Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create an account.

Rahxephon1

Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment (Part 9)

Recommended Posts

I appreciate the dilemma this kind of thing poses for a company. They can’t say it’s ok to circulate anything. Gasoline, sulfuric acid, raw sewage, nitroglycerine: not ok. There’s no way they could come up with an exhaustive list of what not to put in there. But that’s not the same as saying nothing’s ok besides water. 


 


BTW, I personally don’t have any need to circulate other stuff. I’m not about to do a bionic turkey. I’m just curious about why they’re so restrictive after seeing how easily cleaned the unit is.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: tenderness and juiciness being mutually exclusive. My girlfriend saw that post over my shoulder and was afraid it was cry for relationship advice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the more significant issue raised by the paper involves cooking time. At the same temperature, increased time seems to reduce juiciness as it increases tenderness. 

 

I'm not 100% convinced of the universality of this, or at least of it universally happening to a significant degree. I wish they'd used a lower temperature range. And I'd like to see the experiment repeated with some different cuts.

 

I made two chuck steaks a few days ago, at 55C. I pulled one at 24 hours and the other at 48. I thought the 48 hour one was as juicy, and (predictably) more tender. Granted, this was a long shot from scientific, but it raises some questions for me.

I think the real issue is this: The paper is comparing sous vide to sous vide. Almost any increase in time will result in a decrease in retained liquid when temp is held constant. So if retaining moisture is the only concern, than less time is better. The question isn't whether one can attain maximum tenderness and maximum juiciness at the same time (the answer is no, as one requires less time, and one required more time), but does sous vide allow for retaining more moisture at a given tenderness than other cooking methods. I don't know of anyone familiar with the technique who would argue this claim.

 

Reading the article, I got this impression:

 

Sous vide cook: "Sous vide is amazing because it lets to cook fork tender meat while retaining all the juices you would normally lose at higher temps!"

Scientist: "That's not accurate. Maximum moisture and maximum tenderness are mutually exclusive" --> Data follows

 

What the cook meant was that sous vide allows for much more retained moisture when compared to traditional high-heat methods. 

 

Max moisture = Raw

Max tenderness = Cremated

 

We live in the middle somewhere. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

seems to me, judging by photos, that Keller circulates butter (or beurre monté)

 

if I were less worried about damage and cleaning, it would be an appealing idea to try

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's a very expensive idea to try!!! Other than the glory shot or advertising ability, what's the advantage to circulating butter (or any other fat or liquid) versus bagging the product with butter and circulating water like normal? To the same point, Modernist Cuisine points out that cooking in fat does not help cooking or add flavor to the interior of the meat - the fat molecules are too big to penetrate muscle - so you might as well bag naked then brush with butter once fully cooked. Otherwise, some of your meat flavor is going to making flavored butter.

The only purpose I can see to circulating non-water is if you are cooking something that is too big to bag - like Dave Arnold's bionic turkey that he had to keep whole due to family expectations.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I strongly advise against circulating milk - see earlier posts!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If cooking in butter at SV temps is really what you want to do then the Sous Vide Supreme is the way to go. Circulation is by convection but the unit is completely sealed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If cooking in butter at SV temps is really what you want to do then the Sous Vide Supreme is the way to go. Circulation is by convection but the unit is completely sealed.

I have one

 

but because the unit is all in one, and so not submersible, it's MUCH harder to clean than a cambro and separate circulator

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

...To the same point, Modernist Cuisine points out that cooking in fat does not help cooking or add flavor to the interior of the meat - the fat molecules are too big to penetrate muscle - so you might as well bag naked then brush with butter once fully cooked. Otherwise, some of your meat flavor is going to making flavored butter.

 

so by this "logic" there's no such thing as confit? cooking in fat is "no different" for flavour than in a sealed bag and brushed with fat afterward?

 

really?

