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Gefilte Fish Better Than Bubby’s

With Passover approaching, we asked Israeli chef Yair Feinberg if he had a great sous vide recipe for the holiday. Not only did he share his special recipe for sous vide gefilte fish, but he also wrote a guest blog post to accompany it. We thank Chef Feinberg for creating a moist, flavorful take on a traditional recipe.

Gefilte fish’ is a classic fare in the Ashkenazi-Jews’ kitchen. A popular holiday dish that is usually served as first course on Rosh HaShana, Pesach and Shabbath, ‘gefilte’ means stuffed. The original dish was made from chopped freshwater fish and then stuffed in Pike or Carp skin. Most modern versions have done away with stuffing the skin and instead the ‘stuffing’ itself is formed into balls (or patties) and then poached in fish stock. The dish is always prepared in advance and thus served cold and garnished with a slice of carrot and the jellied fish stock (aspic).

For this recipe I used White Drum, because I love how this fish retains most of its texture and flavor even after cooking.  The advantage of ‘sous vide’ cooking technique is that the fish gets cooked at  its ideal temperature, thus avoiding overcooking (take note that it is very easy to overcook fish). As a result, the fish remains succulent and full of flavor.

Preparing the fish stock separately allows us to reduce it to the right consistency without sacrificing flavor and texture.

As a nice twist, I added Ouzo to infuse this dish with a delicate anise flavor.

Hag Pesaj Sameach! (Happy Passover)

- Chef Yair Feinberg

Gefilte Fish Sous Vide

Ingredients
12 slices (5 ounces/150g) white drum, about 1-1/4 inch/3cm
Zest of one lemon
Zest of one orange
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra virgin olive oil
Salt
Ground black pepper

For the ‘Gefilte’ you will need:
1 scant pound (500 grams) white drum filet, without bones and skin (substitute striped bass, corvina, rockfish, grouper or any white, firm-fleshed fish with a small flake)
1 onion, peeled and quartered
2 tablespoons (30 ml) flour (use Matzoh cake flour for Passover)
2 egg yolks
1 teaspoon (5 ml) sugar
1 teaspoon (5 ml) salt
1/2 teaspoon (2.5 ml) coarsely ground black pepper

For the fish stock you will need:
2 pounds (about a kilogram) fish bones and heads
2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
1 onion, washed, peeled, and quartered
1 carrot, trimmed, washed and sliced (approx.  2cm each slice)
10 stems of parsley
1 bay leaf
2 fennel bulbs, washed, trimmed, and quartered
1/4 cup (60 ml) ouzo or arak
3 -1/4 quarts (3 liters) water
2 stars of anise

For the garnish you will need:
1 carrot peeled and sliced (approximately ½-inch/5 mm each
Minced tarragon (or parsley leaves)
12 lemon wedges

Instructions
1. Throw in all the ingredients for the ‘gefilte’ in your Thermomix (or a really powerful food processor). Mince until you have a smooth and homogenous mixture. Take care not to over-process the mixture because your machine might heat up and ‘cook’ the fish.
2. Season the mixture with salt and pepper, zests from both lemon and orange and a little bit of olive oil. Form the mixture into balls (about the size of a small lemon) and stuff them in between the fish slices. Arrange the stuffed slices inside the cooking pouches and close with a vacuum seal.
3. Arrange sealed pouches inside your SousVide Supreme which has been pre-heated at 131F/55C for 30minutes.
4. Take out pouches from your SousVide Supreme straight into a prepared ice-water bath. Leave the pouch in the ice-water bath for an hour and then transfer to your fridge until serving time.
5. Raise the temperature of your SousVide Supreme to 180F/82C, arrange sliced carrots for garnish inside cooking pouch and then vacuum seal. Cook for 15 minutes. Take them out and place the pouch in the ice-water bath for 30minutes. Transfer pouch in the fridge to cool until serving.
6. For the fish stock you will need a wide pot that can hold all the fish heads and bones. Heat pot and olive oil. Saute fish heads and bones and gently cook on medium heat for about 10 minutes (or until fish has a slightly golden color). Next, add your vegetables and let it cook till translucent (about 15 minutes). Add the Ouzo and let simmer for 3 minutes until most of the alcohol has evaporated. Add water and bring to boil. Adjust heat to low and let simmer for an hour.
7. Strain fish stock in a fine mesh strainer. Transfer to a clean pot. Add your star of anise for flavor and let simmer until it has reduced to a thick consistency. Let cool then pour into small ‘muffin’ molds and cool completely in the fridge (this is your aspic).
8. To serve, arrange a stuffed fish on each plate. Garnish with a slice of carrot and minced tarragon (or parsley) and several cubes of aspic (jellied fish stock). Don’t forget to add a wedge of lemon.

