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adey73

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 3)

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[Moderator note: The original Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment topic became too large for our servers to handle efficiently, so we've divided it up; the preceding part of this discussion is here: Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 2)]

Iknow 63oC for two hours gets you a perfect cooked Hen's egg.

Any idea how brief & what temperature for a quails egg?

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A question on starting temperature -- should all meats be defrosted before being vacuum packed and cooked in the water bath? I have some pork belly that is partitioned into 1-lb pieces and would like to try this with one of them. However, the pork belly is frozen solid. Can it be seasoned, sealed up, and go directly into the water, or should it be defrosted first?

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I usually buy a whole pork belly, cut it into serving size pieces, season, bag and seal and then freeze. When I want some pork belly I toss it frozen into the water bath.

This works primarily because I cook the belly at 180F/82C for 8 hours or so - thus the timing is not critical.

With something more delicate, like fish, it would be much tricker to do this and have the timing come out right.

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Previously I've not been enamoured of sous vide fish (unlike meat sv which I love). However I have just tried an experiment with a small piece of sea bass cooked from frozen. I cooked it from frozen at 51C for 50 minutes. After this I flash fried at an extremely high temperature to get some nice maillard reaction. It was very nice indeed, so I am a convert to sv fish but only at the higher temperatures. I have seen recommended temperatures for fish from about 45C to 62C. To my palate the fish cooked at the lower end of the spectrum is too soft and has an unpleasant mouth feel and little savour or umami. I feel the flavours are much better at about the 50C mark.

Anyway here is my question - can I sv some fillets at 51C (say for 20 minutes for fresh, not frozen, fish), pan sear for maillard and then chill for later service? If you are wondering why I would want to do this the answer is I am giving a long involved dinner party and my extractor hood is not working. By pre-searing I am avoiding a smoke filled kitchen and easing service.

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I usually buy a whole pork belly, cut it into serving size pieces, season, bag and seal and then freeze.  When I want some pork belly I toss it frozen into the water bath.

This works primarily because I cook the belly at 180F/82C for 8 hours or so - thus the timing is not critical.

With something more delicate, like fish, it would be much tricker to do this and have the timing come out right.

Excellent -- good to know it could go straight from the freezer to the water bath. I'm letting this one defrost anyway so that it can be seasoned better and portioned further. Thanks!


Edited by plk (log)

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If you think about it (and I think nathanm says something to this effect upthread) there is no faster/better way to defrost your meat than in the circulating waterbath. So, if the meat is frozen, the best thing you can do with it is to toss it into the waterbath frozen. This means that you should season/portion/flavor your meat before it is frozen. As nathanm says, it may not be the best option for something delicate where timing is an issue.

Just as a note: This is a long thread, but there's lots of great information in here. Don't forget the "search topic" function down at the bottom of the page. If you put "frozen" in there and search the thread, it returns around 25 posts.

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Hear in Maine we steam cook a lobster in boiling water for two minutes, then back it in a vacuum tight bag with a little up butter, and poach it again...it's unbelievable

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Why do you boil it first? Just to kill it (maybe I'm just violent, but I generally go with the knife-to-skull approach :smile: )?

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How else would you be able to remove the meat from the shell?

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:laugh: OK, OK... I'm dumb. I obviously didn't think this cooking strategy all the way through. I was imagining vacuum-bagging the whole lobster :rolleyes:

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Anyone aware of any temperature-related tricks with the cabbage family? I was thinking it might be fun to do something like "Brussels sprouts confit" sous vide so they'd be nice and green. Ultimately I'd like for them to be somewhat tender but not skunky.

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There’s a show on PBS Create network called “Chef’s Story” (http://www.chefsstory.com).

They interview famous chefs and have them demo a recipe of their choice. The recipe is then published on their website.

Thomas Keller and Charlie Trotter both did sous vide. Perhaps others did as well, I haven’t seen all the episodes or looked through all of the recipes.

You may wish to check it out.

BTW, (off topic) it’s worth the effort to see if your cable company carries this network. There are a lot of very good food shows.

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this is a huge thread, may I ask something? is there a problem to cook in a bag without creating a vacuum? I was thinking of doing chicken breasts, with some garlic, olive oil, thyme, lemon, green peppercorns, in a zip lock bag (without removing air), and then putting them in the griddle pan for 3-4mins for crispening the skin. I know it is not sous-vide, but is there a problem with that?

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A whole shelled lobster SV would be amazing.