You're sticking to that?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have one

 

but because the unit is all in one, and so not submersible, it's MUCH harder to clean than a cambro and separate circulator

I am surprised to hear you say that. I have the Demi and have no issues cleaning it. I lay it on its side, wash it out with a soapy cloth, tip it slightly and hose it. I dont find it any more of a challenge to clean than the Anova and container. Obviously your mileage varies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what MC found.  As I recall, they blind-tasted duck (?) cooked in fat or brushed with it after cooking and found no difference.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another use for non-water circulation is if you're doing high volume of a single item, placing them directly in the bath will cause the bath water to eventually equilibriate with the item. This is similar to the principle behind "dirty water" hot dogs in NYC. The advantage is that you can add and remove items at will and not have to deal with opening and closing plastic bags.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Another use for non-water circulation is if you're doing high volume of a single item, placing them directly in the bath will cause the bath water to eventually equilibriate with the item. This is similar to the principle behind "dirty water" hot dogs in NYC. The advantage is that you can add and remove items at will and not have to deal with opening and closing plastic bags.

OK - I get this for a restaurant situation turning out tons of the same dish.... another analogy would be the cooking water for chicken-rice - hawker stalls will recycle this liquid forever...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That's what MC found.  As I recall, they blind-tasted duck (?) cooked in fat or brushed with it after cooking and found no difference.

That's what I was referring to. It was duck they tested, and they blind, triangle-tested several variations - cooked with no fat, then with no fat added; cooked in fat; cooked with no fat, then brushed with fat; then other variations brushing with other non-duck fats. They could absolutely tell the difference between non-duck fats and brushed with duck fat, but could not tell the difference between cooked in duck fat and no-fat cook and brushed with duck fat.

Because of this, when I do confit at home, I just package the duck legs naked - and you know what I find after the cooking is complete? The duck leg is surrounded by duck fat - no brushing required!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Has anyone seen a similar evaluation of butter poaching? This is a technique Thomas Keller used a lot. Eventually he replaced the giant pot of beurre monté with butter in the sous-vide bags. But experiments ... real ones and my own .. suggest you don't infuse any butter flavor into proteins.

 

I've SV'd steaks with melted or mounted cultured butter in the bags, hoping for the best. I didn’t do any kind of blind testing, but did a lot of eating, and really couldn’t detect any butter flavor.

 

Which raises another question: if you’re cooking protein in ziplock bags, and want some liquid to displace the air, what are the best options?

 

Assume you’re not specifically making a braise. You just want liquid for conduction, with a minimum worry of osmotically leaching more than necessary from the meat, little risk of curing or excessive tenderizing, and ideally, something wouldn’t interfere with making a pan sauce from the bag juices.

 

Thoughts?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's in Keller's book that you can see what looks like a cambro filled with beurre monté, and a circulator 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

 

Which raises another question: if you’re cooking protein in ziplock bags, and want some liquid to displace the air, what are the best options?

 

Assume you’re not specifically making a braise. You just want liquid for conduction, with a minimum worry of osmotically leaching more than necessary from the meat, little risk of curing or excessive tenderizing, and ideally, something wouldn’t interfere with making a pan sauce from the bag juices.

 

Thoughts?

I have a couple thoughts... To answer your question, I just use a neutral oil (peanut mostly) when the goal is conduction. I don't use it for much, things like hamburger patties that have a very coarse surface. 

 

I've found that most whole proteins put out enough juice fairly quickly to surround themselves and push the air bubbles to the top of the bag. Couple that with the "fact" that small bubbles don't have a huge effect on <12 hour cooking times, I only add liquid to the bag (for conduction purposes) with chicken, because I find that chicken breasts get a weird "chicken-y" smell and taste if they don't have anything at all in the bag.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm interested in trying to cook a whole fennel bulb SV, as I find that blanching makes it a bit watery. I understand Keller's book recommends doing most veg at 85C, but how long will it approximately take?


Edited by ahpadt (log)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What texture are you trying to end up with? Still some crisp, or cooked until soft?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

there is probably a table for this somewhere where you enter the diameter  and relate that to the texture you want.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm interested in trying to cook a whole fennel bulb SV, as I find that blanching makes it a bit watery. I understand Keller's book recommends doing most veg at 85C, but how long will it approximately take?

