Author: Norm King

Don’t dry cure your brine unless it’s in season

I should have stayed in school When I created the Facebook Group, it was never my intention to include curing and smoking as part of the dedicated list of topics. It wasn’t that I was unfamiliar. A couple of my friends who helped me put it all together were mildly interested in sv and much more so in the other topics. I realized that since sv in the home was almost unheard of, it might be a good idea to appeal to a somewhat larger demographic–and then lure them into sous vide later. Brilliant, but it still took us...

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The OTHER Mayo Clinic

In the name of all that is aioli… Members of our quasi-iconic Facebook Group are all too familiar with the recent discussions and even debates about the application of mayonnaise as a post process coating. The use of this oil/acid/egg yolk emulsion to create a finishing crust on foods is not new. As far back as the 70’s I remember recipes appearing on the packaging of well known brands advocating the use of mayonnaise and mayonnaise substitutes for assorted purposes. Long before that, Hollandaise sauce itself was used in classic French cooking to create the appearance of a crust, if...

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The Sous Vide Water Displacement Method (Thank you, Archimedes)

This article explains how to use a self sealing plastic bag for sous vide processing. Channel and chamber vacuum devices are readily available. Channel vacuums have become more reasonably priced over the years, but chamber vacuums are still several hundred dollars and neither is absolutely necessary for sous vide processing. Self sealing plastic bags can be effective for use in sous vide, especially for beginners who are not sure if they want to invest in channel or chamber vacuum devices. We want to remove as much air as possible from the bag so that heat from the bath is...

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Sous Vide: Rack of Oregon Lamb Stuffed with Spinach and Feta; Edible Eggplant Relish Agrodolce; Phyllo Crust

Enormous Oregon Lamb This entire rack of Oregon lamb weighed just a little over 3lb/1.4k. Considerably larger than the imported versions from New Zealand/Australia, Oregon lamb is developed using different breeds, different feed, and different ages. It is also seemingly expensive–$12/lb wholesale. That means one rack, eight ribs, costs almost $40. In most cases, it should serve at least three people, up to five. In a restaurant, your order of Oregon lamb will probably cost you between $25 and $60. This is because restaurants do not just buy food, cook it and sell it. They pay rent, electricity, gas,...

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Sous Vide Sensation: Beef in Phyllo Crust with Spinach and Feta

Part I We Have All Been Here Before Unless this is your first foray into sous vide, you are probably aware that sous vide effectively eliminates the difference between tough and tender. If this IS your first foray into sous vide, I will start by telling you that sous vide effectively eliminates the difference between tough and tender. With sous vide, the toughest of cuts become as tender as any cut that started out that way. In many cases, sous vide can  achieve this conversion of collagen to gelatin while still preserving the appearance of “rareness” typically limited to...

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Sous Vide Chuck Eye, Chicken Fried Steak, and the Backstory of Paillard

Crickets Chicken fried steak has a lot in common with Spaghetti Bolognese and Barbecued Spare Ribs. Huh? Come again? Whenever someone refers to these items (and many others), the room falls silent for a moment while everyone takes occasion to conjure up their most evocative recollection of the dish…the way Mom made it, the way their favorite diner makes it, or even the way that they THEMSELVES make it. What starts as an enthusiastic group hug quickly escalates into a debate replete with raised eyebrows and condescending smirks. Then the whole thing degenerates into a vitriolic argument with lots of...

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