Michael Ruhlman Cooks Sous Vide

A guest post by Michael Ruhlman

About ten years ago, sous vide cooking, cooking food at low precise temperatures, entered the professional kitchen in America. It’s now solidly in the home kitchen with various devices for sale. For the best price/quality ratio, Sous Vide Supreme has, since its arrival in 2009, been my favorite tool. It’s fabulous for home use. Do you need one to survive? Of course not. Can you do endlessly creative and awesome dishes with it? You bet. What is it that makes you want to own a sous vide machine—slow cooking of tough meat, hitting the perfect temperature every time, egg cooking? Other? {Let us know in the comments!}

I slow cook beef ribs for 48 hours for tender and juicy ribs. I’m going to make this as simple as possible. Salt and pepper the meat, seal it in a bag (get out all air so they don’t float), cook, chill, finish. {Get the complete easy sous vide beef short ribs recipe here.}

Michael Ruhlman Sous Vide Beef Ribs

I made these last January for the sailing crew in Key West. Short ribs cooked sous vide are amazingly juicy and tender and tasty, a quintessential example of the value of sous vide. You’d have to braise these to get them tender, in which case you’d need to rely on the sauce for succulence rather than the meat.

This recipe also defines a great general rule: all tough cuts of meat, braising meats, from brisket to pork belly to short ribs to lamb shank can all be cooked sous vide in the exact same way: 48 hours at 140˚F/60˚C. Then flavor the outside by searing, grilling, saucing or a combination. They can be cooked sous vide and chilled in an ice bath and refrigerated for days or frozen for months before finishing.

Photo by Donna Ruhlman, used with permission

You can transform eggs in ways no other method can. {Get Michael’s sous vide eggs recipe here.} I love putting a soft boiled egg into soups, as in the above ramen dish. I use it monthly to make a big batch of yogurt. {Get the sous vide yogurt recipe here.} It’s a great water bath for cooking custards, meatloaf, and its supercilious brother, pâté en terrine.

It’s an amazing technique, for weekday cooking (cooked ahead) or for cooking for big groups (also cooked ahead). And it results in tenderness and flavor that can’t be achieved any other way.

Editor’s note: If you’re as big a Michael Ruhlman fan as we are, you’ll want to check out his blog, which is absolutely filled with fabulous recipes–both sous vide and traditional–and the most glorious food porn imaginable, courtesy of his talented wife, photographer Donna Ruhlman. You can also follow Michael on twitter and facebook.

Michael Ruhlman’s Homemade Sous Vide Yogurt

Courtesy of Michael Ruhlman (www.ruhlman.com)
Yield: About 3 cups/ 0.75 liter

Homemade Sous Vide Yogurt #sousvide

I always have this on hand and eat some most every day. The bacteria are good for the gut and if you have a stomach bug eat this and it may help (I do). This will be loose yogurt; when you dip into the thick creamy stuff it will be soft , but hold its shape. It will weep whey, which is also tasty and good (I pour it on granola with the yogurt). For stiff-thick yogurt, Greek style, strain it through cloth for an hour, then refrigerate.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 quart/liter whole milk
  • 2 tablespoons Fage Greek yogurt (or any yogurt that notes on label that it contains a living culture, or if you have a wonderful Indian neighbor with a live culture as I do, ask for a little of hers (thanks Tripta!!!)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 104F/ 40C.
  2. Pour the milk in a pot and bring it to a simmer on the stovetop (at least 180 degrees); careful, it’s easy to forget and leave yourself with a mess on the stove it if boils over; stick around. (Donna gets really mad at me when I leave the kitchen and she hears it boil over.)
  3. Pour it into a four-cup glass measuring cup or appropriate bowl {Ed: a quart/liter glass snap-lid canning jar works well, too} and allow it to cool to at least 120˚F/48˚C or room temperature.
  4. Stir in the yogurt with the live culture, thoroughly.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap and sous vide for 24 hours. (Some people suggest going as high as 120˚F; feel free to test for yourself.)
  6. Allow to cool, then refrigerate.

Michael Ruhlman’s BBQ Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs

Courtesy of Michael Ruhlman (www.ruhlman.com)

Michael Ruhlman’s BBQ Sous Vide Beef Short Ribs INGREDIENTS

  • 8 meaty beef short ribs (or however many you’re serving)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Barbecue sauce of your choice

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 140F/60C.
  2. Give the ribs a generous seasoning of salt and pepper
  3. Put them into a cooking pouch and vacuum seal them well .
  4. Submerge in the water oven and cook for 48 hours, give or take.
  5. If you are not going to finish them right away, submerge the pouch in an ice bath until thoroughly chilled, at least 20 minutes or more.
  6. To finish, remove them from the pouch and allow them to come to room temperature (if serving a large crowd, leave in pouch and re-sous vide at 120˚F/48˚C for 30 minutes).
  7. Slather them with barbeque sauce and grill till charred and smokey and beautiful, a couple minutes on each side on a hot grill.
  8. You can also broil them to caramelize the BBQ sauce if you don’t have a grill.
  9. Use one rib per serving.

Michael Ruhlman’s Eggs Soft-Boiled Sous Vide

Courtesy of Michael Ruhlman 

Michael Ruhlman's Eggs Soft-Boiled Sous Vide

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 egg per person (you can make as many as will fit into the machine)

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 145F/62.5C.
  2. Put the eggs in their shells (not in cooking pouches) directly onto the bottom perforated grill and cook for 45 to 60 minutes.
  3. Crack one egg into a bowl of soup or stew, onto grits or beans.

SousVide Supreme Partners with Breville Australia

Breville SousVide SupremeSousVide Supreme is thrilled to announce its partnership with Breville to bring the revolutionary sous vide cooking technique to Australian home cooks.

Breville is a leading brand of culinary products which has grown to become an iconic Australian brand and has enhanced peoples lives through thoughtful design and brilliant innovation, now delivering kitchen products to over 30 countries around the globe.

The Breville SousVide Supreme (BSV600, 220-240 volt) is now available at Australian retailers including Myer, David Jones and Harvey Norman. Breville recognized the need to introduce the sous vide cooking technique to the home cook and found the perfect partnership with the easy-to-use, award-winning SousVide Supreme water oven.

Sous vide cooking is popular in many of the world’s top restaurant kitchens. The gentle cooking method involves placing vacuum sealed meats, seafood, vegetables or fruit into a water bath at a precisely controlled temperature for unparalleled succulence and mouthwatering tenderness.

Watch Chef Jeffrey Schroeter, from Cloudy Bay Fish Company in Sydney, Australia, explain the benefits of cooking fish using the sous vide technique and demonstrate how easy it is to cook the perfect White Tuna and King Fish using the Breville SousVide Supreme!

For more information about the Breville SousVide Supreme, visit Breville.com.au

 

An Interview with UK Food Blogger John Loydall

Sous vide cooking is fast becoming a global phenomenon, with the SousVide Supreme now available throughout the US, Europe, and the UK, but also now in markets as diverse as Australia, Malaysia, Singapore, Russia, Israel, and Scandinavia. The widespread adoption of the technique is creating fans among cooks of every skill level worldwide. One is UK photographer (and prolific food blogger) John Loydall, whose fabulous food photographs caught our eye. They are simply food porn at its finest.

Since he isn’t a chef by trade–and therefore a lot like the rest of us–we were curious about what drew him to sous vide. We caught up with him this week to ask him if he’d be willing to share a bit of his sous vide-ing experience with our readers. Happily, he agreed, and what follows will give us all some great ideas and tips for upcoming holiday meals!

SVS: Why did you first become interested in sous vide cooking?

JL: It was a combination of watching cookery shows where I’d seen professional chefs using this technique and also when I’d eaten out at restaurants, where I tried dishes like 24-hour blade of beef and eggs cooked for 45 minutes. There was something magical about both the process and the results – I just had to know how it all worked and how they achieved such amazing results.

SVS: What is the most interesting thing you’ve cooked sous vide?

JL: The pumpkin risotto I cooked last week was a real success. Risotto isn’t the first thing that springs to mind when cooking sous vide, but it works really well. I cooked half the pumpkin with the risotto and then roast the other half. When the risotto was ready I finished it off in a pan with the roast pumpkin and a generous chunk of butter. [OK, so we are hoping he will share this recipe with us all in coming weeks, but if you're curious, here's a recipe for Garlic Cheese Risotto that will show you the basic sous vide risotto technique.]

SVS: You are a professional photographer and take exceptional photographs of the food you cook. What is your culinary background?



JL: I’ve been cooking since I was young, but only began to take it seriously when I had to cook for myself every day when I went to university. Limited funds meant I had to learn to cook with cheaper ingredients. That’s not a bad thing though – it makes you think about developing flavor from what you’ve got available and making the most of leftovers. I also learnt to cook with cheaper, more obscure cuts of meat – something I still like to do nowadays.

I’ve always enjoyed the process of cooking – the preparation, pulling the different components together and then the final presentation of the dish. I think it often helps to think about contrast in a dish – hot with cold, sweet with sour, soft with crunch – that’s what really makes a dish.

When I started working in photography, it didn’t initially occur to me to photograph food, but as I progressed I began to see similarities between the two disciplines. Process, contrast, composition and the final presentation of a photo – it really ties in nicely with cookery. When I started photographing food, it immediately clicked – it made sense to me. The colours and textures you get in a dish often make a great photo.

Photographing food has certainly helped my cookery – I have to think about every element of a dish and how it’s going to look on a plate. Overcooked food never looks good, especially when you take a detailed photograph of it. Taking photos of your food is a brilliant way to force you to up your game when putting a dish together.

SVS: Are you cooking sous vide for the holidays?



JL: Definitely! Christmas is all about good hearty food and entertaining – serving a meal that has been cooked sous vide is a real treat – especially if you can tell your guests that the food has been cooking for 48 hours – it has a real sense of occasion to it.

SVS: Do you have a favorite holiday recipe that you have adapted to sous vide cooking?



JL: Every Christmas we get a box of pheasants from a local Boxing Day shoot. We spend the day gutting and preparing them – they usually end up roast, casseroled or in a curry. This year I’ll be cooking sous vide pheasant. Game meat can often end up a little on the dry side, so cooking sous vide makes perfect sense – locking in the moisture and flavor and requiring only a brief sear in the pan afterwards. I think that’s the meal I’m most looking forward to this Christmas.

SVS: OK — we are intrigued! You’ll have to promise to blog about it and let us all know how it turns out. Cooking game birds is tough traditionally and sous vide makes it so simple and foolproof, as it does for many foods. Which food group do you think benefits most from sous vide cooking?



JL: Well – meat is the obvious choice here – the control you have when cooking steaks is incredible and slow-cooked (24hrs+) meat takes on an incredible texture, when cooked with the SousVide Supreme. But for me the real revelation has been vegetables – the first thing I cooked sous vide was carrots – nothing complicated, I just sliced them lengthways and cooked them with a little salt and pepper and some butter. The firmness and flavor was a real surprise – they still had a decent bite and had so much more flavor than boiling or steaming them. I really like the way vegetables keep their shape when you cook them sous vide – if you take care prepping your veg it really pays off when you plate up – they still look great.

SVS: If you were a novice cook, what would be you ‘go-to’, ‘never fail’ sous vide dish to impress?



JL: I think I’d go for a cheap cut of beef – maybe brisket or flank. Cooked low and slow for 48 hours. You really don’t need to be too precise with the timing, so you can serve it whenever the rest of your meal is ready. The great thing is, you’re guaranteed a beautiful, fall-apart piece of meat that everyone will love and it hasn’t cost you the earth. Finish it off in a pan or just coat it in a sauce and you’ve got an amazing dish. Keep it simple – serve with oven roast potato wedges and maybe a simple salad. It doesn’t need to be complicated – once you’ve got that meat cooked to perfection you don’t need to do much more to create something pretty special.

SVS: If you were a novice cook and wanted to impress family or friends during the holidays, what would you attempt with sous vide cooking to blow the crowd away?



JL: I’d certainly take advantage of the way you can cook multiple dishes sous vide at the same time. Not necessarily a Christmas dish, but I think a fish course always adds a special touch to a meal. For the fish course – sea bass with sliced fennel and orange – reasonably light, but sets you up for the main course. Fish cooked sous vide is a pleasure to eat – once you understand the timings you’re guaranteed perfectly cooked fish.

For the meat course – something with a bit of a twist – sous vide duck with vanilla and lime creamy mashed potato. I’d make a brandy and port-based sauce with a touch of star anise and cinnamon to give it that Christmas feel and then parsnip crisps to add textural contrast. [OK, John, we need these, too!!]

One of the great things about cooking sous vide is that it frees you up to concentrate on your sauces and other side dishes – a meal like this means you can really get that all-important sauce perfected, without having to rush when you’re ready to serve.

I think with a meal like this you can tailor it to your skill level. If you’re just starting out, you can still get the same results with the fish and meat, but maybe simplify the veg. It will still be impressive that you’ve managed to cook fish and duck to perfection. If you’re a little more competent you can really elaborate on the other ingredients and create something extraordinary.

Sous Vide Sweet Potatoes Foster

Courtesy of MasterChef’s Whitney Miller
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the potatoes

  • 1 cup (200 g) sweet potatoes, peeled and diced to 1/2-inch (1.3 cm)
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) unsalted butter
  • 3-1/2 tablespoons (52.5 g) light brown sugar
  • Pinch ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) fresh orange juice
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (22.5 ml) rum

For the salted pecans

  • 1/2 cup (60 g) pecan halves
  • 1/8 teaspoons olive oil
  • Pinch sea salt
  • 1-1/2 quarts (1.4 liter) butter pecan ice cream

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Fill and preheat the SousVide Supreme to 183F/84C.
  2. Put the potatoes into a large (gallon/3.8 liter) cooking pouch in a single layer and vacuum seal them.
  3. Submerge the pouch in the water oven and cook for 1-1/2 hours.
  4. Preheat the traditional oven to 350F/176C.
  5. Meanwhile, prepare the salted pecans.
    1. On a baking sheet, drizzle the pecans with the oil and salt and toss to coat.
    2. Bake for 4 minutes.
    3. Remove pecans from the oven and allow them to cool.
    4. When cool, transfer pecans to a cutting board and chop into fine pieces.
  6. When the potatoes have finished cooking, remove the pouch from the water bath, open the pouch, drain the liquid, and set potatoes aside until ready to use.
  7. In a skillet, over medium heat, melt butter in a medium non-stick skillet.
  8. Sprinkle the sugar and cinnamon over the butter and when the sugar begins to dissolve, add the sweet potatoes.
  9. Add the orange juice to the skillet and continue to cook for 1 to 2 minutes, flipping sweet potatoes over to coat in sauce.
  10. Carefully add the rum and ignite it with a flame from the gas stove or with a stick lighter.
  11. Cook for 1 to 2 minutes until flames subside and sauce slightly thickens.

For the assembly

  1. Place a 3-inch (7.5 cm) square or round cookie cutter or ring mold on the corner of a dessert plate.
  2. Immediately spoon the cooked sweet potatoes (without the sauce) into the mold and carefully remove the mold.
  3. On the opposite side of the plate, arrange a tablespoon (15 ml) of salted pecan pieces.
  4. Using two spoons, shape ice cream into a quenelle and place it atop pecan pieces.
  5. Spoon a pool of the sauce around the sweet potatoes.
  6. Serve immediately.

Catching up with MasterChef Winner Whitney Miller

SVS: Welcome, Whitney, back to the SousVide Supreme pages. We always enjoy having you back for a chat. For our readers who may not be aware, you were the very first MasterChef winner in 2010. What led you to the culinary world?

WM: I have always been passionate about cooking, since I was a child. My dream was to have a career in the culinary field. I feel so blessed to have won Fox’s Masterchef program, which has helped to launch my career.

SVS: What is your most vivid memory of the show?

WM: My most vivid memory would have to be when I dropped my chicken on the floor in the last ten minutes of the show’s finale. It was one of those I-can’t-believe- that-just-happened moments but I knew I had to swiftly recover. I quickly prepared another piece and prayed it would cook in 7 minutes in the pan. To the judges’—and my—surprise, it did!

SVS: What was your best/worst moment on the show?

WM: My best moment was when I defeated Sharone Hakman [BTW: also a SousVide Supreme Ambassador] in the chocolate soufflé pressure challenge. He was a strong competitor and the challenge was intense, but when it was all said and done, I emerged (as Sharone deemed me) “The Pastry Princess.”

SVS: What are you doing now? Any plans for future shows, events, books you’d like to share with our readers?

WM: I have been really busy with speaking engagements, cooking demonstrations, and cookbook signings both in the U.S. and internationally. My travels have taken me to Dubai, China, and South Africa.[ed note: and soon to Malaysia to help launch our SousVide Supreme product line there.] I am currently a contributor to several magazines. I am excitedly working on my second cookbook. I am looking forward to participating in Chefdance 2013 in association with the Sundance Film Festival.

SVS: Wow! They’ve really kept you busy! And on top of that, in 2011 you published your first cookbook Modern Hospitality: Simple Recipes with Southern Charm. Are there any sous vide recipes included in your book?
WM: That cookbook does not contain sous vide recipes, but I have prepared some of my recipes in the sous vide water oven, such as Grandma’s Sunday Roast, and I have created recipes especially for SousVide Supreme that are available on the site.

