Gastronomic Fight Club SM

Mischief. Mayhem. Soup.

Saturday, February 06, 2010

What is Sous Vide

posted by snekse
Sous vide (pronounced sue–veed) is French for "under vacuum". In culinary terms, sous vide is a cooking method in which food is vacuum sealed then immersed in a water bath and cooked at a very precise and consistent temperature.

Sounds simple, but there's much more to it than that. This is not meant to be a definitive guide to sous vide. Instead, this is meant to be a brief introduction along with some links to help you find more authoritative resources on the web, in print and elsewhere (including right here in Omaha!). This is also the first part of a series of articles we'll be doing on sous vide over the next week.

To start off, we interviewed Dario Schicke, of Dario's Brasserie [Omaha, NE], and asked him to explain sous vide and the training he received. Then he gave us some demonstrations in preparing food for cooking sous vide, as well as texture modification and flavor injection using the vacuum chamber. We also left a SousVide Supreme™ with him for several days to get an experienced chef's opinion of the product. Our review and his thoughts on that will be posted later.

An explanation of sous vide cooking


A conversation with Dario Schicke, Chef/Owner of Dario's Brasserie in Omaha, NE, about sous vide cooking. We discuss what sous vide is, what it's uses are, the training he received and the viability of the method for the home cook.

Beef Tenderloin Cooked in the Sous Vide Supreme


Dario Schicke, Chef/Owner of Dario's Brasserie [Omaha, NE], walks us through cooking beef tenderloin sous vide, while helping us test out the SousVide Supreme.

Compressed Watermelon


Dario Schicke, from Dario's Brasserie (Omaha, NE), demonstrates compressed watermelon in a vacuum chamber.

Flavor Injecting Under Pressure


Dario Schicke, from Dario's Brasserie [Omaha, NE], demonstrates texture modification and flavor injection by infusing apple juice and Calvados apple brandy into sliced Asian apple pears, using a high pressure vacuum chamber for some beautiful and flavorful results.

I'll leave you with two interesting quotes about sous vide, then some resources.

Thomas Keller, Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide, on the benefits of sous vide: "For one, it's a new toy and we all love new toys. And two, sous vide definitely goes beyond cooking in a bag. It's used for precise, à la minute cooking. When you order a steak medium, that's the temperature in the very center, but the outside is cooked well done and the next layer is medium-well, et cetera. But with sous vide, that piece of meat is medium from edge to edge. Before now, few people have had a short rib rare."

Eric Ziebold on the down sides of sous vide: "Sous vide takes craft away from cooking. You know it'll be a perfect medium-rare every time. You don't want to lose that emotional contact with food—like when you smell duck fat cooking, that does something for us.

Right now, we have turbot cooked sous vide and then brushed with preserved lemon. But we'll never have everything cooked sous vide. Just like we wouldn't have everything grilled..."

RELATED LINKS:
Sous-vide on Wikipedia
A Practical Guide to Sous Vide Cooking by Douglas Baldwin
Sous Vide: Recipes, Techniques & Equipment on eGullet
Michael Voltaggio (from Top Chef) explaining sous vide and using a microwave to do it.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

RECIPE: Homemade Kahlua

posted by snekse
So you want to learn how to make Kahlua. I know there are lots of Kahlúa recipes out there, but this is the one we use. I can't say how this recipe stacks up to the others, I can just tell you it's good. Very good. And it gets oh so much better with age. Like aged balsamic vinegar; Both go well over a bowl of vanilla ice cream. And homemade Kalua makes a great holiday gift.

The ingredients:

  • 3 1/2 Cups of sugar
  • 2/3 Cup of instant coffee (preferably Yuban)
  • 2 Cups of boiling water
  • 2 Cups of brandy
  • 1 vanilla bean - split
  • Cheese Cloth
  • 2 sterilized bottles - 1 liter each with resealable lids

Instructions:

Mix the sugar with the instant coffee in a large bowl.
Add the boiling water to the sugar and coffee mixture.
Stir until dissolved.
Add brandy to the mixture in the bowl, stir, then wait 5 minutes.
Use cheese cloth to strain the mixture into a second container. Preferably one with a pour spout.
Pour the strained liquid into the sterilized bottles.
Leave room at the top of the bottles to allow you to shake the liquid and reclaim the sediment.
Split your vanilla beans and add half of the bean to each bottle.
Let it age for at least 3 months.

That's it!

Do you have a Homemade Kahlua Recipe? Share it with us.

RELATED LINKS:
Step-by-Step Photos: How To Make Kahlua
Kahlúa Coffee Liqueur - the real deal
HOW TO: Make Wonton Soup - A photo recipe
HOW TO: Make Joong
HOW TO: Make Clarified Butter v2.0
HOW TO: Make Salt Steak

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Wednesday, March 07, 2007

HOW TO: Make Joong - a photo recipe

posted by snekse
As a supplement to last week's article, "HOW TO: Make Wonton Soup - A photo recipe", I'm posting another tutorial with the help of my mother-in-law.

Joong is basically a form of sticky rice, wrapped in waxy leaves with edible goodies, that's been boiled for several hours. Tastes much better than it sounds.

Or if you want Wikipedia's definition:
Glutinous rice (Oryza sativa var. glutinosa or Oryza glutinosa; also called sticky rice, sweet rice, waxy rice, botan rice, mochi rice, and pearl rice) is a type of short-grained Asian rice that is especially sticky when cooked. It is called glutinous in the sense of being glue-like or sticky and not in the sense of containing gluten; on the other hand, it is called sticky but should not be confused with the other varieties of Asian rice that become sticky to one degree or another when cooked...

