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Surprisingly Sous Vide

Think sous vide is only for steak? Think again. There’s more magic in your kitchen’s circulator than you imagined.

By Marilyn Kitzes

Sure, sous vide is the ultimate tool for perfectly cooked meat, poultry, and pork. But it’s also a total winner for a host of items you may not have considered. Because of its incredible precision, sous vide has the ability to enhance the flavor of seafood, fruit, and vegetables, all while maintaining its nutritional value. When we boil or steam food, its vitamins and minerals get lost in the water. Not so with sous vide—all the goodness stays right in the bag. Here are some of our favorite recipes, made better by sous vide preparation.

oysters prepared with sabayon sauce and sea beans presented on a bed of sea salt

Oysters with Caviar, Compressed Sea Beans, and Champagne Sabayon
When you time oysters just right in a sous vide bath, you’ll find their shells are not only pop open more easily, they turn out more beautiful and plump—and with a more appealing texture—than with other cooking methods. This recipe, which is ideal for a special celebration, combines sea beans (you can also use thinly sliced caperberries or asparagus) with a sophisticated sabayon sauce. Divine!

Cherry Stone Clams

Cherry Stone Clams with Charred Corn and Poblano Salsa

Much like our oyster recipe, preparing clams sous vide creates the perfect texture and flavor—especially with this recipe, which is finished on the grill. Here, a white wine sauce is created incorporating garlic, saffron, bay leaves, red pepper, salt—and, of course, butter. The clams soak up the goodness of this broth, and then are charred on the grill for less than a minute, with remarkable results.

Grilled Salad with Beer-Honey Vinaigrette and Gouda Spread

We think Belgian endive, radicchio, and fennel aren’t “just right” until they get the sous vide treatment. Simply toss these leafy greens with light oil, salt, and pepper; place into separate pouches, and cook in a water bath for 45 minutes to lock in flavor. Finishing on the grill, you get a charred taste with the locked-in freshness of sous vide.

Pontarlier-Anis Branzino with Beurre Blanc and Fingerling Potatoes

Yes, you can prepare an entire fish—with a side—in your circulator. This intermediate-level recipe gets its flavor from stuffing the fish with simple bay leaves, garlic, lemon peel, and fennel. The potatoes maintain their earthy flavor with sous vide, too. By first gently flattening (so they cook evenly), cooking at a low temperature for three hours, then quickly broiling, these spuds are prepared to perfection. Drizzle on the exquisite butter and wine sauce and you’re done.

Sous-Vide Bread Pudding on plate with raspberries

Sous Vide Bread Pudding with Caramelized Peach and Bourbon Syrup

By cooking in a ramekin, sealing, and then placing in a water bath, you can create this traditional dessert. In this recipe, the bread pudding is cooked sous vide for two hours, then quickly finished under the broiler. The peach-bourbon syrup is also prepared sous vide, and when plated with fresh fruit and mint, creates a stunning presentation.

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Dedicated to the Art & Science of Sous Vide

The first publication devoted to the art and science of sous vide cooking, featuring innovative recipes, visual inspiration, expert techniques for cooking sous vide at home, and exclusive interviews with world-class chefs.