SVS: What is your favorite food to cook sous vide? What food(s) do you feel the sous vide technique is especially suited to?

WM: I have prepared everything from meats to vegetables to dessert items. For me, I love the texture of Southern vegetables like sweet potatoes and okra [cooked] sous vide. No more slimy okra!

SVS: Sous vide is especially good for turning tough, inexpensive cuts of meat into something tender and juicy. The Southern US is noted for slow-cooked pork, ribs, and other flavorful meats. Have you adapted any of your favorite Southern recipes to sous vide cooking? If so, what’s your favorite?


WM:
Sunday roast, for my grandmother, was always a bottom round roast. I have taken this Sunday roast and served it for more than just Sunday lunch. Inexpensive bottom round can be a tough piece of meat unless cooked low and slow, usually in the oven. Preparing it in the sous vide, however, creates perfectly tender meat, without the worry of overcooking and drying out. It also holds together well for slicing, like for my Mississippi Cheesesteak.

SVS: Tenderness with integrity. Is that one reason why do you think that sous vide cooking is taking hold both in restaurants and in homes around the globe?

WM: Yes. I have experienced some really great meals at fine dining restaurants and have had chefs tell me that the meats are prepared sous vide. The flavor and texture [of sous vide cooked meats] is incomparable.

SVS: We couldn’t agree more! Thanks, Whitney, for taking the time to catch us up on ‘life after MasterChef’! And safe travels… We invite all of you to take a look at Whitney’s cookbook and to follow her online at www.whitneymiller.com

Sous Vide Sweet Corn Cheesecake

with Cornmeal Crumble, Corn Caramel and Blueberry Salsa
Courtesy of Season 1 MasterChef Winner Whitney Miller

Sous Vide Sweet Corn Cheesecake

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

For the cheesecake

  • 1/4 cup (60 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup (80 g) fresh sweet corn kernels
  • 1 large whole egg
  • 1/3 cup (63 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 (8 ounce/228 g) package cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) sour cream
  • 1/2 tablespoon (7.5 ml) all-purpose flour
  • 1/8 teaspoon (1.25 ml) orange zest

For the crumble

  • 1/4 cup (45 g) fine ground cornmeal
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) granulated sugar
  • pinch sea salt
  • pinch powdered ginger
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (21 g) cold unsalted butter, cubed
  • 2 tablespoons (15 g) pine nuts

For the corn caramel
Yields: about ¾ cup

  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) heavy cream
  • 1/3 cup (53 g) fresh sweet corn kernels
  • 1/2 cup (96 g) granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons (43 g) unsalted butter, cubed

For the blueberry salsa

  • 1 cup (148 g) fresh blueberries or frozen blueberries, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons (10 ml) orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) white balsamic vinegar
  • 2 basil leaves, julienned

 

INSTRUCTIONS

For the cheesecake

  1. Fill and preheat SousVide Supreme to 170F.
  2. In a small saucepan, combine the cream and corn; cover and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes more.
  3. Strain through a mesh strainer over a small bowl.
  4. Using a hand held electric mixer, beat the egg in a separate mixing bowl until light and pale yellow.
  5. Incorporate the sugar into the beaten egg.
  6. Beat the cream cheese and sour cream into the egg mixture until smooth.
  7. Lastly, beat in the corn cream, flour, and orange zest until well combined.
  8. Transfer the cream cheese mixture into a small (quart/0.9 liter) zip-closure cooking pouch; use the Archimedes Principle to evacuate as much air as possible and zip the seal.
  9. Submerge the pouch in the water oven and cook for 2 hours. When cooking is complete, quick chill the pouch, submerged in an ice water bath for 15 minutes, and refrigerate, flat, for at least 1 hour.

For the crumble topping

  1. Preheat the traditional oven to 350F.
  2. In a small bowl, mix the cornmeal, sugar, salt, and ginger together.
  3. Using two forks or a pastry cutter, cut the butter into the cornmeal mixture until the mixture resembles wet sand.
  4. Stir in the pine nuts.
  5. Pour the crumble mixture onto a baking sheet and bake for 10-12 minutes, stirring the mixture halfway through the baking time. Remove and set aside.

For the caramel sauce

  1. In a small saucepan, combine the cream and corn. Cover and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  2. Reduce heat to low and cook for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and strain through a mesh strainer over a medium bowl.
  4. In a heavy bottom 2 quart saucepan, sprinkle the sugar over the bottom of the pan and cook for about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Once sugar begins to melt, stir vigorously with a wooden spoon.
  5. When sugar has dissolved, turn the heat to low and immediately add the butter, stirring until melted.
  6. Remove from heat and stir in the corn milk until combined.

