Wednesday, January 16, 2013

A Couple Links plus What's Coming Up...

I saw a couple good sous vide links pop up in my Google Reader feed the other day and wanted to share.  The first is a fantastic explanation of why cooking sous vide rocks, from the good people at Modernist Cuisine.  I use my chamber vacuum almost every day, and I cook (or re-therm) probably 90% of my meals sous vide.  I agree with all of the things Nathan Myhrvold says in the post (honestly, I have a theory that if you disagree with Myhrvold on anything food-related, you probably need to re-think your position...), but one additional factor not mentioned is how much time cooking sous vide saves you in the kitchen.  Because of health issues, I need to confine my cooking to short bursts of activity these days, and sous vide is the best way to get perfectly cooked food that doesn't require constant trips to the kitchen to stir and poke and prod and monitor... I imagine that would come in handy for busy people without health issues as well... 

The other article is a review of budget-friendly sous vide tech from The WireCutter. I've played with systems using a slow cooker as well as the sous vide supreme and a home-built immersion circulator...  (I'd be happy to talk pros and cons in the comments if anyone is curious... otherwise I assume I'd be talking to myself...)  The best solution for you will depend on how often you use the technique and for what types of dishes.  I started with a slow-cooker version (with a controller built by one of my most nerd-tastic friends) for price reasons but, once I realized I would be using the technique for so many things, I knew it was worth the upgrade to the next step up in quality.  Your mileage may vary...

I acquired an epic collection of groceries yesterday, and spent several pockets of time in the kitchen today doing very basic prep (roasting bell peppers, caramelizing onions, breaking down a rib roast into steaks to vacuum-seal and freeze...).  I realized as I was thin-slicing 12 onions to caramelize just how much I've missed hanging out in the kitchen.  Kitchen-Exhausted-Emily would probably go ahead and use a food processor slicing blade or a mandolin to do those onions, but it felt kind of amazing to just sit there with my knife and my cutting board.  Funny how such a simple task can make you feel more like yourself after spending far too long away from the kitchen...

Speaking of time in the kitchen, a lot of the prep today was for a pizza-fest situation coming up... Three or four different doughs (including a test-run of gluten-free for a friend who will visit soon), four different cooking methods, myriad toppings and sauces... I've also got some duck confit starting up (for use in assorted applications) and some amazing homemade Thai(-inspired?) food in the queue for next week... Stay tuned...

No comments: