagree, or say im being to cautious, but I always thaw meats/poultry,fish in a bucket of cold water for 30 min per pound to thaw, then i SV. Its the safest way to thaw and cook.

Hi there, I disagree and say you're being too cautious :laugh:

As I requoted here -- http://egullet.org/p1907543 -- it seems perfectly safe and prudent to cook items from a frozen state.

Do you have any published information to the contrary?

No i must have not got the memo that stated i needed published information to have an opinion :raz:

But If your so confident on cooking straight from frozen, im sure you wouldnt mind cooking a frozen 3" chuck roast to 131F from frozen for 24 hours. Let me know how it turns out.

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From a food safety perspective, there is nothing wrong with cooking from frozen. In fact, many food scientists recommend cooking from frozen; for example, O. Peter Snyder --- a food scientist I respect a lot --- recommends cooking your holiday turkey in the oven from frozen at http://www.hi-tm.com/Documents2005/turkey-cook-frozen.pdf . (Something most people are aghast to hear.)

Some believe that the is a noticeable difference in texture, when cooking sous vide, between thawed and frozen; but I'm skeptical about this. Perhaps someone on here will do a blind taste test to find out. Either way, this is a taste and not a safety issue.

My Guide: A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking, which Harold McGee described as "a wonderful contribution."

My Book: Sous Vide for the Home Cook US EU/UK

My YouTube channel — a new work in progress.

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