Friday, February 3, 2012

Sous Vide vegetables

With the sous vide experiments in full swing, it was time to turn attention to vegetables. I was inspired to do this when Chef Gilbert and I worked on this dinner together. There we had cooked parsnips sous vide and finished them in the oven - so why not other veg too?
The whole sous vide experiment is, for me, a way of making good stuff, freezing some and reheating/finishing when madame gets home from work. Think boil in the bag but with fresh, wholesome, natural ingredients.
Ingredients (for 4 portions)
4 leeks, white and light green parts only washed very thoroughly
2 fennel bulbs, quartered
8 medium carrots cut into batons 1"x1/4"x1/4"
4 red (sweet) peppers
1t coriander seed toasted and ground fine
1/4t cardomom seed toasted and ground fine
2t whole cumin seed toasted and ground fine
4 pieces of lemon grass
1 1/2 inch piece of fresh ginger, grated
1t vegetable oil
Salt/pepper as desired

Method (Sous Vide)
Set the circulator to 80C (175F).
Coat the vegetables lightly with oil and rub in the spices. Portion the vegetables into 2 gallon vacuum bags and pump out the air. Double seal the bags.
Place the bags in the circulator for 3 hours. Remove, plunge into an ice bath to cool. Freeze if desired.

Method (Finishing)
Thaw the bags (if previously frozen). Heat the oven to 375, place the thawed vegetables onto a sheet pan, and heat through in the oven, taking care not to allow the leeks/fennel to dry out. Serve piping hot with salt/pepper as desired.

The carrots were a little to dried out/woody. The oven really caused them to lose to much liquid. The other vegetables were excellent. tender, cooked through, strongly flavored. And best of all really simple to make.

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