Last week I participated in a fun designer event sponsored by Signature Kitchen Suite/SKS. SKS is an innovative kitchen appliance company in the luxury design market. Their appliances are not only beautiful to look at, but also tech driven and gourmet inspired.
Before now, my only exposure to “Sous Vide” cooking was references heard on cooking shows like Chopped and others. I vaguely knew it was sort of like a professional chef’s version of boiling bag cooking. But I didn’t truly understand what the purpose was. Until now. In conjunction with Design Hounds, whose tours I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of back when we could travel, I was lucky to be one of a group of 50 designer/blogger/influencers gathered to learn about Sous Vide cooking. What is it? Sous Vide is French for “Under Vacuum” – meaning food is cooked in a plastic back, often vacuum packed, and then immersed in a warm temperature controlled bath and cooked for a long period at a low temperature. Low and slow, under water.
SKS’s ranges and cooktops include integrated Sous Vide baths which is wonderful for a dedicated home cook. But what of the rest of us? There is a small appliance to do the trick! SKS partnered with ANOVA Culinary on a hand held Sous Vide wand – Precisions Cooker Nano.
Each participant in this event was sent an amazing package including the Sous Vide wand and all the fixings to make Limoncello (usually something that takes months) and from there a spritzer that we all made together on a big zoom call last Friday. After a year of shut downs and no travel, or visiting, or industry events, this was probably the most fun I’ve had in a year!
The sous vide wand is a simple hand size device which clamps onto the side of a stock pot (so no, you don’t need to hold it the whole time!).
You can see below my limoncello being made with the Sous Vide wand which heats the water and also gently agitates it. While vacuum bags are preferable as you do want to remove as much air as possible, a double zipper freezer Zip Lock bag works as well. The water temps are low enough that cooking in plastic isn’t a problem.
The lemon/vodka mixture cooked in the bath for 3 hours and was then strained and frozen for a few days. A much quicker process than normal for making Limoncello.
I also tried my hand at making a burger and teryaki chicken thighs this week. The low and slow process results in evenly cooked and very tender meats. The burger, while very rare, was fully cooked through and the chicken was fully cooked and cut-it-with-a-fork tender. I then finished off both in a hot pan to sear the outsides. Yes, the burger was very, very rare, but since I always undercook burgers and often have to nuke it to finish the cooking once I’ve bitten in, I can say that while red, it was fully cooked and warm throughout. Cooking at a slightly higher temperature and then pan searing for a little longer would push to medium versus rare. Many restaurants use the Sous Vide method to pre-cook foods and then finishing to order, resulting in consistent and delicious results.
Our Friday night Zoom cocktail party was a fun virtual get-together where we learned more about Signature Kitchen Suites products and innovations (pretty mind-blowing, actually) and then resident Chef Nick demonstrated some cooking techniques from the SKS Experience and Design Center in Napa.
The cocktail was truly delicious as was the company! If you’re on Instagram, check out #sksCheers to see all the beautiful photography and food styling skills of my fellow participants.
Thank you Signature Kitchen Suite and Design Hounds for including me in the fun event. The whole thing brought a lot of lemony sunshine to my week – something sorely needed in the middle of winter during a pandemic! (Note, aside from the gift box mentioned above, no other consideration was received in exchange for this post and this post was not a requirement of participation. My views are my own).
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