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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Not very magical, still... » » A cooking-related impulse buy (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Bob1Dog
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I'm itching to try the salmon dish illustrated in the video. The tip on freezing a steak and then coating it with salt and corn starch threw me. Salt, yes, but corn starch? Gotta try that one!
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
MobilityBundle
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So, the Sansaire finally arrived, after more than one hiccup.

For my first outing with the device, I currently am cooking some beef cheeks at 158 degrees. They went in about 30 minutes ago, and they have about 29.5 hours to go.

This is an admittedly non-scientific experiment: I've never cooked beef cheeks before, and the one time I had them in a restaurant they were cooked sous vide. So I have no way to compare them to non-sous vide preparations.

But... oh well. When you see beef cheeks in a butcher shop, you get them!

So, that's what's for dinner tomorrow. Thinking of serving, with a red wine based sauce with rosemary and shallot. Maybe brussels sprouts on the side.

Just 29.4 hours to go.

After that, I actually am going to try some alligator. (Maybe you can guess, but I went to a specialty butcher shop yesterday.) I got some leg/tail meat.

Alligator is notoriously tough, and there doesn't seem to be a sous vide recipe online. So I'm going to quickly marinate them in some white wine and citrus, then cook at around 135 for 48 hours. There will be a backup plan. Smile
Daryl -the other brother
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Sounds delicious. Keep us posted.
Michael Baker
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Quote:
On Mar 6, 2014, MobilityBundle wrote:


Alligator is notoriously tough, and there doesn't seem to be a sous vide recipe online. So I'm going to quickly marinate them in some white wine and citrus, then cook at around 135 for 48 hours. There will be a backup plan. Smile


Gator aid?
~michael baker
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MobilityBundle
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Tee Hee! Smile
MobilityBundle
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So, it's been about a year with the Sansaire immersion circulator. I thought I'd check in...

I'm still every bit as happy with it as I was in the "honeymoon phase." I'm not sure what its greatest advantage is: logistical or the culinary.

As for culinary advantages, you can really get textures that you can't get any other way. Anyone can braise a short rib, but as far as I know it's impossible to have *medium rare* braised short ribs without cooking sous vide. You still get that melt-in-your-mouth consistency, but the more pronounced meaty flavor of a medium rare cut of meat. Or, if you happen to have 48 hours, you can turn a $4.50/lb chuck roast into a $15.00/lb filet mignon. Or... and this might sound a little weird at first... but medium rare chicken breast that's perfectly safe to eat. If you can get over the psychological hurdle of thinking that the chicken is unsafely undercooked, it's actually very good.

Logistically, it's super easy to cook huge chunks of meat. This makes life very very easy. For example, my wife and I work from home and sometimes the day gets a little out of control for both of us. By, say, 7:00 pm we're both still "wrapping up" our work days. Having most of the cooking already done has prevented more than one low-blood-sugar-induced bout of mutual snippiness. Or a variation on that theme, if you're having a bunch of people over, it's nice to be confident that your main course is cooked exactly how you want it.

It's also economical, for at least a couple reasons. Large chunks of meat generally cost less than smaller chunks. In fairness, it's possible to cook large chunks of meat with other techniques besides sous vide. But sous vide leftovers seem to stay good for much longer. (Perhaps because they already live in a plastic bag? Perhaps because there's not usually a lot of moisture loss to begin with, so they don't dry out?) Illustrating that point, admittedly in a slightly ridiculous way, I currently have about ten pounds of various meat cooking sous vide for a friend. He's headed off to play in a chess tournament this weekend, and he has some serious health-related dietary constraints. Fortunately, massive amounts of unseasoned meat is right in his wheelhouse. Eating on the road is very expensive for him, and even still it can involve a lot of uncertainty. He's excited to travel with a cache of meat, so he can better focus on playing good chess.

---

I've noticed sous vide hardware has come down slightly in price. The unit I bought, the Sansaire, was (and still is) $199. Another company called Anova sells a comparable unit for $179, but seem to be knocking an extra $25 off for an unspecified time. The Anova has a few more bells and whistles (you can pair it with your iPhone! Yay...?), but it's basically the same device. Whole heartedly recommended.

Buon Appetito!
Kabbalah
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What vacuum system are you using?
"Long may magicians fascinate and continue to be fascinated by the mystery potential in a pack of cards."
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Bob1Dog
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OK, now I'm going to have to get serious about one of these!
What if the Hokey Pokey really IS what it's all about? Smile

My neighbor rang my doorbell at 2:30 a.m. this morning, can you believe that, 2:30 a.m.!? Lucky for him I was still up playing my drums.
MobilityBundle
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I'm not using a vacuum system. I just use standard ziploc bags (... which are apparently rated to 180 degrees, well above what I'd normally cook at). The technique is to put the food in the unsealed bag and then submerge the unsealed bag in water just up to the opening. The water pressure will help expel the air in the bag, at which point you close it up while it's still mostly submerged. You don't get anywhere near a *perfect* vacuum, but you almost always expel enough air so that the meat sinks in the water. And that's all you really need anyways.

Occasionally, if the meat is oddly shaped, this technique will be hard to do or impractical. The fix is to add a small amount of liquid -- olive oil or something else -- and that will certainly expel any air that's keeping the whole thing afloat.

There are videos on this... I think one term for the technique is the "displacement method." It's pretty simple; if I made it sound complicated it's because I'm not a good writer. Smile
Tom Jorgenson
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I'm trying the inexpensive buy-in DIY method. I have a vacuum sealer so that's taken care of. I have this piece coming in from Ebay:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/141553021483 for the crock-pot

And now all I really need is some sort of underwater circulator that I don't have to plug in, so there's no hot-spots... Any suggestions or ideas for this piece?

I won't get this little chinese wonder for another month, it seems, but I'll try it and report.
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Ian McColl
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My only concern is this.



Do chemicals migrate from the plastic during SV cooking?
This answer to this question is unable to be confirmed due to lack of data and studies on migration of chemicals from plastics in simulated SV cooking conditions (e.g., 120 to 180 dF for an hour or more).
It has not been confirmed by the literature, but acidic or oily foods would conceivably increase the amount or concentration of any migration.
With suppliers unable to provide any information on these additives, and no existing studies on migration of contaminants specifically from SV packaging, uncertainty remains about any health impacts. Impacts of these chemicals depend on the amount of chemical migration from the plastic into the food during SV cooking, as well as their toxicity, and the susceptibility of anyone consuming the food cooked via SV.
A few studies may provide insight into the potential for migration from plastic during various cooking methods, and some of the health impacts. These are briefly described in Table 1 below.

http://pprc.org/index.php/2013/p2-rapid/......cooking/
Tom Jorgenson
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Thanks for the reference.

I'd assume, ignorantly, that the dangers are not so evident. At least until the plastic container folks ante up some studies and let loose some more information. They'll need to eventually, if Sous-Vide becomes more prevalent.

So far it seems I'd get more health warnings from eating a dozen olives. It seems the logical thing would be to maybe shy away from sous-viding strongly acidic or oily foods, as they seem to be more generally chemically reactive. It won't be long before someone brings out Sous-Vide Approved Vacuum bags (at about 4 times the price) for us to use.

Until then, at my age, it ain't Sous-Vide what gonna kill me.
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Tom Jorgenson
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Here's a very nice and complete page of insructions, information, times and temperatures for the various meats and cuts. It seems worth bookmarking for anyone interested.

http://www.douglasbaldwin.com/sous-vide.html
We dance an invisible dance to music they cannot hear.
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