Sous-Vide and Cheesecake . . .

Jan and I headed out a little before 2 pm for couple of clients and dinner, with my first stop being at a client’s home office.

They’re out of  town until the end of the year, but I do so much work for them, I have access to a key. The problem was that while I was on the road this past year, the two-line phone system I had installed several years ago, had gotten zapped somehow.

Apparently they tried to replace it themselves, but just managed to screw up their phone lines, so they disconnected everything and left it for me to sort.

Oh, and even better, they lost the manual. But lucky for me, they have this thing called the Internet that let’s me just download another one.

Then it was on to another client for a few minutes to straighten out a printing problem. Turns out that someone had been playing with the network settings on the computer and it couldn’t see the remote printer anymore. But it’s fixed now.

Leaving the client’s, Jan and I headed over to the Cheesecake Factory to meet our friend’s Bob and Maria, and Connie, and her mother. We had decided to eat early, about 4pm, because just a little later they were on a wait.

Along with the good meal, we had such a good time talking and reminiscing, that we spent about two hours there before we finally left. We also made plans to meet again at King Food in two weeks for another get-together. We’re looking forward to it.

Next up was a quick stop by Brandi’s to pick up the mail and some Amazon packages that had come in. Then it was right down the road to the Sam’s Club to pick up some vitamins. And then finally back to the rig for the night.

I came across something interesting the other day. It’s how to cook meat in a Beer Cooler. Of course, in the world of haute cuisine, it has to have a fancy name. And in this case, it’s called “Sous-Vide”. Which, I think is French for “Cooking in a Beer Cooler”, but I could be wrong about that. Apparently restaurants have been doing this for years using a specialized appliance that cost around $500.

Basically the idea is to immerse your meat, packaged  in vacuum-sealed, or even ziplock,bags, in water held at the temperature you want meat to end up at.

For example, a rare steak should be cooked to an internal temperature of 125 degrees. So you immerse your steak in 130 degree water (to allow for a slight cool-down from adding the cold meat) and leave it in the closed cooler for about an hour.

Your meat will come up perfectly cooked, edge to edge, and moist and flavorful. And even better, because the meat cannot overcook, it can be held for several hours without losing quality or flavor. It’s for this that many high-end restaurants use their Sous-Vide cookers.

They can have five different ones, each set for the required temperatures for rare, medium rare, medium, etc. Steaks are held in the cookers all evening, perfectly cooked. As they’re needed, they’re pulled out of the cookers, thrown on a hot grill for 30 seconds on each side to char the outside, and off to your table it goes, perfectly done and delicious. According to the article, the process is also good for tenderizing tough cuts as well.

Vegetables also come out moist and flavorful, but since they require higher water temps and longer cooking times, you’ll probably need the real machine.

So if you’ve got a beer cooler and a steak, have at it. Just be sure to invite me over when dinner’s ready.

Thought for the Day:

Those of us who work for a living are almost outnumbered by those who vote for a living.



2 Responses

  1. I don’t think the Weber Company has anything to worry about.

  2. Oh, that is too funny. I happen to know the man who invented this cooking apparatus–he is the son-in-law of my best friend Kelly. Extremely intelligent man, personable with a beautiful wife, and three beautiful little children. He’s been featured on the Food Network. Met him at a wedding in Sept. in Kansas City.

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