Looks good. I think I'll add this to the Super Bowl menu.
Any recommendations for cooking the shrimp in a water bath? 130F or so for 20 minutes-ish?
Oof. Greasy potato chips drenched in butter. I don't even want to know what this feels like on the way down/out.
Still, it will likely make an appearance on my super bowl table.
@MrsSell - you might just need to find a new supermarket. Split chicken breasts (bone-in and skin on) are by no means uncommon. All of the supermarkets by me carry them.
Check to see if they might be kept on the lower shelves with the whole chickens and bulk packs. They're not usually kept with the boneless/skinless stuff.
I absolutely love tongue but admit that the texture can be a little disconcerting once you know what it is.
Once people know they're eating tongue, it's very hard not to notice that the texture...is exactly like a tongue.
This is why I think that people find lengue tacos or sandwiches more acceptable than most other preparations despite the fact that tongue is absolutely glorious in a stew-like braise. The small pieces and tortilla/bread help to provide some contrast to the texture of the meat.
@pamelalund: freezer to plate is a huge benefit of sous vide. I'll load up on meat, etc. from the warehouse store and vacuum seal in individual servings for this purpose. An added benefit is that having everything in bags makes freezer organization really easy (just make sure to label your meats so you remember what is what!).
Also, don't forget about the fact that a water bath is one of the best ways to reheat or hold food.
Meats can be reheated straight from the fridge to a perfect 130. They'll be as juicy and moist as they were when first cooked and there's no risk of overcooking or drying out. Leftover prime rib reheated in it's own jus is my favorite way to do a french dip.
Things like mashed potatoes, creamed spinach, stove-top mac and cheese, etc. can all be made hours ahead of time, plopped into a bag, and held in a water bath. Transfer to a bowl for service and they'll be as good as freshly made. No drying out or risk of burning and you'll get to reclaim your stove space. Really helpful if you do big menus for holidays, etc.
@szymanskiea - I generally stick with zip top bags for cooking in water. They're totally fine at sous vide temps. The only headache is that you may lose seal integrity at higher temperatures since more steam will be created in the bag and it will blow up a bit.
Not only do you save yourself the hassle of pulling out a specialized vacuum sealer and bag setup, but zip top bags are also recyclable in the same bins that are used for plastic shopping bags.
I can't really speak to energy usage but I can't imagine it's much worse than any other cooking appliance. We're not talking industrial sized pumps or heating elements or anything like that.
I love my sous vide setup, even if I don't think to use it as much as I probably should.
Truthfully, eggs have been the only disappointment for me thus far. Between the fact that you still have to carefully watch the timing and that you still have to clean up the whites to get a picture perfect poached egg, it's almost just as easy to poach eggs the traditional way.
Sous-vide does allow for some pretty cool non-traditional egg applications though (for example, I've rolled barely set egg yolks into sheets and used them as burger toppings).
Ugh - chips are only for savory sandwiches. PB&J only needs a cold glass of milk on the side. Hence the reason that eating more than one sandwich per sitting is acceptable - you have to make up for those missed calories somehow!
Made these over the weekend - super easy and they come out just as pretty as the pictures. I think I slightly over cooked mine as they weren't quite as fudgy in the middle as I hoped they would be but they were still delicious.
The only downside is that they lose a bit of their charm if not eaten the day they're baked. The exterior loses a bit of crispness and the inside dries out a bit so the contrast between exterior and interior is less pronounced.
I love love love love pasta carbonara. It's my desert island dish. Too bad my cholesterol probably can't concur.
Standard menu - we're scaling back and keeping it simple this year. I figure my prep shouldn't be more than 4 hours spread across two days.
Lumpia (filipino egg rolls, my mom's claim to fame and always heavily requested regardless of any other menu items)
Salad (probably feta and some kind of nuts/dried fruit, not sure yet)
Spatchcocked red bourbon turkey from our local poultry farm
Sage and sausage stuffing
Green bean casserole
Cranberry and black pepper shrub cocktails
Pies, pies, and a pumpkin roll (I do the savory dishes, the rest of the guests do dessert)
Carrots are also great in compost and as projectile weapons. Forced consumption of carrots is a classic form of punishment for kids from 3 to 33.
I do not like carrots, Sam I Am.
These are delicious - easiest the best version of clams casino I've had. That said, it is quite a tedious recipe as each step requires quite a bit of hands-on attention. These aren't something you necessarily want to make if you'll be cooking multiple items at the same time. That said, the end product is so rich that 4-6 per person is fine for an appetizer so don't think you need to make too many. Serve them with plenty of lemon.
