Succulent Healthy Gourmet Meals Cooked From The Comfort Of Home
Ever wanted to make restaurant-standard meals in your own kitchen? Invest in a sous vide cooker and enjoy perfect homecooked food.
Sous vide cooking is causing a bit of a stir amongst gastronomes. The trend that promises tender cuts of meat, improved vitamin content in your vegetables and a gourmet standard of meals is attracting foodies left, right and centre. But what is sous vide cooking?
History Of Sous Vide Cooking
The origins of this style of cooking date as far back as the turn of the 19th century when Sir Benjamin Thompson came up with a method of low temperature cooking. This method was later developed further in the 1970s by George Pralus as a technique used in the Restaurant Troisgros in Roanne, France. He cooked foie gras in vacuum-sealed plastic bags and noticed that little fat was lost, while the meat retained its texture and appearance.
Since then, sous vide cooking has been used in top-class culinary establishments, although in recent years, the trend has entered the domestic environment. Sous vide cookers are more readily available for the general public and allow the creation of gourmet meals in a home setting.
Benefits Of Sous Vide Cooking
In sous vide, meats, seafood, vegetables or even fruit and eggs are put inside vacuum-sealed bags and placed in a water bath for an extended period of time. The food is cooked at a regulated low temperature, often for periods of one to seven hours, but sometimes for more than a day. By doing so, the food is heated evenly resulting in little moisture loss and ensuring that the inside is cooked thoroughly without overheating or causing damage to the outside of the produce.
For health enthusiasts, the nutritional content of the food is preserved. If you look at boiling your food as a comparison, then a study conducted in Germany found that between 22 to 34% of vitamin C would be lost when boiling or steaming vegetables such as broccoli. In sous vide, the nutrients are largely preserved.
Of course, when heating food in plastic bags, there are some safety concerns. These mainly surround the types of chemicals found in plastics that could leak into your food and be harmful to your general health. In particular, you should use BPA-free food storage bags that will prevent bisphenol-A and phthalates from seeping into your meals. You should also avoid those that contain PVC and use PE bags as a safe alternative. Ziploc bags are often used by sous vide practitioners as they are resealable and can be used for prolonged storage.
It’s easy to get stuck into making your first sous vide homecooked meal. First, select the meal that you would like to prepare. Grant Creative Cuisine offer many excellent sous vide recipes which will serve as inspiration. If you are interested in becoming a sous vide devotee in the long term, then investing in a specialist water bath will be essential. However, if you are just trialling this method and have a meal that only needs an hour or less of cooking time, then you can get away with purchasing some resealable bags and an immersion circulator device to keep a constant temperature in your container of choice.
Now it’s time to get stuck in. Wow your dinner guests with a succulent meal full of texture and nutrients!