For the blueberry salsa

  1. In a small bowl, stir the blueberries, orange juice, balsamic, and basil leaves together.
  2. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.

To finish and serve

  1. Remove the cheesecake pouch from the refrigerator and carefully cut away the top of the pouch.
  2. Using a sharp knife, dipped in warm water, slice the cheesecake into four long rectangles.
  3. Carefully transfer the individual pieces of cheesecake to dessert plates using an offset spatula (dipped in warm water and patted dry).
  4. Top each serving with the cornmeal crumble and a mound of the blueberry salsa.
  5. Drizzle a spoonful of corn caramel onto each plate beside the cheesecake. (Save the rest, tightly covered in the refrigerator, for use for a week or two.)

An Interview with New York Chef James Briscione

We recently had the chance to talk to Chef James Briscione (Institute of Culinary Education in New York) about his experience with sous vide cooking (and our humble machine in particular.) He’ll be teaching classes featuring sous vide cooking at the Institute in New York City this summer for aspiring chefs and even one recreational cooking classes for us foodies. In it, Chef Briscione will take students through the ins and outs of this precise cooking method and help them understand how to get flavors and textures out of food they maybe never have thought possible. Foods prepared will include: 45 Minutes Eggs; Chicken Breasts; Beef Short Ribs and more. If you are in the New York City area August 19 and are interested you can find the
(Registration information and Class calendar here.) For the rest of us not geographically lucky enough to be able to attend the class, Chef Briscione was kind enough to provide one of his favorite sous vide recipes.

SVS: When/how did you first come to sous vide cooking?

JB: The first time I saw anything cooked sous vide was at Restaurant Daniel [Chef Daniel Boulud’s premier restaurant in New York City] but it wasn’t until I started teaching at The Institute of Culinary Education in 2007 that I began to really use and experiment with it. In 2010 I had the chance to go to Venice, Italy to train with an Italian chef who is an absolute sous vide wiz and my technique and production has grown in leaps and bounds since then.

SVS: In your opinion, what food (or food category) benefits most from the technique?

JB: So many different types of food can become truly magical when cooked sous vide, it’s really tough to pick one that benefits the most. Since the majority of people over cook chicken with traditional methods, I think a sous vide chicken breast can be a truly eye opening experience.

SVS: What’s the most delicious or unusual sous-vide cooked food you’ve ever tasted? Or cooked yourself?

JB: Maybe not unusual, but one of the most unexpected things I ever made sous vide was citrus syrups that I used to create homemade sodas and cocktails. I pack segments of citrus in bags with sugar and cook them very gently (at 135˚F) until the sugar draws the juices out of the fruit and dissolves to create the syrups. The great thing about this technique is that unlike simmering, the citrus flavor remains bright, fresh and aromatic.
And then there was the time that de-boned a pigs head- whole- cooked it sous vide and made it into a torchon.

SVS: Wow! We’ll need to circle back to learn more about this whole pigs head adventure when we’ve got more time. Apart from a pig’s head torchon, what’s your go-to sous vide dish to impress?

JB: For me, beef short ribs and/or a ribeye steak are going to blow people away every time. I set my sous vide supreme to 132.5˚F (56˚C), put the seared short ribs in one bag and a ribeye steak in another. I leave the short ribs to cook for 48 hours and the steak just a quick 2.5 hours. Afterwards I re-sear both meats and baste them butter, garlic and thyme. Then I serve a few slices of each meat together with whatever my favorite seasonal side dish may be at the time.

SVS: Have you ever had a total sous vide flop? If yes, why? What happened?

JB: Too many to count! I think one of the popular misconceptions of sous vide is that because you’re cooking at a low temperature you can’t over cook your food. I’m here to tell you it’s not true.

SVS: You certainly can overcook if you set the water oven to too hot a temperature. So what happened?

JB: One of my biggest flops was a pork loin that I though I was going to make so tender and juicy by cooking it for 6 hours at 150˚F. Needless to say tender and juicy are probably the last two words you would use to describe that meal!

SVS: So what did you learn from that experience?

JB: I learned two great things from that gigantic flop. #1 – 150F is a fine internal temperature, if you’re roasting or grilling pork (though maybe still just a touch high), but those standard temperatures don’t always translate directly for sous vide cooking. [You really have to follow the temperature guides that have been worked out.] Especially with pork. It doesn’t need to be cooked nearly as high, when done sous vide. And #2 – tender cuts need shorter cooking times. No matter how you may try, you can’t make a tender cut turn out like a braise, so don’t try. Cook tender meats just until done, then stop!

