Three weeks until Christmas! Have you been shopping?
This year we decided to only buy for one person, Secret Santa style. Takes some of the stress out of buying multiple gifts, and hopefully you can focus on getting that person what he or she REALLY wants.
It’s also great that we have less gift-buying stress this year given that the GS tore his meniscus last week playing basketball and needs to have surgery. I thought I spent enough time on crutches in 2018 for both of us but apparently not. So now I’ll be responsible for the Baltimore-Syracuse-Rhode Island-Long Island-Baltimore road tripping and he’ll be in a brace keeping his leg straight in the back seat with Louise.
I know he’s the injured party but I’m a little jealous of that last part.
Hopefully you are healthy and in the gift giving spirit, which is where this post may come in handy. A sous vide might sound like a super sophisticated kitchen tool owned only by the most experienced of home cooks. BUT. It’s actually the perfect gift for someone who is learning to cook or just looking to up their game.
One of the challenges of learning to cook meat, in particular, is how to know when things are done. Meats like chicken are particularly tricky because you actually cannot eat it “medium rare” but often by the time you get it all the way cooked through the outside is either burnt or dried out. The sous vide takes all the guess work out of that!
Basically it’s a tool that heats water to a consistent temperature, to the degree, and keeps it circulating around whatever you are cooking to get it to a precise temperature. My friend Tori bought us this one for our wedding and I looooove it.
You simply place the food in a plastic bag, removing all the air from it, and drop it in the water. A lot of sites will recommend a vacuum sealer but it really isn’t necessary. Just slowly lower it into the water with the zip still slightly open and that will ensure all the air gets out- zip it all the way closed just before it is fully submerged.
This pork tenderloin (seasoned with salt and pepper) cooked at 140 degrees for about 75 minutes. There are all sorts of handy guides on the internet to let you know the time and temperature depending on what you’re cooking and your desired done-ness. I like this one from The Food Lab.
Then you take it out and it looks like this. Pretty unappetizing.
Then you just heat up a skillet nice and hot with some oil and maybe butter and sear it alllll the way around until it has gorgeous color on it. I threw some leftover caramelized onions (who knew there was such a thing?) in the pan with it for extra flava.
That’s it! No worries about it being cooked through, or even over cooked with the browning- because the sous vide keeps all the juiciness inside.
The GS said this was the best pork he’s ever eaten, AND the best leftover pork he’s ever eaten when he finished it the next day. We’ve also done steaks and chicken thighs. Idiot proof every time.
Once again I’m not being sponsored here but I highly recommend this whether you’re doing that awful thing I do which is online Christmas shopping but you really end up just shopping for yourself, or that other thing where you buy people you love gifts they will love.
And pray that our left legs stay unharmed in 2019.