Zongzi (pronounced "joong" or "choong" in Cantonese) is a Chinese dumpling consisting of sticky rice and sweet or savoury fillings wrapped in leaves which is then boiled or steamed, commonly eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival.
This recipe isn't quite as in depth as the wonton instructions, but it will get you where you need to go.

HOW TO: Make Joong - A photo recipe
RELATED LINKS:
HOW TO: Make Wonton Soup - A photo recipe
HOW TO: Make Clarified Butter v2.0
HOW TO: Make Salt Steak

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Wednesday, February 28, 2007

HOW TO: Wonton Soup Recipe

posted by snekse
Taking full advantage of the fact that my mother-in-law is in town, I talked her into making wonton soup and talked my wife into photographing it step-by-step.

Since it's a photo recipe, I've hosted it on Flickr. You can see the photos and instructions in my HOW TO: Make Wonton Soup set.

Luckily she made it just in time for the "Soup, Glorious Soup!" event hosted by A Veggie Venture

My thanks to The Amateur Gourmet's "70 Steps To Foie Gras Torchon" and Pim's "Pad Thai for beginners" for inspiring this post.

So that covers the soup portion of our slogan. Mischief and Mayhem are slated over the next couple of weeks.

RELATED LINKS:
HOW TO: Make Joong - a photo recipe
HOW TO: Make Joong
HOW TO: Make Clarified Butter v2.0
HOW TO: Make Salt Steak

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Friday, January 12, 2007

How to Make Clarified Butter v2.0

posted by snekse
The Iowa State Fair Butter Cow
I've always had soft melted spot in my heart for clarified butter, but it can be a pain to make. I usually use a gravy separator to extract the butter fats from the protein layers, but GaryProtein has shared a way that might be a little simpler using a zip lock bag. Read about it over at Cooking For Engineers

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Tuesday, May 24, 2005

RECIPE: Grilled Salt Steak

posted by snekse
Our little experiment making Salt Steak AKA "Newspaper Steak". [Recipe(s) below]


Preparing the dry ingredients


That's a lot of salt


Rock salt*, Peppercorns, Lemon Pepper
*Course Sea Salt actually


Pardon me....


This is an implied provision


The setup - notice the newspaper


Yeah, that's me


And that's just HALF of the mustard!


The slather


The rub


One side down


More mustard


More "rub"


All set


And now to wrap it


A little tape....


A little more....


Okay, a lot of tape...


Hmmm, got my self a little buoy


Not a problem, just grab a plate


_.(-)._
.' '.
/ \
|'-...___...-'|
\ '=' /
`'._____.'`
/ |
/.--'|'--.
[]/'-.__|__.-'\[]
|
[]

We forgot to take pictures of the wrapped steak cooking on the grill, so this is my rendition of the event


After being unwrapped; ew, looks a little boiled!?


Scrape off the mustard and salt

_.(-)._
.' '.
/ \
|'-...___...-'|
\ '=' /
`'._____.'`
/ |
/.--'|'--.
[]/'-.__|__.-'\[]
|
[]
Put'er back on the grill


Mmmmmmmm, S-T-E-A-K

We used the recipe below, but this recipe (found after the fact) is a little more complete.




Salt Steak (Serves 4)
INGREDIENTS:
1 T-Bone 1 1/2-2 inches thick
2 jars lemon pepper seasoning
2 jars peppercorn
2 jars Grey Poupon mustard
A roll of masking take 1/2 inch thick
5 sheets (whole) newspaper (black & white)
Bag of Rock Salt (8.82 oz. Tidman Natural)

INSTRUCTIONS:
Mix dry ingredients together. Take steak and lay on paper. Rub entire jar of Grey Poupon on one side of steak. Take handful of dry ingredients. and place on Grey Poupon side. Take steak and flip to other side (so Mustard side on paper). Repeat on other side with mustard and dry ingredients. Fold like a present. Tape entirely with tape and soak (submerge) in lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes. Place directly on med. hot coals until paper catches fire - flip over so other side catches fire. Take off coals. Remove paper and all salt and mustard off steak. Place steak on grill rack until done. Approx. 8-10 minutes. It sounds bizarre but this steak is great!




NOTES: Taping the entire steak in tape is unnecessary. The second recipe I found stated to use the tape more like "
ribbon on a Xmas present". I think wrapping the entire thing is more for effect then anything else. Next time I try this I may just use chicken wire and/or butcher's twine. I'm sure you could just use aluminum foil too, but where's the fun in that? Hmmm, maybe cardboard....

As for the taste, it was delicious. One of the better steaks I've had. Very succulent and tender. Personally I thought the mustard was understated and the salt was a tad overpowering, but overall, very good. A slight mustard crust would have been tasty. I might have been too zealous on scraping the toppings off before the final grilling, but I think scraping everything off and actually basting a little mustard back on is the way to go.

Some garlic (fresh, dehydrated, or garlic salt) would have been a nice addition, though I'd probably omit it if I added Worcestershire sauce as the second recipe did. And I'd put rosemary on anything.

When it comes to procuring the ingredients, give yourself some lead time. Food grade rock salt is not easy to come by. We actually used granular sea salt which is a much smaller grain the rock salt. As for the steak, a T-Bone is too small, even at 2" think. A porterhouse, maybe - the point being that a larger diameter is certainly needed such as a
sirloin or ribeye. Anything that is 0.5 lb per person (or more) should suffice. You could use something like Omaha Steaks, but I think it defeats the purpose here since your adding so many other flavors to the steak.

Overall, a great recipe, and a perfect recipe for Memorial Day and Father's Day. I mean can you think of a better grilling for Father's Day recipe than one that involves MacGyver a steak and throwing directly on hot coals?

Happy Grilling :-D

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