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July 10, 2005

Comments

J

hi clement, wow! have been fascinated by the whole slow cooking by sous vide process but never got round to acquiring a vacuum sealer ;) your post has just convinced me my kitchen is in desperate need of one...

sam

Clement
- thank you - your post is an entire education.
It was kind of you to share your knowledge with us.
I still have so much to learn (and so many things to buy!)
I plan to publish the roundup, finally, on Tuesday Morning PST and I am extremely happy you made it just in time!

-Sam

Oliver

Quite frankly I was always a bit skeptical about vacuum sealers, but your post turned it into being intrigued and eager to try it out now. The possibilities seem endless...and the salmon looks simply fantastic!

Journey Girl

Clement,

How fun! My cousin-in-law has one of these things and his family uses it all the time. As a result, when my husband and I stayed with them, we watched it being used with interest, but it never seemed really worth it. This new technique for cooking is a much better selling point... thanks for sharing your experience with everyone!!

Jeanne

that's it I'm getting one of these vacuum sealers. a friend has one and she lives and dies for it--it's really great when you need to make something complex and in big batches like Oaxacan moles! Sous vide was something I only recently considered--so thanks for the education--I'm sold!

Chocopie

Hi, clement.
I'm also interested in cook utensil. But there are too various to select them. This is my wistful point.

Susan

I have always wanted one of them!

Clement

J - It definitely comes in handy. I think Alain Ducasse might have some sous vide recipes in his Grand Livre. If you try some, let me know how they turn out!

Sam - Thanks so much for creating and hosting Utensibility. My kitchen utensil wish list has gotten much longer, all because of you!

Oliver - I think sous vide is a great way to cook. As you said, the possibilities are endless!

Journey Girl - I agree. It's difficult to justify spending so much money on a storage appliance. I probably wouldn't even have considered buying one if not for sous vide.

Jeanne - Wow.. it looks like I'm becoming quite a vacuum sealer salesman. Have fun with your vacuum sealer!

Chocopie - I know. There are so many great kitchen utensils to choose from.

Susan - Go for it!

elaine matzner

I have a foodsaver in each of my 2 homes and cannot live without them. I'm on my second in one kitchen. I vacuum seal everything--make a batch of creme fraiche and vac it, buy in quantity and vac it, make lemon curd ahead and vac seal it in a quart jar--my family moves fast because if they don't I might vac them.

Vince

I see u wanna buy a sorbet machine AND a Thermomix... But don't you know that you can actually make wonderful sorbets with the Thermomix as well? I have been using Thermomix for 8 years now and believe me! You really don't need anything else once you put one of those machines on the bank of your kitchen ;)
-Vince, form Italy

Jem

Good idea:)!

Perry Willis

Clement, thank you for your article. I purchased a whole NY Strip Loin of grass fed beef from a local cattleman here in MN. Bought a FoodSaver just for freezing it. The trick to cooking grass fed beef is "low and slow". Shortly after working with the beef a local chef spoke w/ me about sous vide. It's the perfect match. Salt and pepper the strip, add some melted butter or fat of your choosing, put in bay leaf, rosemary, maybe some thyme or garlic, vacuum seal and "cook" for 2 hrs at 130 degrees. Sear after it's done and WOW. Make a little pan sauce and you're done. I'm definitely going to try salmon and tuna next. Thanks for you excellent summary.

Clement

Hi Perry, thanks for sharing your experiences. I'd really like to try cooking meat sous vide more often. One problem I always have is trying to figure out when the centre of the meat has reached the water temperature, but I guess that just takes practice. Good luck with your fish!

LauraFries.com

Hi Perry -

I had a similar question to Clement's ... How do you know when your fish/meat is done?

I just got a vacuum sealer (see blog posts on it) and am experimenting with sous vide salmon tonight.

Richard

Cooking sous vide can be dangerous, if not downright deadly. Only specially-trained chefs should experiment with this method of cooking until more is known.

Botulinum, listeria, and other bacteria thrive in anaeorobic (oxygenless)environments, such as inside a vacuum. Cooking food at any less than 60C will not kill these bacteria.

John Lynch

Thanks for the article. I bought a foodsaver and tried it tonight with filets of salmon and chilean sea bass. Having had both cooked sous-vide at restaurants before, these felt less than flavorful and far too moist.

Any idea what I may have done wrong? Perhaps using the marinade?

Perry

Only two years to reply to Clement's and LauraFries questions. I got my original times from a chef at a local restaurant. Short of guessing/testing at the time, I was in the dark. I gave up after the beef was gone, since maintaining the temp was just too much work. As everyone knows now, this method has many advocates and recipes are being posted everywhere. Thomas Keller has a book coming out soon on sous vide cooking. ISBN-10: 1579653510 While it will, no doubt, have loads of prep, it should also serve as an excellent guide.

Regarding temperature maintenance: The Wall Street Journal recently had a good article on sous vide. It described how one can use a crockpot (slow cooker) or rice cooker in conjunction with a temperature controller (~$140). I purchased one (Auber-WS) and bingo -- I am able to set the temp and it stays within one degree. Tip: Heat your water before you add it to your cooker, saves tons of time.

My latest is sous vide shrimp. Times vary significantly depending on quantity of shrimp used.

12 ounces wild 26-30 cnt shrimp, peeled and deveined
3/4 tablespoon smoked paprika
Liberal sprinkling of kosher salt
Few grinds of fresh pepper
1/2 to 1 garlic clove run through press
1 tablespoon EVOO
1 tablespoon butter cut into four pieces (optional)

Add all ingredients except butter to a bowl and mix with you hands until shrimp are well coated.
Place shrimp in to prepped bag and add the butter spaced around bag.
Place in cooker bath at 140 degrees F, for 20-25 minutes depending on starting temp of shrimp.
Optional step: heat 1 tablespoon of oil in pan to shimmering just before shrimp are ready.
Remove from cooker and and plate or very quickly saute go get a little fond on the shrimp. I usually eat one of the shrimp before sauteing. If they are totally done, I don't saute, if they can handle a tad more, I give them about 30 seconds in the very hot pan. Do not overcook!

I've made this three times and have not keeled over yet. I take an earlier comment about possible hazards seriously. Creating an anaerobic environment for food is not something to ignore. Do not seal and let sit. I try not to even seal and refridgerate. After the meat or fish has been cooked, I unseal shortly thereafter.

That said, I have not heard of anyone succuming to sous vide food poisoning. While this does not make it impossible, if one takes the simplest of precautions, they should be safe.

Jim

Found this post while searching for more info for equipment for sous vide. Thought you might be interested in a new appliance created expressly for the home sous vide enthusiast, along with a wealth of information, at http://www.proteinpower.com/drmike/good-eating/sous-vide-supreme/
This is not something I benefit from in any way, just thought you/your readers might be interested.
Lots of info/links on the subject in the comments section.

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  • This is my blogchalk:
    Clement Lo,
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada, English, Male, 26, Cooking, Pastry, Restaurants, Skiing, Visual Design, Entrepreneur, Technology,
    Queen's University.

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