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MikeTMD

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 6)

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Poached quince worked well: 85C for ~60 minutes. These were "well done" - I had poached quince with a salad (at Blueduck in DC) that was a bit more firm, and I may try shorter cooking time to get that "medium" texture.

The first quince I just peeled/cored/sliced and "poached" straight in the bag to really get at what the qunice was like on its own (very apple like, but with a very nice "something extra" that I can't quite explain - vaguely floral, maybe?) The second one I did, I peeled/cored/sliced and bagged with about 1 teaspoon of honey, and tiny bits of flavoring: 1 juniper berry, crushed, half a Thai long pepper corn, crushed and 2 cassia buds, crushed. I went with the tiny amounts, because of the "magnification" effect of flavorings in the bag - but the tiny amounts I used were too small and I didn't detect any resulting flavor in the quince. I've got more quince, so I'll try again with more of the flavorings. (These are some obscure spices I got for Alinea dishes from The Spice House in Chicago - I don't know yet if they work well with the quince, but they smelled nice going into the bag.)

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Off-topic, but do you mine sharing your SousVideMagic PID setting for the Presto Multi-Cooker? I've never been able to get it to satisfactorily stabilize.

Thanks,

-a

For my Presto Multicooker (which is something like 20 years old). I use P 180 I 700 D 40 and it is rock stable. And the natural convection keeps the temperature is quite uniform as long as there is room for the water to circulate.

Apart from (potentially) finer control, my understanding is that forced circulation would be much better when attempting non-equilibrium water bath cooking.

One doesn't need an immersion circulator for pretty even distribution of the temperature. The multicooker I use or a rice cooker or a hot plate (pretty much anything where the heat source is coming from the bottom) creates convection currents that distribute the heat pretty efficiently as long as the food provides space for the convection currents. At least once the water has come up to temperature.

For things that heat from the side like some (all? crockpots) a $5 airpump is more than adequate as long as there is room for the water to circulate.

(Btw, I am not saying that an immersion circulator would not be more convenient and more scalable -- they are obviously great in that respect)

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I must agree.

During the time I was trying to validate my purchase of a rice cooker and a Sous Vide Magic I did many temperature experiments using rice cookers ranging from 3.5 litres to 12 litres controlled by the SVM.

Using a wire rig to hold my temp probe in a fixed position and then repeating the test with the sensor in different positions I could not detect more than 0.5C variance at different places in the tank. I suspect that the reason for this is the fact that rice cookers generally have their heating elements below the tank coupled with the fact that they are cylindrical in shape gives them the best chance to allow natural convection to work well.

One thing I have noticed is that a perforated false floor about an inch above the real bottom of the tank helps the natural convection.

I cannot understand why any home sous vide cook would not use a relatively cheap rice cooker and a Sous Vide Magic. The cost is far less than any alternative I have found so far and the results are excellent. :biggrin:

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The prices for SVM seem to be creeping up, with the 2 models going for $140 and $170. You should easily be able to get a used immersion circulator for that price or less (especially factoring in the extra cost of a large rice cooker or roasting pans etc..). I bought a mint-condition, perfectly clean analog circulator for about $120. For the price, SVM is not worth it IMO.


Edited by Mallet (log)

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Just another SV exercise - flank steak/ Atlantic halibut.

I got an inspiration from a dish by Chef Gustav Ottenberg form Leijontornet restaurant restaurant in Stockholm, Sweden ( described and pictured on pp. 280-281 in the new COCO book):

Flank Steak, Pickled Pearl Onions, Onion Puree, Grean Beans, Yellow Mustard Seed

Steak.jpg

Flank steak was season with kosher salt, black pepper and kebbeh spices, vacuum-packed and cooked to medium-rare at 64C for about 2 hours ( for presentation purposes I decided to cook the entire steak and slice it just prior to service).

Also, same dinner - different dish:

Atlantic halibut poached in extra virgin olive oil, Prince Edward Island mussels, Brussel sprouts, Chinese broccoli and Black Garlic sauce, microgreens:

Halibut.jpg

This dish is inspired by similar plate at Gramercy Tavern in NYC.

Halibut was poached in a vacuum bag with EVOO, fenugreek and saffron @ 59C for about 15 minutes (tecture was fall-apart tender, but not at all mushy), mussels were steamed with herbs, Brussel sprouts were caramelized with butter, Chinese Brocolli puree was thickened with light brown roux.

I absolutely love the 57-59C range for white fish - great and consistent results.

Just for comparison - please look at the original dish:

1027_0174.jpg

I would be happy to answer questions, if any.


Edited by MikeTMD (log)

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By the way, has anyone read the Momofuku book yet? It has an interesting "fried-poached" egg idea. I SV'ed an uncracked egg at 45C for 45 minutes and gently cracked it into small plate. The really wet whites were discarded and I VERY quickly fried the gelatinous blob remaining in very hot oil. The texture was very interesting. I haven't seen that technique before so I thought I'd share.

