Thursday, July 23, 2015
Livin' La Sous Vide Loca
So I probably haven't mentioned this, but I keep a quarter jar in our living room, where I save my shiny $.25 pieces for a couple of years, and then roll them once the jar is filled and go buy myself something frivolous, sinful and fun, something I might not purchase otherwise. I give myself permission to blow my quarter money on anything I want. I generally get about $200 from the jar, so it allows me to gift myself with absolutely no guilt whatsoever. It's a little "I Love Me" present. One time I bought a great pair of boots, another time I actually brought the quarters with me on a cruise and used them to have fun gambling (I won all my money back!) ... and this time I bought a sous vide system.
I first heard about this wonderful appliance on my friend Stephen Andrew's blog (here's a link if you are interested: Stephen Andrew's Sous Vide blog post ) and was insanely jealous at the ease with which he appeared to put together his holiday feasts. With the sous vide system, it appeared as if he actually had enough time to decorate beautifully AND enjoy the company of friends and family. I have a feeling he could probably do this anyway, but anything I can do to give myself a leg up I will take. Of course for me one immediate benefit presented itself in my mind, which is that I could start drinking champagne at noon without worrying I was going to forget my expensive free-range bird or cut of meat. (like last time) That decided it. I started thinking about buying a sous vide system after that, but waited until Quarter Jar Day to do it.
And so here it is, the Anova sous vide system hooked up to my spaghetti pot, gently cooking a cheap chuck roast for 36 hours as an experiment. (According to the instructions, you can cook a cheap cut of meat in the sous vide system for a long time -- like 36 hours or so, and it will emerge as soft and malleable as a more expensive cut of meat, only needing to be browned up a bit before serving.)
I will be out of the house for at least half the day tomorrow, and so the thought of coming home to a home-cooked meal is tantalizing. It's even more appealing to know that it will happen without 1) the mess and occasional overcooked quality the crock pot's meals sometimes have or 2) dining with a grumpy husband who has accidentally overcooked a meal because he was trying to cook whilst simultaneously talking to one of his vineyard workers who needs instructions on irrigation, and playing a rousing game of solitaire on his iPad -- all at the same time. It happens.
But not with the sous vide, baby. It has one task, and one task alone...to make a silk purse (tender steak) out of a sows's ear (cheap chuck) and I'm believing it's gonna happen. I'll let you know how it goes.
And as a final note, how grand is it that it will cook dinner without either heating up the house via the oven or needing to physically go outside and turn the solar cooker every half hour or so to follow the sun while I'm cooking out there?