I've done a cut up bulb 85c/60 min with a shot of sambuca. Cooked through but still had good texture

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I recently finished reading Under Pressure and was not terribly inspired by it.  But I am fond of fennel and might give fennel a try sous vide.  I cooked carrots sous vide at 85 deg C and was not terribly taken by the texture.  Pork/beef/chicken/lamb sous vide give much better results for me than vegetables.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

With vegetables, cooking is a matter of breaking down cell walls, which is roughly analogous to breaking down collagen in meat. We're not going for a level of temperature-determined doneness, but for a temperature/time-determined texture. Which means timing is important in a way that it's not with most SV proteins.

 

I've only done a few vegetable experiments. So far I haven't achieved the carrot nirvana that some people talk about. I've had great asparagus, though. SV has been brilliant for in-season, fat stalks of it. Just prep them well (including peeling the bottom halves) and bag them with some salt and pepper and olive oil (or whatever) ... 85C for 15 minutes. Really beautiful flavor and texture. 

 

Not a total replacement for roasted asparagus (which I still prefer if the asparagus is less than great). But much prettier, and much more pure asparagus flavor. 

 

Next up is mashed potatoes ... the circulator is the perfect tool for retrograding the starch for a smooth puree.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Ive only done a few veg

 

Asp. when plump w tight tips are excellent..  much better than I can do by streaming or simmering.  there is a very narrow window of

 

'personal doneness' w Asp.   I usually miss it most other ways  except grill

 

i did supermarket carrots  not much there for me.  you know the ones  no tops.   got some w tops ;  a bit better

 

Farmers Market carrots w tops are another matter, very very good.  but they dont come around here for long.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.

  • Similar Content

    • By Daily Gullet Staff
      By John Sconzo

      The Daily Gullet is proud to present this, the first in a multi-part, front-row report on the recent "Spain and the World Table" conference. Watch for subsequent installments in this topic.

      In his introduction of Ferran Adria, Thomas Keller -- perhaps the most celebrated American chef ever -- described four elements that go into making a great chef. The chef must be aware. Once aware of one’s culinary and other surroundings that chef can then be inspired, which leads to the ability to interpret those surroundings. But a great chef does not stop there. Instead, the great chef continues to evolve. Ferran Adria, perhaps more than any other chef who has ever lived, is the embodiment of those four elements.

      The moment that Ferran Adria strode towards Thomas Keller on the stage at the CIA/Greystone’s World of Flavors’ “Spain and the World Table” Conference was electric -- as if a giant Van de Graf generator had been turned on. The feeling didn’t subside when Adria took the stage from Keller; it only became more pronounced as the packed crowd rose to its feet, raining applause, admiration and love on the Spanish master. Adria accepted the response with aplomb, and gave it right back to the audience -- and to his fellow Spanish cocineros, who were standing off to the side. He brought each one up to join him on the stage for a rousing thank-you to the conference organizers, sponsors and participants. Once this emotional release subsided, Adria got down to what everyone had been waiting for -- his discussion and demonstration.

      Ferran Adria, with eyes sparkling like the finest cava, began speaking Spanish in a voice as gravelly as the beaches of the Costa Brava, while Conference Chairman Jose Andres translated. The crowd, hushed and straining for every word, moved forward in their seats as Adria explained El Bulli and himself, with a lesson in recent culinary history thrown in. Ferran explained that El Bulli is not a business. While offshoots of El Bulli are operated on a for-profit basis, the restaurant runs without profit as a primary motivation. For example, he said, the greatest difficulty they have is distributing reservations. Given the extraordinary demand and the severely limited supply, he explained that they could simply raise the price of a meal to the point where the supply and demand met. Indeed, the price of a meal at El Bulli is in itself quite reasonable given the stature of the restaurant and well within means of most motivated diners should they be able to get there, and this is how Adria prefers it. He stated that he was not interested in cooking solely for those with the most money. He prefers to work for people with a true interest in exploring the limits of cooking with him. To this end he showed a short film depicting “A Day in the Life . . .” of El Bulli set to the Beatles’ song of the same name. The film showed a couple’s response to the experience.

