Showing posts from January, 2010

Sous Vide Supreme: Duck Confit Reducks

Earlier, I promised to come back with the results from the Duck Confit.  It was, of course, supremely easy to make and extraordinarily delicious.  I used Tom Colicchio's recipe as a basis for the recipe.   Here were the choices I made: Added 1 TSP roasted garlic powder.  More on that some other time. I let the duck sit for 24 hours and wiped away all the salt. Put the duck into the bag with 1/4 cup of rendered duck fat and tossed it into the Sous Vide Supreme at 178F until it was tender. Afterwards, I seared the confit in a hot pan. The confit was served on a Lacinato Kale Caesar.  Best part is, I have enough confit left to make something else.  Like, oh I dunno, maybe some duck confit tacos! ps: I am going to be wrapping up my SVS posts this week.  Should have a final eval post up early next week.

Altered Tastes: Tacos

Previously on Altered Tastes, I discussed the joy of an amazing fresh tortilla.  the tortilla is ultimately a vessel for me.  a vessel to ferry meats, fish, shellfish and octopus , spicy salsa, salty cheese, fresh vegetables, broken glass, gravel, anthrax, etc. My first day in Mexico had me stomping through the flooded streets of Cabo San Lucas.  They don't get a lot of rain in Cabo, so stomping through the flooded streets of Cabo means stomping through one part water, one part mud and one part raw sewage.   During our travels, we walked by many things, including a mattress floating down the street.  However, on a side street somewhere, I walked right by perfection itself.  The spinning pillar of roasted meat.  Tthe spinning pillar of meat is sacred.  Ancient and Carnal.   Since we were exploring town and the streets were running with dysentery we didn't stop.  But I knew I would be back. Several days later I had some free time, while the rest of the crew was swimming with

Altered Tastes: Tortillas In Mexico

Both Matt of mattbites and Ruhlman mentioned how fresh tortillas and salsas were his favorite experience during food blogger camp .  While I did not attend, I happened to be in a different part of Mexico around the same time.  I couldn't agree more.  The tortillas were unbelievably delicious.  I was in Cabo San Lucas, and even though everywhere I went I had completely different tortillas, they were all amazing.  During some of my adventures walking around town, I came across this place: The folks at Perla were kind enough to let us take some pictures of there tortilleria operation.  Sadly, this is what I do on vacation.  These two women were what we first saw when we entered the factory.  They perform two really valuable functions: packaging and quality control.  You can see in the middle they have stacks in front of them as well as a pile of rejects. The tortillas they were sorting were all coming out of this leviathan of a machine that is clearly cooking the tortilla.  I

Circulator Vs. Water Bath: Fight!

So, there are a lot of distinctions between different approaches to sous vide cooking appliances.  One difference between the immersion circulators and water baths (including classic PID controllers) is the ability to move the water around.  This helps keep the temperature of the water regulated more precisely.  Think of it like a bath.  You fill your bathtub up with hot water, then you get into the tub.  After some time, the water gets cold and you turn on the hot water tap.  The whole bath tub doesn't immediately get warmer, just the water near the heat source.  Usually, I start moving my hand around to equalize the temperature. The fine folks at PolyScience did some testing to see what the actual impact of this was on food being prepared.  Their tests show that as water baths adjust to the introduction of cold product (e.g. refrigerated chicken breasts), they actually will raise the temperature of the water above the target setting.  My understanding of the experiment is tha

Sous Vide Supreme: Pulled Skate With Sauteed Chard

In the past I have eluded to a skate dish I had made that really coaxed the urine flavor out of this odd fish.  Since I served urine soaked skate to my girlfriend, I have been a little skittish about trying this dish again.  The dish in question?  Pulled Skate With Sauteed Swiss Chard.    Skate is naturally stringy, and pretty much looks the part of pulled pork. Pulled pork is actually a low temperature, slow cooked chunk of pig.  Slowly smoked, the connective tissue converts into gelatin, getting all gooey and delicious.  Hand shredded and then slapped between bread or served over rice, this is an amazing experience.  There is a lot of barbecue religion in this country, but my personal favorite prep for pulled pork is Eastern North Carolina style (and yes, there is also a Western North Carolina style.  This basically means smoked and then doused with a thin tangy-peppery barbecue sauce. When adapting this for sous vide and fish, I did take some short cuts.  No rub.  No smoke (alt

Sous Vide Supreme: Octopus

I have written about this before.  But! It is sooo awesome.  It is sooo easy.  It is perfectly tender. Scared?  Don't be. 1. Buy whole and fresh from a fishmonger you trust.  You can have them do a first pass on the octopus and remove the guts, the beak and the eyes. 2. Use kitchen shears to break down the octopus into a head and tentacles.  I chuck the part of the octopus that connects the two (it is where the beak used to be). 3. Wash the octopus parts.  They generally chill out at the bottom of the ocean.  That basically means mud.  Mud is not delicious.  Make sure to get rid of all of the grit.  There is something about this step that makes me respect the fact that the octopus was a living creature.  A delicious, living creature.  The suction cups open up when you rinse them under the faucet.  The suction cups will also latch onto you. 4. Dry tentacles. 5. I mixed smoked paprika, dried oregano, salt, and pepper together and let all the goodies steep in olive oi

Sous Vide Supreme: Duck Confit

Go big or go home. That is what I always say. Actually I never say that. I think I say go big and go home. Which doesn't really convey the original expression. And really, I just want to go home.  And tomorrow I will be thinking about going home, because this bag of salt cured duck parts with smothered in rendered duck fat: just got dropped into this: Tick Tock.  Tick Tock. I'll talk about Duck Confit and my results in the next post.

Sous Vide Supreme: My Precious

Received a demo SousVide Supreme today. I am incredibly excited that I have the opportunity to test drive an appliance that I hope will mark the first major milestone for the adoption of Sous Vide for the home cook. I invite you to join me over the next two weeks as I do a deep dive into the SousVide Supreme, exploring every nook and cranny.