SousVide Supreme In Julia’s Kitchen at the Smithsonian

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SousVide Supreme at the Smithsonian

This summer, the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, DC launched a culinary kids camp that included a visit to Julia Child’s iconic kitchen that is now a part of the permanent Smithsonian collection and an introduction to cooking, including use of the SousVide Supreme.

We on the SousVide Supreme team were delighted to be featured in such rarefied culinary company and more excited yet that a group of 4th to 6th graders got the chance to prove that using the water oven really is so simple a kid can do it (with adult supervision, of course!) We hope the Smithsonian summer camp experience will inspire a new generation of Americans devoted to both cooking and eating outstanding food!

Here is a letter from Catherine Pressler of Food FUNdamentals, who ran the camps, with all the details of the culinary program and a delicious recipe for the Turkey Mole that the young chef campers made, using our machine.

In the Kitchen with Julia and SousVide Supreme at the Smithsonian

Summer 2010, for the first time, The Smithsonian Associates offered three summer camps with a food or culinary theme. The camps took place in the S. Dillon Ripley Center next to the Smithsonian Information Center, The Castle, and of course, took advantage of a visit to Julia Child’s kitchen in the Smithsonian’s Museum of American History, as well as other wonderful resources in the Smithsonian family and on the National Mall.

The SousVide Supreme was the guest star for the third culinary camp, No Ketchup!? No Fries!? (details of the camp follow) where the student chefs used it to create a turkey mole. Chef Instructor, Catherine Pressler, worked with 4th- through 6th-grade student chefs as they toasted chilies; soaked them with raisins; ground almonds, sesame seeds, pine nuts; chopped Mexican chocolate; puréed tomatoes, chopped garlic and onions; sautéing and layered flavors to create a phenomenal mole sauce for turkey breast and thigh fillets that were cooked in the SousVide Supreme.

To recap all of the culinary happenings at the Smithsonian this summer — first was a week-long half-day camp for youth aged Kindergarten through second grade that was not really a culinary camp, but featured food art — Included below are the descriptions that were in the Smithsonian Associates Summer Camp catalog …

You Art What You Eat Some people say “You are what you eat”: In this camp, “You ART what you eat!” You’ll draw, paint, and sculpt artworks inspired by your favorite foods! Campers will start out by stepping into Julia Child’s Kitchen at the National Museum of American History. They will get a chance to view food-related artworks (like Wayne Thiebaud’s “cakes”) at the National Gallery of Art, and then come back to the classroom and whip up some art of their own! Campers will explore many materials to create their culinary-inspired art, and parents are invited to join us on the last day of camp to enjoy a “visual picnic!”

Additionally, there were two week-long full-day camps for youth fourth through sixth grades. The mornings were spent exploring sites in the Smithsonian in addition to resources on the National Mall such as the U.S. Botanic Garden, American Indian Museum and the USDA vegetable garden. Afternoons were be spent cooking in a classroom in the Smithsonian’s S. Dillon Ripley Center. The two culinary camps offered were –

Food Alchemy: From Wizard to Chef! Experience the magic of food from the wizardry of the mortar and pestle to the chef’s artistry with the whisk, skillet, oven, and beyond. Chef campers explore and create food-science curiosities such as fermented sparkling drinks, cheeses, pickles, souffles, yeast bread, roasted-garlic chocolate chip cookies, and more. Hop on your broomstick for trips to various culinary points of interest around the National Mall and visit chef extraordinaire Julia Child’s Kitchen at the National Museum of American History.

No Ketchup!? No Fries!? Ever wonder what the culinary world would be like without the tomato and potato? These are just two of the hundreds of ingredients originating in North, Central, and South America, and the Caribbean that have influenced cuisines throughout the world. Chef campers don their aprons as they prepare and sample some of the amazing foods that the Americas have given the World. Stuffed squash blossoms, pupusas, turkey mole, sweet potato gnocchi, pumpkin-seed pesto, fruit leather, jicama-corn salsa, and pineapple upside-down cake are just a few of the culinary wonders they will master.

How exciting to think that Julia Child is still mentoring America’s youth in a manner of speaking!

Catherine L. Pressler, CCP

And here is the delicious and traditional recipe for mole that the young chefs prepared.

Turkey Mole
Courtesy of Catherine Pressler, Food FUNdamentals, adapted with permission

Enjoy chocolate in a savory dish. It is most appropriate to enjoy the mole sauce over turkey since turkey, chilies, chocolate, tomatoes, pine nuts all originate from the Americas.

Serves 8

Ingredients for the Mole Sauce
(Makes about 4 cups of mole – you will need 2 cups for this recipe and can freeze the remainder.)