      Ferran’s voyage into creativity began with a visit to Jacques Maxima at Le Chanticleer Restaurant in Nice, France. He learned from Maxima that to be creative is not to copy. This idea changed his entire approach to cooking -- from making classic cuisine to making his own. Aware of elaborate books of French cuisine, Adria resolved to catalogue his work, the results of which are the richly detailed El Bulli books, published by period. These books, as wonderful as they are, are huge and extremely expensive. During his presentation, Adria announced -- and demonstrated -- that the individual dishes photographed and described in a chronology within each book are all now available online at elbulli.com.

      He finished the philosophical discussion by talking about the general style of haute cuisine that he and others are engaged in. While others have coined the term “molecular gastronomy” to highlight the scientific component of the creativity involved, Adria rejected it, saying that all cooking is molecular: most of his techniques are in fact rather simple and don’t employ radical new technology. Most of the technology that they do use has been around for some time; they have simply adapted it to their own purposes. Nevertheless, he applauds contributions to gastronomy from Harold McGee and other food scientists, and welcomes their collaboration in the kitchen. He has yet to find a term that describes the movement: as of now, he feels that there really is no good name for this style of cooking.

      More than any other single thing, Ferran Adria is known for the use of “foams” in cooking. While he is proud of his achievements with foams, he stressed that while appropriate in some circumstances, the real utility of foams is limited. He bemoans their ubiquity -- and wishes to not be blamed for others’ poor deployment of the concept. In the course of describing this and other techniques, Adria made a point of stating that using them should not be inferred as copying. Techniques and concepts are to be used and shared. He invited everyone to learn and harness whatever they found interesting, and to employ it in to their own pursuits.

      Another set of techniques discussed and demonstrated by the master and his assistant, Rafa Morales from Hacienda Benazuza, included three types of spherification. These included the use of calcium chloride (CaCl) and sodium alginate as well as the converse, and exploration of a new agent, gluconodeltalactone. The original combinations of alginate into CaCl for “caviar” production, and CaCl into alginate for larger “spheres” have chemistry-related limits as to what can be sphericized. In private correspondence, Harold McGee explained to me that Adria described encapsulating a mussel in its own juice. While this would make the dish technically an aspic, unlike conventional aspics it remains a liquid. Adria said that though gluconodeltalactone is very new, and they are just beginning to get a handle on it, he is very excited by it. He also demonstrated a machine for spherification on a larger scale than they had originally been able to do, as well as liquid nitrogen and freeze-drying (lyophilization) techniques. At the conclusion of his demonstration -- and thus the Conference -- the audience once again awarded him a standing ovation.

      While Adria’s appearance was the culmination of the conference, the energy it produced was not just because of his stature in the world of gastronomy -- it was also due to the excitement generated by the conference that preceded it. If there had previously been any doubt, Thomas Keller’s welcome of Adria was a clarion: Spanish cuisine has landed on North American shores and is finding a niche in the North American psyche. Spanish cuisine -- in its multifaceted, delicious entirety -- lives here, too.

      + + + + +

      John M. Sconzo, M.D., aka docsconz, is an anesthesiologist practicing in upstate New York. He grew up in Brooklyn in an Italian-American home, in which food was an important component of family life. It still is. His passions include good food, wine and travel. John's gastronomic interests in upstate northeastern New York involve finding top-notch local producers of ingredients and those who use them well. A dedicated amateur, John has no plans to ditch his current career for one in the food industry. Host, New York.
    • By docsconz
      About Jose Andres
       
      Throughout his career, Jose’s vision and imaginative creations have drawn the praise of the public, the press and his peers. José has received awards and recognition from Food Arts, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, Saveur, the James Beard Foundation, Wine Spectator, and Wine Advocate. In addition, José has been featured in leading food magazines such as Gourmet as well as the New York Times, the Washington Post, Good Morning America, Fox Sunday Morning News with Chris Wallace, the Food Network, and USA Today.
       
