The Sous Vide Experiment

Can I just say how much I want to do all of the projects and all of the cooking after Christmas?! Barrett and I both received so many new toys and we are itching to play with them. And eventually master them, but that will take some time.

Especially if I am going to master cooking sous vide.

I was too intimidated by sous vide to even explore it at first. Now that I have a bit more free time for cooking and hobbies though, I put this on my Christmas wish list. I’m now the proud owner of an Anova sous vide immersion circulator – wifi enabled, of course. Because what would you do without a smart immersion circulator?!

I’m also super grateful for Sous Vide at Home.

It has a few recipes, but is more of a guide than a cook book. Each section (eggs, poultry, meats, etc.) has a brief intro to help you understand the science and the value of precision cooking. When I asked for this book, I did not know it had a cocktail section but what do you think I made first?

COFFEE CARDAMOM BITTERS, BABY.

This was an easy choice because 1- we love bitters, 2- the recipe only took one hour, and 3- we had all four of the ingredients at home (coffee beans, cardamom pods, dark brown sugar, and dark rum). We were SO intrigued by this method of making bitters, since traditional methods include shaking room temperature mason jars for weeks. The final product of this recipe is already on our bar top!

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Reaction to Sous Vide: The tool was intuitive and easy, but it kept disconnecting from the phone app. I had to work to get the bag to sink and be fully immersed – Barrett had the great idea to add whiskey stones (food safe, don’t absorb flavor) to the bag, which worked great! We also loved being able to make a small batch (less waste if you are experimenting) and use regular proof liquor. (The recipes we are used to in Brad Thomas Parsons’ book call for over-proof liquors that you water down later in the process.)

Reaction to the bitters: This recipe seemed like more of an infusion to me. Maybe the coffee I used was just not bitter enough. The flavor is great, but it is much less complex than what we have come to expect from a bottle of bitters. We are already planning an apples-to-apples comparison where we will make the same recipe both ways.

What next? My first go at steak was rough so I’m staying focused on the good stuff: cocktails and creme brulee. More to come!

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