8 plum tomatoes, halved lengthwise
3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 large onions, peeled and cut in ½-inch slices
2 poblano peppers, stemmed and seeded
1/4 cup (60 ml) olive oil
1-1/4 teaspoon (6.25 ml) sea salt
1/2 (2.5 ml) teaspoon pepper
2 dried ancho chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried Anaheim chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried mulato chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried negro chiles, stemmed and seeded
2 dried pasilla chiles, stemmed and seeded
1/3 cup (80 ml) golden raisins
Hot water
1/4 cup (60 ml) whole almonds
1/3 cup (80 ml) pine nuts
1/4 cup (60 ml) sesame seeds
1 tablespoon (15 ml) whole black peppercorns
1 cinnamon stick, preferably Mexican, broken in pieces
1 tablespoon (15 ml) dried oregano, preferably Mexican
4 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
3 tablespoons (45 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
6 ounces (180 g) bittersweet chocolate, preferably Mexican (70% cocoa mass), chopped
3 corn tortillas, cut into bite-sized pieces

Ingredients for the Turkey Mole
1 lemon, juiced
4 pounds (8.8 kg) turkey – skinless breast tenders, thighs, or leg quarters
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
2 cups (480 ml) prepared mole sauce

Ingredients for the Fresh Radish Salad
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
6 to 8 radishes, trimmed and shaved or thinly sliced
1 lime, juiced
2 tablespoons (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil
Oaxacan cheese, crumbled for garnish

Cooked white rice, for serving
Cilantro sprigs, for garnish


For the mole sauce:
1. Preheat the (traditional) oven to 275F/135C.
2. Cover two sheet pans with aluminum foil. Arrange the tomatoes on one of the prepared sheet pans, cut sides up, in a single layer. Sprinkle the tomatoes with the chopped garlic. 3) Lay the onion slices and poblano peppers on the second prepared sheet pan. Drizzle with the olive oil and sprinkle with the salt and pepper.
4. Roast for 1 to 2 hours until the tomatoes are concentrated and begin to caramelize.
5. Meanwhile, tear the ancho, Anaheim, mulato, negro and pasilla chiles into large pieces and toast them in a heavy, dry skillet over medium heat until they slightly change color, about 2 minutes.
6. Put them into a bowl with the raisins and cover them with hot water. Soak until softened, about 30 minutes. (Reserve the soaking liquid.)
7. In the same skillet over medium heat, add the almonds, pine nuts, sesame seeds, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, oregano, and thyme.
8. Toast for 2 minutes, grind in a spice grinder, and put the powder into a blender or food processor.
9. When the tomatoes, onion and poblano peppers have finished roasting, add them to the ground spices in the blender or a food processor.
10. Add the chopped chocolate and the soaked chilies/raisin mixture and the corn tortillas to the blender along with a small amount of the chili soaking liquid. Taste and adjust flavoring as needed. Puree, adding more soaking liquid, as needed, to make a smooth sauce. (This makes about 4 cups sauce. The recipe uses 2 cups, the extra can be frozen).

Cooking the turkey mole using the SousVide Supreme:
1. Preheat the SousVide Supreme to 146F/63C for breast meat or 176F/80C for legs or thighs.
2. Pour the lemon juice over the turkey in a large bowl and season it well with salt and pepper.
3. Divide the turkey pieces evenly between four large (gallon/3.8 liter) pouches and spoon spoon mole sauce over the turkey enough to coat the pieces. Reserve what remains of the 2 cups of mole for serving.
4. Extract/remove as much air as possible and seal. (Take care not to vacuum the mole sauce into the suction portal of a suction vacuum.)
5. Place the pouches into the pouch rack and load into the SousVide Supreme water oven. Be sure all the meat is fully submerged below the surface of the water in the bath.
6. Cook at the target temperature for 1½ to 2 hours for breast meat or up to 8 to 10 hours for leg quarters.

Prepare the fresh salad:
1. Combine the thinly sliced onion and radishes in a serving bowl.
2. Add the lime juice and 2 tablespoons olive oil; season with salt, to taste.
3. Mix well and sprinkle with the cheese.

Assemble to serve:
1. When the turkey is ready, remove the turkey from the pouches to a warm serving platter.
2. Pour the reserved mole sauce and all the sauce from the pouches into a skillet over medium high heat and sauté briefly – 2 to 3 minutes — to reduce and intensify the flavors.
3. Pour over the turkey.
4. Serve the turkey over cooked white rice with the onion and radish salad.
5. Garnish everything with cilantro leaves.

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This recipe is perfect for the SousVide Supreme!

Would you like to try cooking this recipe? Learn more about our water ovens by visiting our site. The world’s first water oven designed specifically to bring the gourmet sous vide cooking method into home and small restaurant kitchens.

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