Thursday, July 7, 2011

Spring Vegetable Sous-Vide

Picadilly Farm wins the food porn award this week, with these beautiful bunches of spring carrots ("Napoli"), leeks ("Varna"), and radishes ("French Breakfast"). A special preparation was obviously called for.

Jack suggested sous-vide. After the time Jack cooked a turkey in his parents' bathtub, they gifted him with the hardware for a rice cooker sous-vide hack (sort of like this one). We've recently been experimenting with sous-vide steak (pretty darn good) and salmon (amazing), and we'd heard that the technique works well with root vegetables.

I used the Serious Eats recipe for sous-vide carrots, vacuum-sealing them in bags (with salt, sugar, and butter) and submerging them in 183-degree water for an hour. (Unsurprisingly, I elected not to do the recommended faux-tourne cut. In fact, I might have left a couple inches of the tops and roots on.)

And ... well, they tasted like fresh vegetables cooked with lots of salt, sugar, and butter. A nice thing, but maybe not the highest calling of a thirty-eight-cup rice cooker. They did have a nice crisp-tender even-throughout fancy-restaurant thing happening (restaurants sous-vide vegetables because they'll hold forever without overcooking, which is a good thing when you're serving dinner over several hours), but our guests were more awed by the supreme inedibility of the escarole and radicchio I cooked alongside (more on that to come).

P.S. Sous-vide makes this list of 2011's ten worst food trends.

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