Wednesday, December 9, 2009

More Sous Vide Shortcuts

Since I made a batch of nose-searing mustard I decided it was time to eat a bunch of sausages. I bought some Italian sausages and packaged them up with my food saver. Threw some in the freezer and some in the Sous Vide at 165'. Then they're all cooked and ready to be popped into the microwave for a fast reheat and doused in my lovely mustard. So easy!

Another shortcut to mention is in fermenting things. I keep the house around 68 degrees in the winter which is kind of cool if you're trying to make a batch of Creme Fraiche or kefir. So I put whatever I'm cultivating into a jar and set it in the Sous Vide at 80-86 degrees and it goes much faster than letting it happen at 68 degrees.

Right now I'm trying to resurrect some kefir grains I had dried from several years ago. I'm not sure it's going to work but I got a quart of milk and I'm going to give it a try. My hope is to use it to make some sour dough starter using coconut flour. This is a project I only give a small chance of success, on many levels.

If I were eating yogurt then the SV would be absolutely awesome. Heating the milk to 85c (185f) according to this article about yogurt observed under an electron microscope puts more nubbies (lack of scientific term entirely my fault) on casein molecules which means your yogurt will be thicker and nicer. So, if you're doing Sous Vide, give it a shot! The recommended temperature is 185-194 degrees for 10 minutes. Let it cool, of course, before adding in your starter. Then you could stick it back in the SV for 12 hours or however long you like to culture it, but at 80 degrees or thereabouts.

How to Make Creme Fraiche

I suppose it's cruel of me to mention making creme fraiche and not tell you how I do it. I don't know exactly how authentic this method is but it is what I do, or did rather, I don't use dairy products much any longer. I take about a cup or two of heavy cream and add about 1 Tbl of sour cream, or cultured buttermilk, per cup of cream. Mix well and let it sit until it becomes very thick. This ordinarily takes a few days but in the SV at 80-86 degrees it doesn't take so long. Maybe 24 hours. Refrigerate after it thickens up. It gets even thicker.

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