      Widely acknowledged as the premiere Spanish chef cooking in America, José is a developer and Conference Chairman for the upcoming Worlds of Flavor Conference on Spain and the World Table at The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, November 2 – 5, 2006.
       
      In 1993, Jose moved to Washington, DC, to head the kitchen at Jaleo. From there, Jose took on executive chef responsibilities at neighboring Café Atlantico and later Zaytinya. In July of 2003, Jose embarked on his most adventurous project to date with the opening of the minibar by jose andres at Cafe Atlantico. A six-seat restaurant within a restaurant, minibar by jose andres continues to attract international attention with its innovative tasting menu. In the fall of 2004, Jose opened a third Jaleo and Oyamel, an authentic Mexican small plates restaurant and launched the THINKfoodTANK, an institution devoted to the research and development of ideas about food, all with a view toward their practical applications in the kitchen.
       
      Every week, millions of Spaniards invite Jose into their home where he is the host and producer of “Vamos a cocinar”, a food program on Television Española (TVE), Spanish national television. The program airs in the United States and Latin America on TVE Internacional.
       
      Jose released his first cookbook this year, first published in English, Tapas: A Taste of Spain in America (published in the United States by Clarkson Potter) and shortly after in Spanish, Los fogones de José Andrés (published by Planeta). The book is an homage to Spanish cooking and to tapas, one of Spain's gifts to the world of good cooking.
       
      Jose Andres is passionate, intelligent, dedicated, witty and a fan of FC Barcelona.
       
      Jose has been a member of the eGullet Society since 2004.
       
      More on Jose Andres in the eG Forums:
      Cooking with "Tapas" by Jose Andres
      Vamos a Cocinar - cooking show with Jose Andres
      Jaleo
      José Andrés' Minibar
      Zaytinya
      Oyamel Cocina Mexicana, Crystal City
      Cafe Atlantico
       
      Jose Andres recipes from Tapas in RecipeGullet:
      Potatoes Rioja-Style with Chorizo (Patatas a la Riojana)
      Moorish-Style Chickpea and Spinach Stew
      Squid with Caramelized Onions
    • By gibbs
      With Modernist Cuisine I waited a couple of years and ended up with a copy from the 6th printing run the advantage of this was that all errors picked up in the erratta had been corrected in the print copy.  I am looking to get modernist bread soon and wondered if someone had purchased it recently to check or if someone knew of hand if they have printed any additional corrected runs 
    • By TdeV
      I'm thinking that one isn't supposed to add salt to meat which is about to be sous-vided. I have no idea from whence the idea came, nor whether it's correct.
       
      Also I'm thinking that raw onion is ok in the sous vide bag, but not raw garlic (because it imparts a harsh flavour).
       
      Either of these impressions have value?
    • By Fabio
      Last year I had dinner at Belcanto in Lisbon and one of the dishes featured a "tomato water snow" or "tomato water cloud" (translated from the original Portuguese: "Nuvem/neve de agua de tomate") that I'm trying to replicate without success. Imagine a thick and solid foam of tomato water that immediately liquefies when you put in your mouth. The cloud was atop smoked fish and olive oil was drizzled over it.
       
      I whipped a mixture of tomato water and albumin powder (2 tsp albumin, 2tbsp tomato water) along with a pinch of cream of tartar, getting to the stiff peaks point after some effort. Trying to dehidrate the foam even as low as 150F didn't work; the foam collapsed. I then tried the savory meringue approach with some sugar and salt. The result was indeed a meringue that tasted like tomato but completely different from what I had at Belcanto. What am I missing? I've attached a photo of the dish so you can see what the cloud looks like.
       
      Thanks!
       

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

×