Saturday, February 16, 2013

Chef Jeff's Kitchen: Sous Vide Short Ribs

Chef Jeff has been busy in the kitchen and with his power tools. He made a temperature regulator to hack our crock pot into a sous vide machine. Sous vide is a method of cooking food in an airtight bag submerged in a water bath kept at a precise temperature. It keeps your meat super tender and juicy since the high heat you normally cook with causes the muscles of the meat to constrict and get tough. You can take the cheapest cuts of meat and make them as tender as a fifty dollar steak. You may be thinking to yourself, "I don't have hours to spend in the kitchen." But sous vide is like a glorified crockpot. You set it and forget it. A chicken breast cooks for about an hour and a half. You throw the meat and seasonings into the bag and set the timer. Once it's done you can give the meat a quick sear. It's really pretty simple and always turns out perfectly. We cook almost all our meat this way now, and haven't looked back.

This baby is the 72 hour short rib. Yes, 72 hours is a long time, but you wouldn't believe how tender, juicy, melt in your mouth it is when it comes out. We salt and pepper, vacuum seal, then throw it in the sous vide at 60 degrees Celsius.

Three days later we pull it out, blot it dry, saute in some oil with butter and garlic, and then torch it. 

Crispy on the outside. Medium on the inside. And it falls apart like you braised it. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. 

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Valentine's Day

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Amazing No Knead Bread

I can't even count how many times I've made this bread. It is one of our family favorites and is always a big hit for company. The best part about this recipe is how easy it is to make. First start with 3 cups of all purpose flour, add 1 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon yeast. Mix it all together with a fork then add 1 1/2 cups of water. Stir until the water is evenly distributed. It will look something like this. 

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap, let it sit on your counter for 12-24 hours, and then put it in your fridge for 3-5 days. Letting it sit allows the dough to develop a great malty flavor. It will look kind of scary when you pull it out, but don't worry, it is going to taste great. 

When you are ready to bake it, pull your dough out of the fridge and let it sit for a couple of hours to come back up to room temperature. Form your dough into a bun and place it on parchment paper. It is going to be a big sticky mess, so by using parchment paper you won't have to touch your dough again when it's time to put it in the oven. Sprinkle some flour over the top to make it look pretty and let your dough rest for about half and hour while your preheat he oven. 

Preheat your oven with your pan in it to 450 degrees. This way it's nice and hot for your dough. I use a dutch oven, but you can use anything with a lid. I've even used a pyrex pan with a foil tent over it. Just try to seal the edges of the lid so the steam gets trapped, which makes the crust gets nice and crispy.

Pick up your dough by holding the edges of your parchment paper and carefully lower all of it into your pan. Cover and bake for 30 minutes, remove the lid and cook for 15 minutes more. The internal temperature should be at about 209 degrees. 

3 cups unbleached all purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast
1 1/2 cups water

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Practice Makes Perfect

All that laugh practice seems to have paid off. 

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Almost Crawling

Thinking about it... 

Okay, we still have some work to do.