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The NY Times just wrote an article about Nathan Myrvold's upcoming cook book. I thought I'd post it here even though it doesn't necessarily deal only with sous-vide. I wish I could try his cryo-seared duck breast. Nathanm, if you are still following this thread I can't wait to order the book!


Edited by nextguy (log)

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Thanks for linking to that - it looks really cool, and I'm looking forward to seeing that book!

But I can't resist pointing out: The quote, "Dr. Myhrvold, who once presided over Microsoft Windows..." is followed by, “It’s basically like a software project,” Dr. Myhrvold said. “It’s very much like a review we would do at Microsoft.” And then, "Originally planned as a 300-page discussion of sous vide... the book has swelled to 1,500 pages..." and "He said the book would be out in a year, although he admitted that was also what he said a year ago." Must ... resist ... cracking ... Windows ... jokes!!!! :biggrin:

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I too was fascinated by his method for the duck breast - also the "pressure grill ". Nathan, I am waiting for the book with baited breath!

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I don't know that I agree about his opinion that boiling meat and then coating it in oil is the same as cooking meat confit style. When cooking confit you are not using a neutral flavored oil. I would think that some of the flavor of the oil penetrates the meat just as spices and marinade in a pouch flavour meat during a long sous vide.

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Given the Nathan's thoroughness and intelligence, I feel pretty confident that his statements were based on thorough research and experimentation and were not made without a pretty strong basis.

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The NY Times just wrote an article about Nathan Myrvold's upcoming cook book. ...

Oh ... (Or "Uh-Oh")

The book, still untitled, intends to be the authoritative reference for chefs wishing to employ so-called molecular gastronomy — adapting food industry technologies to restaurant cooking.

...

Every month or so, the cookbook team gathers in a conference room to review their progress. Dr. Myhrvold scans each page, points out glitches and sketches how he wants a chart to look.

“It’s basically like a software project,” Dr. Myhrvold said. “It’s very much like a review we would do at Microsoft.”

The project has grown in size and scope. Originally planned as a 300-page discussion of sous vide, an increasingly popular restaurant technique of cooking food in vacuum-sealed bags in warm water baths, the book has swelled to 1,500 pages that will also cover microbiology, food safety, the physics of heat transfer on the stove and in the oven, formulas for turning fruit and vegetable juices into gels, and more.

“And they’re big pages,” Dr. Myhrvold said.

Because he is self-publishing the book, Dr. Myhrvold does not have to convince a publisher or anyone else that such a huge book aimed primarily at a narrow of audience of restaurant chefs makes economic sense. He said the book would be out in a year, although he admitted that was also what he said a year ago.

That specific software analogy is all too apt!

The book would seem to be far from imminent.

And perhaps more importantly from the standpoint of this thread, it is stated that the focus has shifted from sous-vide.

Of even more import to most readers of this thread is that, rather than concerning the application of restaurant techniques in the home, the stated theme is now the application of industrial (and seemingly laboratory) techniques in the restaurant.

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It sounds exciting but at 1500 pages of self published technical data sounds like it could be expensive.

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I don't know that I agree about his opinion that boiling meat and then coating it in oil is the same as cooking meat confit style. When cooking confit you are not using a neutral flavored oil. I would think that some of the flavor of the oil penetrates the meat just as spices and marinade in a pouch flavour meat during a long sous vide.

He did not boil it, he steamed it actually. Boiling leaches flavor. Then it was coated with what he called "fat". I am assuming in this case it's duck fat, not a neutral oil. That would explain why in a blind taste test it showed no difference than a proper confit. It's interesting what we find out when we question some long held cooking beliefs. A few years ago it was the whole idea of "Sear the meat to keep the juices in" that many well respected chefs and cookbook authors still tout. It's simply wrong.

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Happy Thanksgiving all! It's been a while since I've trolled this thread (which is not to say I don't sous vides often!) To the poster looking to upgrade equipment....have you yet heard of the Sous Vide Supreme? Brand new. Haven't seen or used it, but looks interesting. Here's website. http://www.sousvidesupreme.com/

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There's a thread started for the Sous Vide Supreme here:

There are a few folks saying that they're received theirs, so it will be interesting to hear what they have to say over there!

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First time doing duck breast sous vide. I prepared a dish inspired by an Alinea recipe that combines duck, pumpkin, banana and Thai flavors. I know many have recommended removing the skin and crisping it separately, but I have a very good result leaving it on and cooking the skin side over low heat after CSV. Here is the dish.

duck-pumpkin-banana5.jpg

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A question I don't think has been addressed:

If I buy meat in bulk and intend to freeze some (before later cooking sous-vide), it seems the easiest thing would be to break it down, season it as desired, vacuum pack it, then just toss in the water bath directly from freezer. My question is whether having, for instance, salted a piece a frozen meat for a month will have undesired effects (e.g. corning it), or if that is mitigated by freezing?

