What is Sous Vide & Why Am I Started This Blog

What is Sous Vide? It’s cooking in warm/hot water with your food in vacuum bags. Kind of like a slow cooker, but using water and plastic bags. To get more technical, here’s a definition from WiseGeek.com “Sous vide is a French style of cooking developed by George Pralus in the 1970s. The term, (pronounced “sue veed”), translates to “under vacuum.” Sous vide is a method of slow cooking food in vacuum sealed bags placed in warm water at low temperature. Foods cooked in the sous vide style tend to retain more shape and flavor than do foods cooked in slow cookers because of the absence of oxygen and the less than boiling water temperatures used. ” It looks like this…

Why am I blogging about it? Well…

Now that I’ve got a few food posts under my belt I thought that I would share the reason that I’ve started my Sous Vide Newbie blog. I’d long coveted the professional sous vide rigs by PolyScience but couldn’t possibly think of spending that kind of money. I bought the parts on the internet to make the Cooking for Geeks version with a slow cooker water bath and PID. I had tried a few experiments but was never truly satisfied with the results. A long time went by and the wonderful, no matter what Tony Bourdain jests, Michael Ruhlman had a quite popular contest on his website to win the new PolyScience Sous Vide Pro. I entered thinking that there was NO way that I’d have a chance of winning; and as you can  probably guess…I WAS WRONG, and how happy I was to be so wrong. I mentioned to some of the other contestants that I might start blogging my attempts and got a lot of encouragement, so here it is, just to show you how easy and great it is to become a Sous Vide Pro!

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Pork Chops and Brussel Sprouts

I decided that it was high time to move into the magical realm of pork. I got some 1.5″ pork chops and brined them overnight with some peppercorn and fresh garlic. I vacuum sealed them with salt and pepper and a small amount of oil. I cooked them for two hours at 140F and seared them off in a cast iron pan. I deglazed the pan with bourbon, and then added maple syrup and mounted it as a pan sauce.

Veg, tasting notes, and other photos after the jump…

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Tuna Steaks

Last night I tried yet another of my much anticipated items, fish, tuna steaks from our local grocer. Sadly I noticed some after I got these from the fishmonger that were already vacuum sealed, they looked very good and I’ll have to try them. I don’t know how much I really liked this fish via sous vide, but I am not sure if it was due to my method or just the way it cooks. They were done the same way all the way though, of course, but I really do like tuna seared and almost rare inside. I think that I somewhat overcooked the tuna because I had the temperature for a few minutes overlapping in order to soft boil some eggs as well for the asparagus. will have to try some other fish and be a little more gentle.

Sauce, tasting notes, and other photos after the jump…

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Cooking Container

I used my Calphalon stock pot the first few times but finally hit the kitchen store to purchase a storage bin to use. It is food safe up to a good temperature. I didn’t want to use ping-pong balls or anything else for a top so I custom cut a top using my Dremel. Works like a dream! Definitely worth the time.

Cost: $20

Time: 20 Minutes

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Soft Boiled Eggs

Eggs were one of the items that I had been dying to try with the new sous vide rig. Got a chance today and made them for a salad. Cooked them at 147F for a little over an hour, it was both a little too high of a temp and too long. That’s what I get for getting side tracked, will try eggs again soon!

I put them on top of a warm spinach salad, pictures and final thoughts after the jump.

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Round One – Rib Eye Steak

After getting home late last night I was excited to get home and officially try out the Sous Vide Pro. I’ll share that here and then try to make the next post an About Me. I picked up a few rib eye steaks at the local grocer.

I rubbed them with garlic, put some olive oil, salt, pepper and butter on them and then bagged them up.

My old Black and Decker sealed them up fine, although it did take a little time. Into the bath it went at 130F.

click below to see the photos of the completed project…

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Ready to rock and roll

Got my PolyScience Sous Vide Pro today from Michael Ruhlman. Thanks very much to both him and PolyScience as I couldn’t make myself spend the money and was going to build one! Will be trying to blog the chronicles of a not so sous vide pro

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