Author: Norm King

Sous Vide: The Quarantine Series, Part 14: Veal Breast

Dateline, 6/19/2020: If you’ve been following along in the Quarantine series (linked at the bottom of the page), you know that I came upon some reduced pricing on specialty meats as a result of the pandemic driven restaurant industry collapse. Veal breast is one of those things you really never see on retail OR wholesale inventory lists. The term itself refers to the anatomical equivalent of a beef brisket with the bones still attached. It looks vaguely similar to pork spare ribs, again, as a result of a general anatomical correspondence. In traditional cuisine, veal breast was usually stuffed,...

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Sous Vide: The Quarantine Series, Part 13B: Smoked Chicken Wings

Dateline, 6/11/2020: The folly of the ancients I hate to admit that I’ve been around so long. So long, in fact, that when I worked in the French restaurant in the 70’s, we boned out whole chickens for Coq au Vin and threw away the wings. It was I who dreamed up the idea of at least serving them to the help. Wings had not hit the bar scene yet. They were served in Chinese restaurants, Frenched to look like baby drumsticks. Everything has changed, that is for sure. Right now they have wings in the store, but they...

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Sous Vide: The Quarantine Series, Part 13: Chicken Wings Crispy Style

Dateline, 6/11/2020: Wings most fowl Boneless chicken breasts have been in short supply around here. The wholesale to the public warehouse’s choices were so limited, wings were just about the only option. Not that I don’t like wings. But if there are wings available, where are the breasts from those chickens? Are the puppet masters hoarding chicken breasts now so they can gouge us at the register later? No shortage of conspiracy theories these days. The realization that there are no games on while I wolf the wings down fills me with a certain emptiness. Another sign of the...

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Sous Vide: Top Sirloin; Culotte/Picahna 2020

Stop the insanity No, this is not another high volume, blind ambition driven self help program designed to jump start our true potential as hard driving individualists. This is a recipe/article about how to sous vide process and then finish a particular cut of meat. There is, however, some controversy. People argue ad infinitum about what qualifies as a picahna, what it should look like, how it should be cut, how it should be cooked, how it should be served, and even whether it is tough or tender. The debate extends to its actual spelling, either picahna or picanha....

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Sous Vide Shocking Options: The Quarantine Series, Part 12: Beef Hanger Steak

Dateline, 5/28/2020: Don’t leave me hanging In the 70’s, long before we were so painfully familiar with words like “pandemic,” “quarantine,” and “social distancing,” I worked for a Swiss chef. When he said “steak” he meant only one thing–a “New York” steak, aka strip steak, shell steak, Kansas City steak, etc. Everything else was either a filet, an entrecĂ´te or a top sirloin. Clearly, his interpretation was the exception. Meat departments call all kinds of things “steak.” I suppose they hope that less experienced shoppers will take this to mean the cut is wonderfully tender all on its own....

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Sous Vide: The Quarantine Series, Part 11: Beef Rib Eye Steak, ad infinitum

Dateline, 5/25/2020: Ribs and Eyes, Eyes and Ribs I don’t remember if I suspected that there would be a beef shortage or if I just bought a lot of meat on impulse. Either way, I seem to have stumbled backwards into having a freezer full. I do remember the price on lip-on ribs (whole boneless rib eyes) bottoming out before the pandemic. How can you have TOO MANY rib eyes on hand? Good thing I did whatever I did, because the shelves in the stores are pretty barren. I settled on the first thing that hit my hand when...

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