Just as Hugh Acheson brought a chef's mind to the slow cooker in The Chef and the Slow Cooker, so he brings a home cook's perspective to sous vide, with 90 recipes that demystify the technology for readers and unlock all of its potential.
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Whether he’s working with fire and a pan, your grandpa’s slow cooker, or a cutting-edge sous vide setup, Hugh Acheson wants to make your cooking life easier, more fun, and more delicious. And while cooking sous vide—a method where food is sealed in plastic bags or glass jars, then cooked in a precise, temperature-controlled water bath—used to be for chefs in high-end restaurants, Hugh is here to help home cooks bring this rather friendly piece of technology into their kitchens.
The beauty of sous vide is its ease and consistency—it can cook a steak medium-rare, or a piece of fish to tender, just-doneness every single time . . . and hold it there until you're ready to eat, whether dinner is in ten minutes or eight hours away. But to unlock the method’s creative secrets, Hugh shows you how to get the best sear on that steak after it comes out of the bath, demonstrates which dishes play best with extra-long, extra-slow cooking, and opens up the whole world of vegetables to a technology most known for cooking meat and fish.
Praise for Sous Vide
“High-end cooking comes to the home kitchen in this fun, clear approach to a gourmet technique. . . . [Hugh] Acheson writes with such charm that he can make warm water interesting.”—Publishers Weekly
Acheson writes with such charm that he can make warm water interesting an invaluable trait for this survey of sous vide recipes and methods. Similar to his approach toward another single appliance (in The Chef and the Slow Cooker), here seafood, fowl, meats, soup stocks, fruits, and vegetables all have their turn getting sealed in plastic bags and dropped into a heated bath. Some 90 dishes include pickled oysters, rabbit stew, and spiced red wine poached pears. Acheson shows his Canadian roots by adding a touch of maple syrup to the brine in his corned beef recipe, and his taste for Southern cuisine is represented with a relatively tame Nashville hot chicken. The consistent cooking temperature allows for such delicacies as a 63.5 C egg, the exact amount of heat needed to yield a yolk that is "soft and oozing" with a white that is "like a custard." The process nearly eliminates the risk of overcooking, though foods that require browning or a char get some quality time with fire. Ground beef in the classic cheeseburger, for example, reaches medium-rare perfection after a half-hour soak, then gets a quick sear in a scalding cast-iron skillet. High-end cooking comes to the home kitchen in this fun, clear approach to a gourmet technique.