Alex Schwichtenberg Wed/Thursday Kramer Sous Vide The technique sous vied was discovered by the Americans and French during the1960s and developed into an industrial food preservation method. The same one was then adopted by Georges Pralus in 1974 for the Troisgros in Roanne, France.
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By placing food in a water bath set to temperature set at the desired final cooking, thus eliminating possibility of over cooking. In conventional cooking, such as oven roasting or grilling, the food is exposed to higher levels of heat then final internal cooking temperature; the food then needs to be removed from the high heat prior to its reaching the desired cooking temperature. If the food can be removed from the heat too late and too early, undercooking and overcooking can be results. As a result of precise temperature control of the bath, very precise control of cooking can be achieved.
Thus cooking, can be very even throughout the food in sous vide cooking, even with irregularly shaped or very thick items, given enough time. The use of temperatures much lower than for conventional cooking is an equally essential feature of sous vide, resulting higher succulence and tenderness: at these lower temperatures, cell walls in the food do not burst. In the case of meat cooking, tough collagen in connective tissue can be hydrolyzed into gelatin, without heating the meat toughens and moisture is wrung out.
With the cooking of vegetables, when extreme mushiness is seen as undesirably overcooked, sous vide cooks vegetables at a temperature below the boiling point of water allowing the vegetables to be thoroughly cooked while keeping a firm or crisp texture. From the culinary view exclusion of air is secondary, but it has importance, it allows cooked food to be stored, still sealed and refrigerated, for considerable times, which is especially useful for the catering industry. Without oxygen from food that requires long cooking and is susceptible to oxidation, e. g. fat on meat, which may become rancid with prolonged exposure to air. The classic sous vide process involves two steps: Step One is vacuum sealing the food in bags. The term, "sous vide," or "under vacuum," though applied to the entire process, arose from just the vacuum seal method of just this first step. Step Two is the actual cooking for a prolonged time. A few sous vide foods are only subjected to Step One, a few are only subjected to Step Two, and many sous vide foods are never subjected to vacuum at all. Sous vide cookers can also step into the role of a bain-marie.
It sometimes can be desirable to have the food come in contact with the cooking liquid, as it can be an ingredient. At Thomas Keller's The French Laundry, their lobster tail are cooked into a sous vide cooker filled with Beurre monte as their heating medium. For steps One ; Two No Vac: Foods with liquids can be prepared for sous vide cooking in a normal water bath by placing them in zippered freezer bags, closing them most of the way, then gently evacuating the air until the liquid touches the zipper before completing the seal.
Food thus sealed is just as well prepared for sous vide cooking as that placed under a vacuum. Sous vide is becoming more popular with chefs today because foods can be cooked before service and heated to order
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