SVS: How do you incorporate this technique into your daily work/home life?

JB: Just like everyone else, we are a busy family. As a writer my wife works from home, which means she’s holding down two full time jobs, since she cares for our 3-year-old daughter as well. One of her favorite quick lunches is sous vide salmon. We’ll cook 3 or 4 pieces of salmon in individual bags on a Sunday, then store them in the refrigerator for the week. That way she can just zip open a bag and have lunch ready in minutes. She’s a great cook too so she is always whipping up a new sauce or relish with fresh ingredients from the farmer’s market to top her fish.

Also, living in a New York City apartment, counter and oven space is in high demand, so when ever we entertain, we always prepare the entrée in our sous vide supreme, so we have plenty of space for the important things like a pitcher of cocktails or glasses of wine!

SVS: Why do you think the sous vide trend has now taken off?

JB: Before the proliferation of sous vide, home cooks couldn’t have access to same tools and equipment as a professional chef without remodeling their entire home. Now, not only can they use the exact same tools professional chefs around the world are using, they can get the same results.

SVS: What do you think foodie home cooks love about the technique?

JB: Whether you grill, broil or sauté a chicken breast, the result is going to be pretty similar. Sous vide cooking is so unique. It creates a product unlike anything else. The results are truly memorable and the best part is, the technique is totally accessible. You do not need years of practice and training to get a great result.

SVS: What do chefs love about the technique?

JB: Professional cooking is about consistency. You want every person in your dining room to have the same great experience. So as a chef, you have to make sure that every piece of food that leaves the kitchen is perfect. When you cook sous vide, you get a consistent, reliable product and you can be confident no one is struggling to saw through an over cooked steak. Plus, sous vide allows chefs creates textures in food that are impossible through any other technique.


SVS: OK. Let’s go to the other end of the spectrum. What would you recommend as an easy ‘get started with sous vide’ food – a real no fail for the novice cook?

JB: I think simple proteins that only need short cooking times are the best place to start. Salmon filets are ready in just 20 minutes or a boneless chicken breast that is done in 30 minutes. You vary their flavor so much with how you season them before cooking and you can finish them in different ways- seared, grilled broiled, fried- the possibilities are endless. Of course, easiest of all but still an amazing result is the 45 minute egg- no vacuum or bags required- just perfectly poached eggs every time.

SVS: How does the SousVide Supreme (or SousVide Supreme Chef) compare to other sous vide cooking equipment you’ve used?

JB:My wife bought me a SousVide Supreme for Christmas years ago and I have loved it ever since. Other sous vide equipment can be bulky or require big containers for a water bath. Living in New York City where my kitchen is size of most people’s bathrooms, SousVide Supreme is the ideal solution. But it’s not just about saving space- the SousVide Supreme is as accurate and reliable as any machine I have ever used. Mine has been turning out consistently delicious results for almost 3 years now!

Visit James Briscione’s personal blog here.

Duck Confit Sous Vide

Recipe courtesy of Michael LaRoche, Head Butcher and Chef for Bill the Butcher
Serves 2

Sous Vide Duck Confit #sousvideINGREDIENTS

For the ducks legs

  • 2 duck legs
  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) duck fat
  • salt and herb cure mix (recipe follows)

For the Salt and Herb Cure (enough for 2 duck legs)

  • 1 tablespoon (15 ml) Kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) crushed black pepper
  • crushed fresh herbs such as thyme, bay leaf, clove.

Adjust amounts to have even thorough coverage of the all duck legs you cook.

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Rub duck legs with the cure and refrigerate at least 8 hours, overnight if possible.
  2. Fill and preheat SousVide Supreme to 168F/75.5C.
  3. Gently rinse the salt cure off the duck legs and pat dry.
  4. Use a small sharp knife to carefully remove the skin from the legs in one whole piece, if possible, and set aside.
  5. Put the skinless duck legs into a cooking pouch with a dollop (a generous tablespoon/15ml) of duck fat per leg.
  6. Submerge the pouch in the SousVide Supreme for 12 hours.
  7. Prior to serving, crisp the duck skin in a skillet over low heat until browned.

Suggested Serving Sides: Lentilles du Puy, Mustard Veloute

SousVide Supreme Meats Bill the Butcher – Duck Confit from SousVide Supreme on Vimeo.