Sous Vide Cooking

by Chef Pandita on August 28, 2011

Post image for Sous Vide Cooking

I attended a basic sous-vide cooking demo at Paragourmet by Pat’e Palo‘s chef Saverio Stassi, who cooked a 5 course meal for us earlier this week [will post dishes and reviews in another post]. Chef Stassi travels the world looking for new techniques to learn and bring to this island, I think he is the only chef using sous-vide cooking in dominican restaurants right  now. His passion for food is admirable, you can tell his confidence comes from experience and he is a great instructor as well. If you live in the Dominican Republic and want to learn from him, I suggest you join Paragourmet‘s mailing list to receive updates on his cooking classes there. Highly recommended!

The term sous-vide is French and its translated as “under vacuum”. This technique consists in vacuum sealing food in a food-grade bag and then cooking it immersed in water usually at controlled low temperature. When he hear sous-vide we assume it’s been cooked at low temperature but the technique of cooking vacuum sealed food in hot water [wether is low/controlled temperature or boiling temperature] is called sous-vide.

Just vacuum sealing food enhances storage life of raw and cooked products. Restaurants vacuum pack individual portions of meat/fish before refrigerating because the lack of oxygen makes it difficult for fat oxidation and bacteria proliferation. You can cook anything sous-vide and leave it in the sealed bag in the freezer or refrigerator and would last  more than it would cooked the traditional way and exposed to oxigen. Vacuum sealing is excellent for marinades too: speeds up the process and flavor is intensified, we tried this marinating julienned onion in citrus and beet juice. 10-15 minutes later, the onions had these layers of flavor and color, pungency was gone too.

vacuum sealer:

vacuum sealed apples with mint and truffle oil:

these sous-vide cooked carrots’ flavor and texture were out of this world:

polyscience smoking gun:

smoking a tomato salsa [used as side dish]:

plating:

sous vide cooked black cod + carrots [2 textures], smoked tomatoes:

salt and pepper:

sous vide cooked veal + carrots, smoked tomatoes:

corn tortilla, sous vide cooked venison pibil, guacamole, vacuum sealed citrus+beet marinated onions, queso de hoja:

vitello tonnato:

sous vide cooked lamb chop + babaganoush:

searing sous vide cooked duck breast:

sous vide cooked duck breast + apples:

sous-vide cooking:

 

Although the equipment for sous-vide cooking can be expensive, there are a lot of hacks online to try sous-vide at home. There’s this video on CHOW that shows how to hack your slow-cooker for sous-vide cooking. In this link you will find instructions and photos on how to vacuum seal without a vacuum machine. Me? I’ll just start saving to get all those kitchen gadgets. God knows I love me some books and kitchen toys…

Now that I mentioned books, the one that chef Stassi recommended as #1 guide for sous-vide cooking was Thomas Keller’s Under Pressure. Now that’s something wallet friendly, in my Amazon cart now :)

If you want to learn more about sous-vide cooking, check out these charts and read the introduction to sous-vide cooking post at the Cooking Issues blog.

have you tried sous-vide cooked food at a restaurant or at home?

Thanks for reading!

*panda hugs*