Vacuum sealing is an important step in optimizing the perfectly reproducible cooking that sous vide technique offers (after all, the term sous vide itself means ‘under vacuum’). But while it’s immersion in an precision heated water bath that cooks the food perfectly, the compression itself offers advantages on its own. Compressing fruits and vegetables (and even chicken breast, but that’s another subject!) alters the texture and even appearance of the food, particularly if done with a chamber vacuum sealer that can really put the press on. Pressure makes fruits denser and sweeter and more translucent; it changes their character in interesting ways. Check out how our friends at ChefSteps explain its benefits. Don’t have a SousVide Supreme ChamberVac? You can still experience the joy of compression—if to a somewhat lesser degree–using your suction sealer. Try this:
Prep the fruit
- Cut 1-inch/2.5 cm-thick rounds of watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, or pineapple, rind on; scoop out the seeds in the center, if present, and pat the surface dry with paper towels. Or use thick slices of cucumber, thin slices of tougher fruits, such as apples or pears, wedges of peaches and nectarines, or halves of strawberries instead.
- Sprinkle both sides with a bit of balsamic vinegar and freshly ground black pepper or a dusting of vanilla sugar, whatever suits your mood.
- Put the fruit in a single layer into vacuum pouch(es).
- Add some citrus zest or mint leaves to the pouch(es), if desired.
- Open the sealer and position the open end of the pouch(es) under the pouch tabs or just under the sealing portal and close and lock the lid.
- Pick the sealer up, raising it at least a foot off the counter, and activate the vacuum seal.
- As soon as the pouch collapses, force the seal to prevent excess moisture from entering the suction chamber.
Chill and Enjoy
- Chill the vacuum sealed fruit to use in salads or as a cool refreshing accompaniment to grilled meats or omelettes, or as a simple dessert.