Aussie Bear

Bought myself an early birthday present today

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So after months of thinking about it, today I've joined the sous vide culinary school!!!! I'm away from home for two weeks (and hundreds of miles away from my vacuum sealing equipment)  so won't be giving it much of a workout until I'm back at home. Looking forward to tastier more succulent meats in the future.....maybe even chicken breast will make its way back on my menu.

It's all your fault @BurgundyBoy. If I'm not enamoured then I'll blame you....hahaha!!!!

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Enjoy it. Keep us posted. 

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Good for you!  I've been tempted to buy one as well....

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On 10/25/2018 at 5:25 AM, Aussie Bear said:

So after months of thinking about it, today I've joined the sous vide culinary school!!!! I'm away from home for two weeks (and hundreds of miles away from my vacuum sealing equipment)  so won't be giving it much of a workout until I'm back at home. Looking forward to tastier more succulent meats in the future.....maybe even chicken breast will make its way back on my menu.

It's all your fault @BurgundyBoy. If I'm not enamoured then I'll blame you....hahaha!!!!

Uh oh! I'll be shown to be a fraud! :eek: Eeek!

Aussie, don't know if you can buy frozen scallops in Oz for a reasonable price ... but if you can here's an easy suggestion: this works with shrimp too: 

Put ~ 7 scallops, frozen, into a vacuum bag along with a knob of butter (about a tablespoon). If you have any fresh sage or thyme, add some leaves to the bag. Vacuum and seal - it will be super easy because there is no free liquid and everything is solid. Make sure the scallops are in a single layer. Sous-vide for an hour at 51 C. Give the bag a flip every 15 minutes or so, so the released liquid, herbs and butter will bathe the scallops. When done you will have an intensely-flavored watery liquid with a layer of butterfat on top. Separate the butterfat from the liquid, and add the scallops and the remaining liquid to a fish base, or serve by itself. (I usually dice the cooked scallops into 4-6 pieces each before they go into a fish broth / chowder). The scallops will be insanely purely scallop in flavor and the liquid is nectar.

... and having turned my nose up at chicken breast, choosing instead more flavorful dark-meat ... I'll try cooking some breasts sous vide while you are away from home, and post if there is a more succulent version that I stumble across...

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I don't eat any fish or seafood @BurgundyBoy. Never liked them and don't intend to find out if my tastes have changed now. Australian is a seafood destination....."frozen" just doesn't cut the mustard in this part of the world.....even though I'm sure it's available for those who want them.

Pardon me asking but isn't 51 degrees outside of the "safe zone"? I would have thought cooking seafood from frozen at that temperature was asking for food poisoning to come and bite you. Here they recommend a minimum temp of 56C (plucking this figure from a rapidly ageing memory) to stop bacterial growth during cooking.

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I love mine!!  My husband uses it more than i do because i work later than him, but he makes awesome ribs in it...and nothing is better than scallops with it! Yum!!!  And @BurgundyBoy, i haven’t done chicken breast much since surgery, but i love thigh meat!  Deliciously juicy (Sous vide or not, though better with it)

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19 hours ago, Aussie Bear said:

I don't eat any fish or seafood @BurgundyBoy. Never liked them and don't intend to find out if my tastes have changed now. Australian is a seafood destination....."frozen" just doesn't cut the mustard in this part of the world.....even though I'm sure it's available for those who want them.

Pardon me asking but isn't 51 degrees outside of the "safe zone"? I would have thought cooking seafood from frozen at that temperature was asking for food poisoning to come and bite you. Here they recommend a minimum temp of 56C (plucking this figure from a rapidly ageing memory) to stop bacterial growth during cooking.

Hi Aussie - you are quite right to put up this cautionary note. It would be very poor form to poison one's family or guests let alone oneself. Food safety should not be compromised. @CheeringCJ glad you are enjoying your sous vide!

It turns out that you can achieve a safe status by cooking longer at lower temperature, just as you can with an higher temperature for a shorter period. Here are a couple of guides: 1. https://cdn.anovaculinary.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/anova-timetemperature-quick-reference.pdf and 2. https://s3.amazonaws.com/chefsteps/static/ChefSteps-Map-of-Sous-Vide.pdf.  If you look at the latter you'll see that the authors of the latter even include a "Tropic of Pasteur" line to shown when food has been pasteurized. You'll see that the temperature you have to achieve is lower if you cook the food for longer. For almost all meats the recommended cooking temperature x time => leads to pasteurization. 

In my view, fish and seafood are often an issue re: food safety. Most seafood is "done" and the fish or seafood proteins firmed up at temperatures substantially under those needed for pasteurization - so when I cook fish I get the best, freshest I can find and rinse the exterior. I don't cook any seafood sous vide unless I am confident of the source. It is possible to get safe fish - there is a lot of sushi quality fish in the market. You can increase safety by cooking with some included lemon juice or vinegar, since they kill bacteria - so for some fish I rub with salt and lemon juice and herbs before cooking. Or, I guess, you could just boil it or grill it!

Poultry is the most likely food to have contaminating bacteria on it, and I always cook my chicken or duck legs until they are pasteurized, either in the oven under oil or duck fat as confit, or sous vide to achieve both doneness and pasteurization. When I confit poultry legs I also rub them with salt and let them dry in the refrigerator for a day.

A benefit is that I can store the vacuum bags of pasteurized cooked legs in the fridge for a long time, and pull them out for a fast heat up in a pan when pressed for time. The odd bag of cooked chicken legs is easier to fit into the fridge than a pot filled with cooked legs under oil, as with confit.

To your point about eschewing fish/seafood - tonight I'll cook a rack of lamb sous vide, and when it's finished then scorch/crust up the exterior with a propane torch. It should lighten up the dinner party! ;)

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