The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals
While shopping at Costco this weekend, I was killing some time looking at their cookbooks while my wife was shopping for some clothes for the girls. I came across this cookbook by Lisa Q. Fetterman called Sous Vide at Home, picked it up, thumbed through some pages and decided I had to have it.
I know I can find just about everything I need to know about sous vide online at one of the many incredible websites featuring this cooking method but there was just something I liked about this book. The recipes looked interesting and the food photography was amazing.
Every page I turned the photography was more beautiful than the next. I would have purchased this book just to get ideas for setting up food shots, the plating and the lighting. Just fantastic.
Lisa Q. Fetterman is the main author and also the co-founder and CEO of Nomiku, the manufacturer of the "first home immersion circulator". OK, I guess she knows what she's talking about.
She has a BA in journalism from New York University and has worked at some incredible restaurants including Babbo and Jean-Georges in New York city and Saison in San Francisco. She did not go to culinary school but according to Lisa in her own words,
"When I got into NYU, I went to Babbo, which was the closest restaurant to school, run by Mario Batali. I walked in and begged him for a job in Italian, and he gave me one on the spot. I worked in the kitchen and in the front of the house, wherever they needed me. If you get paid $8 an hour, people will basically let you do anything if you show active interest."
How she went from journalism school to building her own immersion circulator, starting a Kickstarter to fund a business creating these machines and growing her business are covered in her cookbook.
Co-Author Meesha Halm has been a local editor for Zagat Survey for 16 years, the author of The Balsamic Vinegar Cookbook and Savoring the Wine Country. She was also a cookbook editor at Collins Publishing. I'm not sure how she met Lisa but I'm glad she did.
Co-Author Scott Peabody provided the recipes and "culinary direction for this book". He is a professional chef who attended the Culinary Institute of America and has worked for Jean-George Vongerichten and Thomas Keller.
Monica Lo is the photographer and art director for this book and all I can say is she is amazing. I wish I could share photos from the cookbook so you can see what I mean. If you find this book at your local bookstore, take the time to flip some pages to see what I'm talking about. Monica has a degree in communication design from Pratt Institute and was trained at The Institute of Culinary Education.
Sous Vide at Home is published by Ten Speed Press and here's where it gets interesting. Ten Speed Press's parent organization is Crown Publishing Group. Crown Publishing Group's is a subsidiary of Penguin Random House. Ten Speed Press was founded in 1971 by Philip Wood in Berkley, California. Some of their other notable cookbooks are the Moosewood Cookbook, White Trash Cooking and The Bread Baker's Apprentice.
I really like the layout of this book. Once past the very interesting Foreword, Preface and Introduction, there is a section of Getting Started. Very useful information if you are new to sous vide, it gets into essential equipment, safety, and meal planning. A great starting point but if you want more in depth sous vide knowledge, there is plenty to find with a quick search on the Internet.
The very first chapter is on sous viding eggs and discusses "raw pasteurized " eggs, poached eggs, and then moves on to eggs Florentine with no whisk Hollandaise sauce. Even if you don't sous vide poach your eggs, it's worth looking at their recipe and technique for Hollandaise Sauce.
After eggs, comes Fish and Shellfish with recipes like scallop sashimi with grapefruit - yuzu vinaigrette and an unbelievable looking Greek octopus salad. And you don't want to miss the butter-poached lobster with cognac sauce.
The next chapter is on sous vide Poultry starting on page 69 with recipes for chicken tikka masala, General Tso's chicken, duck mole rojo, quail with Za'atar and even Thanksgiving turkey. No more dried out turkey breast meat.
Next they get into meats - lamb, pork, pork belly and steak. Recipes like herb crusted rack of lamb and pork sata with peanut dipping sauce.
Then there is vegetables sous vide style including sweet potato tacos, Thai green curry with winter squash, cauliflower with Garam Masala and many more.
Desserts? How about vanilla creme brulee? Can you really make this in a sous vide cooker? How about spiced poached pears, parsnip cake or hassle free vanilla ice cream. That's right ice cream.
Cocktails, this book has them including a current politically incorrect Dark and Stormy. Then there's one called Penicillin. Or how about Big Easy Does It?
Lastly, the book has a chapter for Basics, Sauces, and Condiments that includes risk free mayonnaise, homemade stock and garlic confit.
About Sous Vide
I want to share with you a paragraph from this cookbook about sous vide that I found informative.
"The magic behind sous vide is consistent heat. Humans have sough methods to moderate and control heat for millennia, whether it be by braising in clay pots, sealing with salt crusts, or burying in pits of smoldering ash. In the twenty-first century, sous vide machines have ended that quest."
I encourage you to check out some of my sous vide posts especially my first one called My First Sous Vide Cooking Experiences. And work your way through my Sous Vide section with recipes, equipment and tips.
Find on Amazon
You can purchase Sous Vide at Home: The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals at Amazon.