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I've had no problems seasoning a piece of meat, vacuuming then freezing and storing for months on end... I do this all the time with flank steak - 1 flank steak gives me 4 portions... I portion, jaccard, season then bag/seal and freeze... then I just throw straight into the bath when I'm ready to cook...

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If I buy meat in bulk and intend to freeze some (before later cooking sous-vide), it seems the easiest thing would be to break it down, season it as desired, vacuum pack it, then just toss in the water bath directly from freezer. My question is whether having, for instance, salted a piece a frozen meat for a month will have undesired effects (e.g. corning it), or if that is mitigated by freezing?

I routinely do exactly this.

I have bagged chicken, turkey, pork or beef with seasoning and frozen the sealed bag with good results.

This time of year, while turkey is cheap, I buy several. (I processed 7 this year. My freezer is packed to the gills.) I bone them out and make stock with the bones and broth with the wings.

The boneless turkey breast halves are bagged with seasoning (Bell's poultry seasoning, black pepper, a little of Meat Magic), 2 TBL Turkey broth, and 2 TBL Duck or turkey fat. I add fresh sage if I have it but I don't find it necessary. These are cooked in the bag directly from the freezer and come out great. The fat in the bag after cooking is reserved for gravy or frozen for future bags of turkey.

I buy Chicken Breasts with bones and skin on. They are seasoned with Meat Magic Spice blend (Paul Prudhomme's Magic Brand Seasoning), and fresh ground black pepper and go into a bag with a little water (ice cube), a spoonful of chicken demi-glaze concentrate (More Than Gourmet Jus De Poulet Lie Gold® Roasted Chicken Demi-glace) and a pat of butter. After cooking, the skin is browned with a propane torch and the bag drippings are reduced and thickened a little with Wondra Flour.

I buy chicken thighs, bone them, season them, and freeze in individual bags. I drop the bags into the water bath for cooking directly from the freezer. (The bones are made into chicken stock which also gets frozen.) I use several seasonings including Tsang Thai Peanut sauce, Mad Dog Wing Sauce, and an Italian seasoning. My Italian seasoning is made from several packets of Good Seasons Italian Dressing mix, Several tablespoons Italian seasoning (from The Spice House), 1/2 Tsp Xanthin Gum, Cayenne pepper, Vinegar and oil.

The chicken thighs make fantastic chicken sandwiches. I usually throw the thigh into a skillet and reduce the bag drippings and soak a bun with the reduced bag dripping to make the sandwich even better.

I have used several different seasonings and many contain salt. I notice no curing effect if the bag goes into the freezer. I have tested chicken thighs frozen with my Italian seasoning 14 months before consumption and did not detect a problem. I expect that the vinegar and salt would make this an extreme test.

In the refrigerator compartment, I do see the curing from the salt in a few days. I noticed the cured meat effect from the chicken demi-glaze chicken breast after only two or three days in the refrigerator.

The bottom line is I have not noticed a problem if I freeze the bag after sealing.

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Article in today's NY Times about sous vide at home and testing the SousVide Supreme machine. Includes a quote from an egullet moderator. Unfortunately I can't get the link tto work.


Edited by rickster (log)

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I've had no problems seasoning a piece of meat, vacuuming then freezing and storing for months on end... I do this all the time with flank steak - 1 flank steak gives me 4 portions... I portion, jaccard, season then bag/seal and freeze... then I just throw straight into the bath when I'm ready to cook...

If you go straight to the bath from the freezer, rather than room temp or fridge temp, what adjustments do you make to the cooking time to account for this?

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I've had no problems seasoning a piece of meat, vacuuming then freezing and storing for months on end... I do this all the time with flank steak - 1 flank steak gives me 4 portions... I portion, jaccard, season then bag/seal and freeze... then I just throw straight into the bath when I'm ready to cook...

If you go straight to the bath from the freezer, rather than room temp or fridge temp, what adjustments do you make to the cooking time to account for this?

I really don't worry about the time difference for the flank steak because I'm cooking it for 36 hours... so an extra half hour or so wouldn't make a difference... but, if you're cooking something for less time, I'd use Douglas Baldwin's pages - he has two charts comparing time to reach temp. from 41F and from 0F... http://amath.colorado.edu/~baldwind/sous-vide.html - about a quarter down from the top are Tables 2.3 and 2.4... In general, it really depends on thickness - for instance, the difference in time for 10mm thick is 2 minutes, but for 25mm it's 12 minutes, and 50mm it's 46 minutes.

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