By Joy Manning | Photography By Scott Suchman
Often, when a craving for global flavors sets in, you end up with a bag of greasy, unsatisfying takeout. But here’s a better way to break out of a dinner rut: dishes that sparkle with new flavor combinations and exotic spices. And with sous vide techniques in your arsenal, it’s even easier to get these delicious meals on the table.
These global dishes are inspired by cultures around the world. Balanced and elegant, they’re surprising in a way your everyday cooking might not be. And though these recipes aren’t health food, each one has at least one power ingredient that will let you level up your nutrition for the day. Turn to them when you’re craving a culinary spark, and you just might find yourself preparing them on a weekly basis while your delivery guy wonders if you moved away.
POBLANO CORN VELOUTE
Mexican flavors don’t begin and end with tacos. In fact, south-of-the-border staples like corn and poblano chiles can make for exceptionally well-balanced and creative dishes, including this soup. Sweet and spicy flavors combine in the bowl, garnished with a seasonal twist on salsa and crispy Parmesan. It’s a comforting dish brought to a new level with the addition of a creative charred pea salsa. In a pinch, you can focus your kitchen efforts on the salsa and purchase the Cuisine Solutions version of this soup, ready to heat and serve.
Famously nutritious and vibrant, the culinary traditions of the Mediterranean inspire cooks around the world. Here, those sunny influences converge in a dish that tastes clean and modern. This fresh take on a grain salad marshals the flavor-concentrating power of sous vide to balance the sweetness of watermelon with the syrupy tang of aged balsamic vinegar. Farro, cooked firm yet tender, gives this dish texture, heartiness, and a wonderful, nutty flavor. Peppery radishes, briny feta, and juicy tomatoes complement the dense texture of the compressed fruit and grain.
AMISH SOUS VIDE CHICKEN
The subtle use of Asian ingredients elevates a very American protein—Amish chicken. Instead of relying on the standard saltwater brine, this recipe seals chicken breasts inside a sous vide pouch with soy sauce and dried shiitakes. The result is meat that’s robustly seasoned and rich with umami. Cooking the chicken gently, sous vide style, prevents it from drying out and maintains the most optimal texture. A second round of shiitakes—fresh ones sautéed with butter and garlic—gives the finished dish even more earthy appeal. Asparagus spears wrapped in flaky pastry make for an elegant accompaniment.
WOOD SKIN HALIBUT & CHICKPEA SALAD
Middle Eastern ingredients like bright, fresh lemon and fiery harissa bring mild halibut filets to life on the plate. In this dish, cooking sous vide ensures perfect protein and unusually creamy and deeply flavorful chickpeas. Searing the halibut infuses the fish with smoky notes, while a legume-centric twist on tabbouleh tastes vivid and fresh thanks to crisp cucumber and ample fresh herbs. It’s the perfect light but satisfying supper.
This article originally appeared in Sous-Vide magazine’s Spring/Summer 2016 issue.
Leverage the flavor-boosting power of an immersion circulator to maximize the benefits of global spices like poblano pepper with this recipe for sous vide corn soup.
Compression makes the entire watermelon taste like the ultra-flavorful center. Celebrate the summer with this sophisticated and fresh salad.
This subtle use of Asian ingredients elevates a very American protein: Amish chicken.