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Old 01-25-2011, 07:04 PM   #1
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My countdown to the Sous Vide Supreme!

Well, my tax refund is supposed to be deposited on the 4th of Feb, and the minute I have it I will be ordering my Sous Vide Supreme kit. I've been drooling over this for almost a year, all the while studying everything I could. I can wait no more! Soon the Power of Sous Vide will be mine!

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Old 01-25-2011, 09:27 PM   #2
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Old 01-25-2011, 11:51 PM   #3
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This has been simmering for some time!
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:23 AM   #4
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Mwahahaha! [twirls mustache!] I shall conquer all...dishes! Okay, some of the first things I want to try:

1) Chuck Steak or Brisket- Both of these are very flavorful meats but tough. Normally they require long cooking which can leave them dry. But cooking for 48 hours at about 135 degrees F should break down the collegen and tenderize them while leaving them medium rare. Imagine chuck steak as tender as a filet.

2) Scallops- While they're not the trickiest things in the world they do require a lot of care. Ideally scallops should be cooked to the point where the very center is just a little bit rare, but too rare and they're unpalatable to most. And when overcooked they get very rubbery. I plan to try them for about 40 minutes at 147 degrees, then sear them very briefly in a screaming hot pan with a bit of olive oil just to create some fond.

3) Pork Loin- I think about 1 hour (approx. depending on size) at 135 should be about ideal. This will reach the point where it's Trichinosis-free yet still very juicy.

4) Chicken Legs and Thighs- I'd say an hour or so at 145 should be about right, followed by a rapid chill. Then I will dredge and fry them til they're golden brown without having to worry about undercooked spots. Keller does this at Ad Hoc, btw.

5) Ribs- Another one where long cooking is required but overcooking results in dryness. I plan to vac them with a rub and a bit of liquid smoke, then cook for 48-72 hours at perhaps 140 degrees F, followed by a basting with BBQ sauce and a quick broil.

6) Eggs- There's no other way I know of to get that custard-like texture besides sous vide. Check out the first vid at the top...well, actually check them all out! Very interesting.

7) Lobster- I think sous vide should be perfect for lobster. Overcooking makes them tough and undercooking makes them unappealing. I think that creating a compound butter (a touch of lemon zest, a few capers and roasted garlic whipped into unsalted butter) and a touch of Pinot Gris or Sauvignon Blanc would be superb. I would probably try 145 for about 40 minutes depending on the size of the tail. BTW, I think shrimp would be very good the same way.

8) A Hamburger- This should be a good way to prepare a burger, keeping a nice medium temp edge to edge, followed by a quick sear.

9) Chicken Breast- About 40 minutes at 145 or so should give me a very juicy breast of chicken. The result would be perfect for my Chicken Wellington dish; by sous vide cooking the chicken first I need only roast it til the puff pastry is browned.

10) Filet, New York Strip, Ribeye or Sirloin- I'm super eager to prepare a nice, extra thick steak sous vide! The huge draw of this technique will be in creating perfect edge-to-edge medium rare all the way thru with no overcooked spots. I plan on cooking at about 131 degrees for maybe an hour, then finishing for a minute or two on a very hot grill or screaming cast iron pan (depending on the weather).

Of course there are plenty of other things I want to try down the road. Coq au Vin is one very exciting idea. I'm also eager to try different veggies sous vide (brussel sprouts would be interesting, as would garlic). Cutting up a turkey and SV'ing the parts would be cool. And sous vide is said to be great for fish. But I think the ten listed above will be a good starting point.
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Old 01-26-2011, 02:05 AM   #5
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Let us know how you like it, when you've had a chance to try it a few times.

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Old 01-26-2011, 08:35 AM   #6
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Quote:
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Mwahahaha! [twirls mustache!] I shall conquer all...dishes! Okay, some of the first thi
So.. you aren't sure yet how you want to use it...

Can't wait to hear how it goes.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:27 AM   #7
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Just a question...

Are you concerned about food safety? Salmonella, e coli, staph bacteria won't be killed at such low temps.
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Old 01-26-2011, 10:58 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jennyema View Post
Just a question...

Are you concerned about food safety? Salmonella, e coli, staph bacteria won't be killed at such low temps.
That was my thought too, Jenny. I found this on the site however.

Reducing the risk of food-borne illness by cooking food depends not just on temperature, but also on time. The lower the temperature, the longer the time. For instance, Salmonella, a common type of food-borne bacteria, will be killed in 30 seconds at 150F/65.5C but it will take 15 minutes to do so at 130F/54.5C.
Almost all potentially harmful organisms will be killed at 130F/54.5C given sufficient time to heat the food completely to that temperature. Since most sous vide cooking is done between 130F/54.5C and 195F/95C, the food will be safe. The most common exception is fish, which some people prefer to eat rare or medium rare (116F/46.5C to 126F/52 C). In this case, it is important to only buy fish you would be wiling to eat raw—in other words, sushi grade ocean fish.
Important warning: Individuals who are immuno-compromised for any reason should not eat rare or raw food; they should only eat food cooked at or above 140F/60C for a sufficient amount of time to ensure the food is pasteurized.
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Old 01-26-2011, 01:03 PM   #9
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I've looked at that thing a handful of times, I just can't get behind using it...people have tried to explain it to me and i'm like "you can't just take the time and do it the proper way?"
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Old 01-27-2011, 01:39 AM   #10
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Kayelle has hit it right on the head. Most people think of chicken needing to be cooked to 170-ish to kill Salmonella, and if you're only going to hold that temp for a few seconds you do need high heat. But pasteurization is a function of temperature over time. You can do it at 140 degrees F, it just takes a lot longer. Also, the whole "40 to 140 Danger Zone" thing is an oversimplification. Many (if not most) of the pathogenic organisms stop or greatly slow growth at 120 degrees or so. So realistically you would probably be fine to cook at 140 for two or even three hours.

Another common misconception seems to be that once you vac the air out, the Botulism bugs go into warp drive. Not true at all. They're also active in a relatively narrow temperature range. Besides, tests of home vacuum gear has shown that they're not even close to creating an anarobic environment- most of the bags sealed with them have nearly full atmospheric pressure inside. That is to say, there's still a lot of air.

Lastly, it seems to me that the people who go on about how sous vide is unsafe are the same people who leave butter or cold pizza on the counter overnight or pack turkey coldcuts in a paper bag.
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