On the breadcrumbs, don't worry about dicing the bacon too fine. I left my bacon relatively large but then put the finished toasted breadcrumbs into a food processor to get everything to a uniform size before using. It worked great. I'll be using these breadcrumbs on a number of items from this point forward (mac and cheese are up first).
The leftover butter did indeed go very well with pasta as did the extra breadcrumbs. I added some parmesan for sharpness and capers for acidity and I think the crowd actually liked the pasta better than the clams!
@ wordsfailme - I know the post is a little stale but give your board a good sanding. It's like hitting the reset button on a chopping board. You'll need to reseason as if from scratch though.
RE: garlic smells (and onion, to a much lesser extent). There's not much you can do once the smell is embedded in the board.
Depending how heavy it is, you can try saturating the board in lemon juice, sprinkling it with baking soda, and letting it sit overnight to see how well that works. When done, scrape the soda off with a bench scraper and give the board a normal cleaning as you would after any other use. This will work pretty well with lighter smells but won't completely eliminate a heavy contamination.
Outside of that, sanding is really your only other option and you'll usually need to go pretty deep to get below the stink. I now only use plastic for garlic as I ruined a pretty expensive Boos board with garlic and couldn't get the stink out no matter how much I sanded (I even had a belt sander).
Also, raw meats aren't generally that big a deal if your board is well seasoned. That said, I usually make it a practice to wipe down my board with a white vinegar solution after using it for meats just to stay on the safe side.
I love sichaun food but man will it leave you stinking for an entire day afterwards. Those restaurants must go through bushels of garlic on a normal day.
I don't have a great frame of reference but I really like the Sichaun place by us - Han Dynasty in Philly and suburban NJ.
Tried this one last night. Texture was awesome (crisp yet soft and pulled away from the cob will little effort) and resulting butter/corn juice coating over each ear was delicious.
That said, we didn't find it quite worth the effort. At the height of the summer, fresh sweet corn is so good when prepared with faster & lower fuss methods (grilled, blanched, microwaved, etc.) that the extra work/time required to set up a sous vide rig, get the water to temp, bag the corn and cook it for 30 minutes didn't seem worth it. Having to desilk the corn while hot (and buttery) and fighting with floating bags were gravy on the headache.
Oh well, this is pretty much the first Food Lab recipe that I likely won't give a repeat performance. Given a record of something like 5 million hits to one miss, I suppose I can let it slide :)
In line with the recommendations to cook it on the grill, I love it best when roasted at high heat with some olive oil, salt, and pepper. Caramelized salty goodness.
It's also great as a substitute for mashed potatoes (steam until soft then mash with butter and seasonings of your choice, I personally like curry powder and a touch of tumeric).
Alternatively, Jacques pepin has a cool method for doing a spatchcocked chicken in the oven pressed between two skillets or a skillet and some bricks or something like that. I bet that would work here. You should be able to find it on google.
To replicate a grilled lemon in the oven, you can probably just split a lemon in half, give it a light rob with oil and roast in the oven with the chicken for the last 15-20 minutes or so.
Great flavor but I can't get the hang of grilling a supermarket sized chicken whole. I'll definitely make this again but I'll butcher the chicken first If I can't get a small 3 pounder or just roast in the oven. It should work out pretty much the same.
If roasting, I'd butterfly the chicken and throw it in a hot oven (400f-425f) until the breast measures 155 or so and the thigh measures about 165. Let it rest for 15-20 minutes and then carve. The flavor will be the same though the skin might not be quite as crispy as you'd get on the grill. It'll still be awesome.
@kvthames - the potatoes need a bit of time to set up, dry out, and cool after par boiling. The longer the better. If you try to grill/roast while they're still hot they won't form a crispy crust and will likely fall apart. If they do hold together they'll just turn out gummy/chewy.
I'm guessing it has something scientific to do with starch. Or possibly magic potato elves.
Really nice recipe. I followed the recipe as written but roasted the potatoes instead of grilling after par cooking (I used the method for ultra crispy potatoes from this site after tossing with the oil, oregano, garlic, and parsley).
Flavor is great and the contrast between acidic dressing and crispy creamy potatoes is awesome. The contrast is why it's good to serve immediately after dressing. You'll lose it a bit once the potatoes soak for a while. Still really good but not quite the same.
NJ native here and I love these things though I will admit to asking for the cole slaw on the side so I can put it on each bite with a fork. Removes much of the sloppiness and makes sure that each bite has an appropriate amount of cole slaw.
As someone who has harbored thoughts of opening a small restaurant (or at least providing the funding and grunt work to run one), I can safely say that this series has absolutely changed my mind. I mean that in the best way possible.
Thank you for a very honest portrayal of what the experience is/was like. Reading this series has really made me understand how deep your passion has to run in order to make it worthwhile.
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