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Cooking with Monkey, Bass & Poisonous Jam


Robot Monkey
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Lots of comfort foods.

 

Mapo dofu, Charles Phan's braised Vietnamese shortribs, nduja-based pasta sauces, that sort of thing. We've been doing a lot of roasted cauliflower lately, loosely based on a method new to us.

 

Dunno about Christmas yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll be ribeye steaks, baked potatoes and brussel sprouts.

 

As for bread, with no stand mixer, you should try some of the no-kneads made in a cast iron dutch oven -- or another heavy pot.

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I've been thinking about Christmas meal(s) and have been thinking about sous vide cooking either prime rib or a tenderloin. I need to go over to Costco and see what looks good. The only problem is it's just me and the wife this year (thanks, COVID!!), so anything is going to be huge. For that reason, I'm leaning tenderloin as I can cook part and freeze part quite easily. A nice chimichurri and some roasted veggies will pair quite well!

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18 minutes ago, jubjub75 said:

I've been thinking about Christmas meal(s) and have been thinking about sous vide cooking either prime rib or a tenderloin. I need to go over to Costco and see what looks good. The only problem is it's just me and the wife this year (thanks, Vivid), so anything is going to be huge. For that reason, I'm leaning tenderloin as I can cook part and freeze part quite easily. A nice chimichurri and some roasted veggies will pair quite well!

 

If you're talking about a whole beef tenderloin, my usual process with those is buy them when they go on sale and break them down into steaks/roasts.  There's a bit at the end that's a little larger that makes a nice small roast for 2 that I've done in a cast iron pan (sear and then finish in the oven).  Realized after doing that the last time a couple weeks ago that I should have just sous-vided it.  I've actually started freezing steaks pre-seasoned in vacuum bags, and have thrown them directly into the SV frozen and they've worked out great. 

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15 minutes ago, ChrisBardon said:

I've actually started freezing steaks pre-seasoned in vacuum bags, and have thrown them directly into the SV frozen and they've worked out great. 

 

That's exactly what I do. I increase the time to 1.5x to account for defrosting. So if I normally shoot for an hour, I'll go for 1 1/2 hours.

 

IMG_20180720_164314.thumb.jpg.a971af99b1e636ae6aadba2f6b18622a.jpg

 

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9 hours ago, kelley said:

I need to get me a SV and a vacuum sealer. What are you rocking Jay?

 

Sous vide is Anova Nano. I also have an Anova wifi/bluetooth model, but it's only advantage (that I can see) is the better depth adjustment. I don't give a shit about the connectivity or the apps, so I always use it in manual mode.

 

Vacuum sealer was a very old FoodSaver (probably from Costco) and was replaced recently with another FoodSaver (definitely from Costco).

 

The other stuff you need is minor. I use Cambros from restaurant supply and a very small Cambro-type container for smaller volume cooking.

 

If something is very fatty or just wants to float, I  put a glass plate on top to weigh it down. Sometimes I'll attach a big binder clip to the bag and slide a heavy spoon through it. I also have 3 Chef's Presses that I'll probably use in the future, but that's hardly a must-have.

 

I'll often make a dessert like creme brulee or chocolat pot de creme or deconstructed pumpkin pies. For that I use Ball 4 oz jam jars. And a torch for the creme brulee.

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One of my favorite Youtube channels is Sous Vide Everything. It's about a Brazilian, Guga, who does exactly what the video says. He has a sister channel called Guga Foods. I recommend both. He does a lot of experimental and typical food preparations.

 

For finishing Sous Vide Foods, he uses a Searzall and a Butane torch (I have that torch, but I use it for dessert applications).

 

What do you use to finish Sous Vide, Jay?

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For finishing I have 3 methods I use, depending:

 

1. Fire up coals in my chimney starter, drop a small grate on top when they're ready and sear away. For steak it takes like 10 seconds a sides and edges.

 

2. Pour out the coals, drop a cast-iron skillet right on top and butter baste.

 

3. Sear in cast iron in ghee on top of the range.

 

Number 3 is my last choice -- our shitty "exhaust" fan can't keep up. That's just for rainy days.

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I ended up with a 4.3 lb beef tenderloin. I think I’m going to cut it in half and SV half for Christmas and smoke the other half for New Year’s. My wife wanted mashed potatoes, so we got one of the big heat and serve things from Costco, which also means there will be plenty of leftovers for potato pancakes the next day.

 

Currently have a batch of non-spicy Chex Mix in the oven for dropping off at my parents and in-laws (none of them can handle more than mild) and then making a spicy batch this weekend with gochujang for us and a few friends (dropping off). If you haven’t made Chex Mix with gochujang before, get on it. I made a batch a few weeks ago, and it might be the best batch I’ve ever made. Smokey, garlicky, medium spice...it was delicious and I was sad when it was gone.

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BTW, a tip for sous vide owners: Use it to keep certain things hot before service.

 

Gravy, sauerkraut, especially mashed potatoes. I'll make mashed potatoes when I feel like it (hour or two early), seal it in a bag and chuck it in a hot bath. Not only are they hot and when ready when you are, but they don't dry out or get gummy.

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4 hours ago, Robot Monkey said:

Wow, gochujang Chex Mix sounds very tasty! Do you have a recipe?

I followed this ingredient list (but doubled the gochujang), but baked it in the oven instead of the slow cooker: 250 degree oven, bake for 15 minutes, stir, another 15 minutes, stir, rinse and repeat until it's very dry (typically about 1 1/2 hours). I use a big roaster pan, but sheet pans would work just as well.

 

https://www.annewolfepostic.com/slow-cooker-gochujang-chex-mix

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4 hours ago, Robot Monkey said:

BTW, a tip for sous vide owners: Use it to keep certain things hot before service.

This actually brings up a question I've had since I got he SV earlier this year-what things have you found that suffer being left in too long?  The way I understand the physics, once everything reaches equilibrium, the temperature is going to stay constant, so as long as the bags are sealed, leaving a steak in for, say 5 hours instead of 2 should have no effect?  Main reason I'm wondering is for times when I want to throw something in earlier in the day and have it ready for dinner.  I read that sausages tend to get mealy, but I've had ribs in for 18 hours, and frozen steaks in for 3, and so far they've been fine.

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1 hour ago, ChrisBardon said:

This actually brings up a question I've had since I got he SV earlier this year-what things have you found that suffer being left in too long?  The way I understand the physics, once everything reaches equilibrium, the temperature is going to stay constant, so as long as the bags are sealed, leaving a steak in for, say 5 hours instead of 2 should have no effect?  Main reason I'm wondering is for times when I want to throw something in earlier in the day and have it ready for dinner.  I read that sausages tend to get mealy, but I've had ribs in for 18 hours, and frozen steaks in for 3, and so far they've been fine.


Extreme time absolutely has an effect on the quality of things - Serious Eats has a great info dump on the amount of juice expelled by a chicken breast cooked at different times. 
https://www.seriouseats.com/2015/07/the-food-lab-complete-guide-to-sous-vide-chicken-breast.html

 

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