Posts Tagged ‘French chefs’


Our lovely friend, Linda recently invited us to dinner where she was going to demonstrate her skill at cooking sous vide.  We had a glorious meal so I asked Linda to tell my blog readers about it.  Here’s her report:
“I am very excited that Judie asked me to take over her blog just this once to write about our shared sous vide experience.  Loosely translated, sous vide means “under vacuum”, and it’s a cooking method that took hold in France in the ‘70’s.  Now this it is used by chefs all over the world.  Since I have sous vide equipment (most of which you really don’t need) my husband and I invited Judie and Steve over for a trial run and fish dinner. The ladies had turbot filets and the gentleman chose yellowfin tuna steaks. One of the great benefits of this method is that you can cook two entirely different types of fish, use the same tub, and end up with terrific results. Everything cooks evenly and the fish retains its flavor.
Photos 1 & 2 (Food Saver and tuna in bag)
The only piece of equipment that’s key is a Food Saver type vacuum sealer. I seasoned the fish at the last minute, topped it with some thyme, put it in the plastic bag and vacuum sealed it up tight.
Photos 3, 4 & 5 (Tuna and Turbot side by side pictures, and in water bath)
The difficult part is done and both fishes are ready to be submerged.

I have an emersion circulator that you can set to a tenth of a degree but I guarantee that this is not necessary. You can simply heat up some water in a large stockpot and use a basic kitchen thermometer to gauge the temperature. For both the turbot and the tuna, I went with 58ºC (you’ll note that the temperature decreases a bit when the bags are submerged) or about 138ºF. This is the temperature that you’ll want the fish to be when it’s finished so it can’t be overcooked.
Photo 6 (Tuna in pan)
Both fish stayed in the water bath for about 15 minutes and all that was necessary was cutting open the bag and plating, but since tuna is more like a steak, I wanted a sear. Just a minute on each side in a hot pan did the trick.
Photo 7 (Tuna being sliced)
The tuna turned out moist and perfectly medium rare and we were ready to eat!

The fish was topped with diced cucumbers, olives, red onion and red peppers lightly sautéed with smoky paprika and the side was a puree of fennel.  Everything was easily prepared ahead so the plating and assembly took no time and we were able to enjoy some good wine and Judie and Steve’s wonderful company.”








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When I was 16 I had the great good fortune of doing the “grand tour” of Europe along with my best friend and her mom.  We sailed over and spent the summer months in a rental car touring as many countries as we could.  It was then that I fell head over heels in love with France – “Sur le pont d’Avignon, On y danse, on y danse, Sur le pont d’Avignon, On y danse, tous en rond” rondelayed in my head and of all the names I heard as we traveled the Loire Valley Diane de Poitiers stuck like glue as she seemed to spend assignation time in almost every chateau we visited.  Unfortunately, in my teenage years I didn’t know how important “arte culinaire” would one day be to me, so I didn’t experience the fine dining that defined France, but lived on great bread and cheese.
All of this to tell you about a dream trip organized by my friends Arlene and Chef Alain Sailhac (one of America’s treasured French chefs) through their company, Food-o-Philes, a luxurious culinary travel group, that will take us through the Loire Valley, the garden of France, in late June and early July.  I can’t think of another area where everything that exemplifies France can be found – the magnificent chateaus, the centuries-old monuments and vineyards, the cheeses, the wines, the luxe meals.  I’m dreaming now, but come summer it can be a reality.   If I’ve piqued your interest, call Arlene – she’s fun to talk to – 917-544-5568 or email her at grtcooks@aol.com to learn more.

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