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Top round is a very lean but tough piece of meat that really shines with sous vide. After 1 to 2 days it turns very tender. As a definitely milder cut of meat, it can sometimes be on the dry side, so I like to pair it with a flavorful salad for a light summer meal. The peppery watercress combines with the earthy kale for a nuanced base salad that is brightened up with the lemon vinaigrette. Pomegranate seeds and berries add bursts of sweetness without overwhelming the taste of the steak.
Using sous vide to lightly poach tomatoes results in a tender and moist side dish. The tomatoes are just heated through, not broken down, so cooking them at almost any low temperature works well. I usually serve them with steaks so I cook them at 131°F (55°C) because I toss them in with the steaks at the end of their cooking time.
I first tried shakshuka at the Park Slope restaurant Miriam, which serves an amazing variety of Israeli foods for brunch. It's a hearty and filling meal that is still packed with fresh ingredients prepared simply. I've found sous viding the eggs adds a level of control to the process that I didn't have before with traditional poaching.
Crisp, tart pickles are a constant in my refrigerator but many store-bought brands are filled with sweeteners and stabilizers. Making sous vide pickles at home allows you to use only the ingredients you want and they are especially tasty when cucumbers are in season at the farmers' market.
Mango curries are sweet, fruity and spicy, and they pair wonderfully with roasted meats such as pork loin or chicken breasts. This curry recipe is one of my favorites and I use it on many week day meals, but if I'm having a party or nice dinner I like to fancy it up some by turning it into a hot foam that blows away my friends!
Chicken salad is a classic summer dish, but sometimes it can be a little dry and bland, and no amount of mayonnaise can save it. Using sous vide to cook the chicken is a great first step, resulting in always moist and tender meat. To bump up the flavor, I turn to fruit chutney and curry powder. Then I round it out and add a ton of texture with diced celery, carrots, grapes, apples and pecans. It's a dynamic, flavorful dish that everyone loves.
When it is done right, Puebla-style mole is one of my favorite sauces. This recipe is for a more traditional preparation than the milder and cloyingly sweet versions found at chain restaurants. It takes advantage of the different chile flavors and is very bold and full flavored. When you sous vide the chicken, the dish elevates to a whole new level. The sauce does take a decent amount of effort, but I'll often double or triple the recipe and store the remainder in plastic bags in the freezer so I can easily use it later. The sauce works exquisitely with shredded pork or chicken breasts and thighs.
Sous vide chicken breast is always flavorful and moist, but you don't always just want to eat it by itself. This recipe combines it with a simple vegetable stir fry that bulks it out and bumps the flavor, all the while still being super simple to put together. It's a great go-to weeknight meal when you want something easy to make that is still tasty.
Cauliflower might be on the bland side, but when sous vided then combined with chickpeas, cherry tomatoes and red bell pepper, it turns into a flavorful and filling side. With the addition of tart lime juice and spicy jalapeño pepper it's a complex dish that comes together in no time.
Earthy beets are a great combination with bright oranges and rich goat cheese. It is rounded out with some sweet balsamic vinegar and woody toasted walnuts. Beets work great with sous vide and turn out tender without drying out any.
This dish hinges on using the sweetest fresh corn and sous viding it. The sweetness of corn combined with the kick of ancho pepper powder with some sourness from feta cheese and lime zest makes for an amazing between-meals snack. Corn can vary widely in its tenderness, so it's often best to try a kernel raw before cooking it. This will give you an idea of how sweet and tender it already is and can inform your cooking time.
There are many really fancy things you can make with sous vide, but my favorite reason for using it is because it is so convenient! This recipe is a prime example. It takes perfectly cooked sous vide pork chops and combines them with a simple base of roasted vegetables on top of some bulgur with a tangy lemon vinaigrette drizzled over everything. It's a very quick and easy meal but the moist, tender pork chops turn it into an amazing dish, even for a weeknight.
This sous vide pickling recipe uses a higher temperature to soften up the vegetables. It works great with carrots, green beans, and other tougher vegetables. The timing varies based on the vegetable, but following the general guidelines in the Cooking by Tenderness article will help give you an idea. Personally, I usually go a little shorter so the vegetables have more crunch to them. You can also mix up the spices and herbs to create your own flavor profiles.
Pork minute steaks are thin, and often chewy, cuts of pork that usually have a lot of flavor. Using sous vide to tenderize them results in a really tasty and tender piece of meat. Here I use them as a topping for a lemon and pea fusilli. It's a dish filled with bright flavors and bursts of both sweetness and saltiness. It's one of my favorite light comfort foods.
It is safe to say that tofu isn't a favorite food of mine, but my father-in-law loves it and I wanted to try something special for him so I came up with this spicy tofu and kale bowl. Thanks to the Anova website I found a few variations on sous vide tofu recipes and adapted them to come up with this version.
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