Author: Norm King

Sous Vide Chicken Cacciatore/Chausseur and the Saga of the Enterprising Woodsman

Back when people still had tails In my 20’s there was a fairly popular dish called Chicken Cacciatore. Ubiquitous in ersatz Eye-talian restaurants, it cluttered up a lot of “continental” menus as well. Back then we served a lot of quasi-French/International/American items like Stroganoff, Veal Oscar, Sole Meunière and Surf ‘n’ Turf. Versions of Cacciatore even showed up in cafeterias and buffets, of which there was an abundance in those days. Sometimes they called it Chausseur, which is the French word for Cacciatore, which is the Italian word for “Hunter” or idiomatically “Hunter style.” Chausseur usually omitted the tomatoes and...

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FAQS and the Norwood Method

Using one bath to prepare several steaks of different temps/appearance of doneness. This is called the Norwood method or principle after the first member that it dawned upon. Let’s say you’re having the in-laws over for dinner. As if that wasn’t bad enough, one of them likes their steaks well done, one of them likes them medium, and you and your significant other like them quite rare. Let’s say you have some scheduling issues as well, and you have to work today and then feed the brood tonight. Start your sous vide bath at the HIGHEST temperature that you...

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Sous Vide: Resolving the Brochette Boondoggle, the Kabob Conundrum

Bamboo stick to your principles. Almost every ambitious home cook has impaled raw meat and vegetables on a stick in an effort to bring a little bit of gleam to a dinner party or barbecue. The solemn yet festive off-loading of the food from the otherwise useless skewer evokes primal memories of the ancient hunt and the blazing communal fire depicted in cave-man movies. Once the painstaking assembly is completed, the looming challenge is to grill these disparate ingredients in such a way that they all achieve the same degree of doneness simultaneously. The cavemen were not able to...

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Sous Vide: Beef Flanken Short Ribs, Garam-ecue Style

We were as children As recently as the 1960’s, nobody wanted to advertise or even admit that a good restaurant might have an American chef instead of a French or at least “Continental” one. The record of dedicated American cooking is shorter than our European counterparts and imported culinarians viewed and treated us as wide-eyed and incompetent novices. Even now, Americans retain an inferiority complex about our culinary traditions. Things like Hamburgers and hot dogs (Frankfurters) were anxiously romanticized with vaguely foreign names. The French get credit for Fries, and when beef tenderloin appears on a menu, it is...

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Sous Vide: Chicken Marsala, Marsala Chicken?

A scallopini is not a cute little mollusk I get asked a lot of questions in SVR–Sous Vide Resources; Sous-B-Q™, Sans Vide™, Meat Curing and Smoking, the FB group that I’ve hosted for the last six or seven years. The questions are not always about sous vide, but most of them are about how to use sous vide to recreate classic dishes that predate the technology. There is a good reason for this. I reassure people that sous vide was never intended to replace all of our favorite dishes with something else. The fact is, many familiar dishes are improved...

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Buffalo Baby Back Wings, Potato Puffs

Hybridizing People who know me have heard (or read) me rail against traditionalism, authenticism, and purism. The idea that someone’s Marinara isn’t “real” or “authentic” unless it contains a certain thing or is prepared a certain way. People would have us think that all Italian grandmothers are robots, linked to some data server that prevents them from altering the formula and/or method. Do we believe that there was a defining moment in the distant pass when recipes were chiseled into stone tablets using lightning bolts hurled by ancient gods? That moment does not exist. Crossing your fingers does nothing Everything...

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