Sous Vide: Gourmet Everyday
You’ve just planned a dinner party, no big deal, because you’re an adult who can handle cooking for a group of people…right? Shake off the jitters, because we’ve got your new best “sous” chef right here. The Dash Chef Series Sous Vide Circulator makes every dish a gourmet, and all you have to do is press a button.
So what is sous vide anyway?
The term sous vide actually means “under vacuum” in French. When you cook sous vide, you actually pack the ingredients in a vacuum bag, or a sealed bag, and cook the sealed ingredients in a water bath. This allows the flavors to really become absorbed into the food. Cooking an ingredient using the sous vide method involves keeping the temperature at a steady and precise setting over a certain period of time, cooking the ingredient to the perfect desired level of doneness. Precise temperature control combined with a specific cooking time allows you to have optimal control over your meal, without having to actually do a thing!
Why should I use the sous vide method?
The sous vide produces consistent, tasty results that actually reduces waste as the food retains its natural juices and is cooked to the perfect level of doneness. The sous vide appliance brings your ingredients to a set temperature and keeps the heat steady, eliminating the possibility of overcooking. As a result, the steak that is cooked with your sous vide will hold its volume, moisture, and lock in the savory flavor of the meat, while the steak that is pan-cooked loses volume as it dries out.
How do I sous vide?
The process could not be more simple. Take your Dash Chef Series Sous Vide Circulator and place it in a pot of water. Seal your ingredients in a vacuum bag. Set the time and temperature to your preferred levels and place your sealed ingredients in the water bath. Your sous vide will do the rest, and let you know when your ingredients are done! Seal. Set. Sit back and relax. It’s a hard life, we get it.
What do I do with the vacuum bags, exactly?
Your Dash Chef Series Sous Vide Circulator comes with 10 reusable vacuum bags and a handy pump. You can use these bags to seal ingredients for more flavor. Add your ingredients to the bag and seal it. You can use the pump to really pack in the flavors, but it’s not necessary. Then pop the bag in your water bath and you’re ready to sous vide.
But are the plastic bags safe?
Yes, these plastic bags are safe. The sous vide vacuum bags are made of a special plastic that is safe for cooking. We’ve experimented cooking with the sous vide circulator at Dash and we feel perfectly safe using the vacuum bags.
If you want to use different bags; ziplock-style bags work perfectly fine for sous vide purposes. The only issue when using these bags is if temperatures exceed 158℉. At this degree of heat, the seams can rip and expose the food to water in the bath.
If you aren’t into the idea of using plastic bags when you sous vide, an alternative is using canning jars. Make delicious custards, pâtés; and even yogurt when you use canning jars and prepare delicious sous vide eggs. One issue we found is that using canning jars to sous vide meats can take a very long time. We recommend that you use vacuum bags to sous vide your meat, unless you’ve got a lot of Netflix binge-ing to do!
Isn’t the plastic and water wasteful?
At Dash, we try to be as environmentally conscious as possible. Our vacuum bags are reusable and sturdy, so that you don’t have to go out and buy more bags.
As far as wasting water goes, the water used when you sous vide is perfectly sanitary, providing there are no leaks. After you sous vide, you can repurpose the water however you like! Wash your dishes, make a little bubble bath for your hands, or sous vide one more time just for fun!
What are some good tips?
Tip # 1: Use oil and add flavor. When you add oil to the vacuum bag, especially with delicate ingredients, the ingredients move easily and absorb more flavor. Adding spices and using delicious marinades helps to keep your ingredients juicy and full of punch!
Tip # 2: Don’t pack it all in. This is especially important when you sous vide fish or vegetables. While a steak is more sturdy, a piece of salmon demands a little more TLC. Instead of packing multiple fillets into one vacuum bag, simply place in two or three. Then, place three more in a different bag. If you have a relatively large pot of water, the task should be totally doable!
Tip # 3: Finish meats by searing them in a pan to achieve that indulgent crust. Veggies can be packed with flavors like herbs, oils, and vinegar to make your vegetarian meals feel like a gourmet experience!
Recipe ideas? We’ve got em’ here to start.
Garlic Herb Butter Steaks
4 filet mignon steaks – about ½ lb each
freshly ground pepper
2 tbsp of butter
1 clove of garlic finely minced
2 tbsp of chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
1-2 tbsp of vegetable oil
Fill a pot with cold water. Season your steaks with salt, pepper, and a small amount of garlic powder. Set your Dash Chef Series Sous Vide Circulator temperature based on your preference for rare, medium-rare, or medium (see our included chart for details). When the water is heated, place your seasoned steaks in vacuum seal bags and place the bags into the heated pot with your sous vide. Cook for about 1 hour at 130℉ for medium-rare results.
While the steaks are cooking, prepare the garlic butter. Mix the softened butter with minced garlic, a pinch of salt, and parsley.
Remove the steaks after 1 hour. Heat a cast iron skillet over high heat with 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the oil is smoking, quickly sear your steaks on each side, about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Top steaks with butter compound, let rest and serve.
1 cup cauliflower florets
½ cup carrots sliced into matchsticks
½ cup zucchini matchsticks
¼ cup green beans
¼ cup snap peas
2 tsp olive oil
1 tbsp curry powder
1 tsp kosher salt
Fill the pot with warm water and set your Dash Chef Series Sous Vide Circulator to 180ºF. Place all the green vegetables in one bag and the others in a separate bag. In a small bowl, mix remaining ingredients into a marinade and split evenly between the two bags. Vacuum seal each bag.
Cook the green vegetables for 15 minutes, and the other vegetables for an additional 5 minutes (20 total). Remove bags and serve hot as a savory side dish.