I love to learn cooking techniques — it’s the scientist in me — knowing the “why” behind the technique so that I can create the best possible outcome. The classes that are most memorable to me from my school career have always been my science lab classes, with an emphasis on chemistry lab (although strangely I did not care for the chemistry class itself).
I had been looking at sous vide immersion circulators for quite some time (entranced by the ever growing science-related molecular gastronomy world), wanting to dip my toes into this realm of cooking. I was planning to focus on more technique-related cooking this year with Ruhlman’s focused technique books (yes it goes over much of what I know, but I like structured approaches)(it’s my way of going to culinary school without quitting my job!), until I saw that Sur La Table had the Sansaire on super duper sale during the holiday season. Of course I put it right at the top of my Christmas list, and my husband, who loves to benefit from the cooking experiments, got me one!
Sous Vide Salmon is my first effort. If you haven’t thought of using an immersion circulator, I can’t encourage you enough. This salmon was the perfect essence of itself. So flavorful. Perfectly cooked. So tender that it melted in my mouth. It was seriously the best fish I have ever cooked. I didn’t even need to worry about over cooking it (though I was anxious about leaving it in the water bath for too long… something I can get past with time).
I followed the technique from the free class “Cooking Sous Vide: Getting Started” by the folks at ChefSteps.com — the same team that wrote “Modernist Cuisine”. My 2016 goal is to start into “Modernist Cuisine at Home”, so I hope to get a foot hold on some of the techniques in 2015, starting with sous vide, which I am super excited to try.
I did not serve the salmon with the mashed peas that Chef Steps recommends, but rather blanched a pound of asparagus (I know, I know — it’s not in season, but I was craving it), pureed it in my food processor, brought it to a simmer in a stove-top pot, added 4 tbs of butter, and then seasoned it to taste with salt and pepper. Serve it under the salmon. Again, the perfect essence of asparagus (and is not as good as when it is in season!)
I can’t wait to share more of my sous vide experiments with you this upcoming year!