When living in Wales, my husband and I were glued to the television watching cooking presentations. Unlike the US shows, the focus of which was who could yell the loudest and most often, the UK programs focused on technique. One technique that fascinated us was “sous vide.”
A pot of water. A stick dangling in that water. Food vacuum packed and swimming in the water. And once the food was done, rapture on the faces of the judges, who closed their eyes, thrust their chins in the air and marveled at the tenderness of the steak, salmon or venison they were tasting. Such was the world of sous vide.
Many years later, the equipment was available and priced to the pockets of the general public. We bit. With the vacuum sealer (sous vide means “under vacuum”), our new sous vide wand, a deep pot and a few pieces of salmon, our mis en place experiment was laid out and ready to test!
The Anova sous vide stick (or wand) is simple to use. It links to your smartphone, or you can use it manually. Either way, it’s precise. The directions are simple and the results are what you expect. The science of sous vide (which makes my mind go fuzzy, but I’ll take a stab at explaining) is that once the food is cooked to a specific temperature, it stays at that temperature no matter how long you keep it in the water. You cannot overcook! The food does not shrink, it comes out tender and juicy, and for a finishing touch, you can flash fry a fillet, or a piece of salmon once it’s out of the bath for that extra crunch and visual appeal.
We had two pieces of salmon. Both were topped with a homemade herb butter (thank you, Michele) and vacuum sealed in our Food Saver.
The pot was filled with water, the stick inserted, and the temperature was set for 115F, as directed on my phone.
Once the temperature was reached, in went the two bags, attached to the side of the pot with a big clip (the kind you use to close a potato chip bag.) Forty-five minutes later, my phone alerted me that time was up, and out came the bags.
The salmon was without the bottom skin, so I didn’t risk sautéing it and watching it fall apart. (Note to me: buy salmon with the skin on!)
Bulgur laced with herbs and olive oil served as the bed for the salmon, which was delicately placed atop. A side salad accompanied the meal, for a low-cal, low-fat dinner, which we both could use more of!
We also used the sous vide for filets and seared them after their water bath. They were so tender even grandpa could eat them without putting his teeth in!
Sous Vide – try it. You might like it!