Tuesday, October 11, 2011

TOW Addendum: Sous Vide

A friend pointed out that I had neglected to include a very important aspect of the technique of boiling food: Sous Vide - a method in which food sealed in airtight plastic bags is cooked in a water bath for a long time (72 hours is not unusual) at a temperature much lower than normally used for cooking, typically around 140 °F.

The term sous vide (pronounced soo-VEED) is French for "under vacuum" and was developed in the mid-1970s by chef Georges Pralus for the Restaurant Troisgros in Rouen, France.

Pralus initially applied the sous vide method to cooking foie gras (goose or duck liver), as a way to retain the fat content and improve texture.  Other gastronomy pioneers soon began experimenting with this technique, applying it to all manners of food to boost flavor and appearance, maintaining the integrity of ingredients by heating them for an extended period at relatively low temperatures.
Atlantan and Chef Richard Blais is one of those pioneers, whose mission is to introduce sous vide to a wider audience.  Sous vide is a well-respected cooking method among gourmet chefs and can routinely be found in upscale restaurants.  In addition, many large-scale restaurant and institutional kitchens use the method in order to prepare perfectly cooked and consistent dishes that eliminate guesswork, Chef Blais explains.

Because of the expensive equipment costs, upwards of several thousand dollars, until recently sous vide was largely been inaccessible to home cooks.  However, the technique has recently gained traction among foodies and has made the leap into home kitchens with the Sous Vide Supreme. It is a restaurant secret for your gourmet kitchen!


contributed by Jim Brams of The Cook’s Warehouse

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