Great idea - its now on my growing sv to-do list!

But why not leave the shell on? I suppose the bag could get punctured . . .

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this is a huge thread.... I was thinking of doing chicken breasts, with some garlic, olive oil, thyme, lemon, green peppercorns,  in a zip lock bag ...

Yes, it is a really long topic. If you look at the bottom the screen under the last post on the left there is a search box that allows you to search within the topic. You can put the word "ziplock" there and you will only get post results that contain ziplock from this topic.

Yes, you can use a ziplock. No, its not really important have vacuum. You just want to get most of the air out of the bag and make sure its sealed well enough to keep the food in and the water out.


Edited by pounce (log)

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Yes, you can use a ziplock. No, its not really important have vacuum. You just want to get most of the air out of the bag and make sure its sealed well enough to keep the food in and the water out.

And since you will always have some trapped air which can float the bag, it is helpful to put a handful of glass florist beads into the bag to keep it under water.

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Yes, you can use a ziplock. No, its not really important have vacuum. You just want to get most of the air out of the bag and make sure its sealed well enough to keep the food in and the water out.

Agreed, though some say the pressure from an evacuated bag will alter vegetable texture (by crushing cell walls?) and help drive the marinade deeper into the food item.

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Finally got my immersion circulator today, and really want to clean it up a bit before I use it to cook. Does anyone have any suggestions for a product that will remove small patches of rust and other crud?

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Finally got my immersion circulator today, and really want to clean it up a bit before I use it to cook.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a product that will remove small patches of rust and other crud?

If you've got calcium buildup (from hard water), try adding vinegar to the water bath. There was a post either in this thread or in one regarding food safety that recommended using some sort of harsh chemical to clean a used circulator. I think the poster was assuming that the circulator might have been exposed to biohazard material. Since it's against U.S. regulations (and comparable regs elsewhere) to sell equipment that has been used for restricted purposes, I would hope that the circulator you bought just needs a bit of scrubbing up. (Assuming you bought it from a reputable source).

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Finally got my immersion circulator today, and really want to clean it up a bit before I use it to cook.  Does anyone have any suggestions for a product that will remove small patches of rust and other crud?

I'd do a vinegar solution soak, with heat turned on to loosen up any hard water deposits (aka- calcium deposits), much like you run diluted vinegar through a coffee pot or electric kettle every so often. A 1 part vinegar to 4 parts water solution is also recommended for cleaning a lot of home health equipment, so it will get rid of more then just hard water deposits. If you have hard water, you may find you need to wipe your immersion circ down with diluted vinegar every so often to keep the deposits to a minimum.

If there are any stubborn spots, especially any with rust, I would try Bar Keepers Friend- it does wonders without being abrasive. If you don't have any, you could try a little baking soda as a very mild abrasive with a little dish soap.

Is it a portable immersion circ or does it have its own attached bath? Mine is a portable, and I did my first vinegar water soaks in a stainless steel pitcher so I could change out the water a couple times easily...just be careful to remember the pitcher handle might get hot (mine had a heat resistant handle thankfully).

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Thanks Edsel and Annie! Gonna go and get started with the 4 to 1 water to vinegar bath immediately. As for whether it's a bath or stand-alone circulator, it's a Haake D8 immersion circulator (stand-alone model) that I found on Ebay for a reasonable price. Last night I ran it in a 20 quart 6 dollar stock pot at 62 C for 3 hours and it held within .2 - .3 degrees perfectly fine. Anyway, thanks again. It's time to play!

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Anyone have any time and temperature suggestions for whole quail? I like my quail medium rare, and so I tried a couple of birds, individually packed, at 54C for about 90 min, followed by a quick blowtorch. I think they were probably still a little too bloody, even for my tastes. :)

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I'm curious about the quail, since a whole one will have a relatively large empty cavity (unless you spatchcocked the thing?).

Have done duck magret at 54ºC for about 2 hours; comes out very pink but it definitely isn't bloody.

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Anyone have any time and temperature suggestions for whole quail?  I like my quail medium rare, and so I tried a couple of birds, individually packed, at 54C for about 90 min, followed by a quick blowtorch.  I think they were probably still a little too bloody, even for my tastes. :)

To cook the quail, I think that you will need to cut them in half before bagging. You probably don't have to spatchcock if you cut the birds in half and vacuum pack it well.

For poultry I prefer 60C (140F). I find that at 54C the texture can be a little mushy.

--Edward

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