A few weeks ago, Sue Gleiter wrote about Chef Kevin Bachman, who had just opened Pure Tastes at 829 State St. in Lemoyne.
Fresh from the kitchen of The Inn at Little Washington in Virginia, Bachman didn’t want to open a restaurant. So with his wife, Rebekah, he started a semi-sous vide takeout. Buy the gumbo at Pure Tastes (very highly recommended), take it home and plop it into a boiling water bath.
That’s it, heat and eat, but it’s much higher on the food chain than the old boil-in-a-bag meals.
Kevin told me doesn’t cook sous-vide — low-heat, long time, under vacuum — but that’s coming, because it leaves the vegetables especially fresh and juicy. Thomas Keller of the French Laundry is writing a book about it, and chefs …
… in the San Francisco area are developing the technique.
“Chris Whaley, chef at Picco in Larkspur, vacuum-seals rhubarb in a heat-proof plastic bag with white wine-vanilla syrup, gently poaches it in a water bath, and spoons it atop individual almond tarts. At first bite, the rhubarb seems uncooked because it’s so pleasingly crunchy. But it’s not at all stringy or tough. It’s just a whole new, delicious rhubarb.
“Whaley is cooking the rhubarb sous vide, which in French means “under vacuum,” a technique that he and other Bay Area chefs are using for a wide range of foods.
“Whaley also vacuum-seals pork tenderloins in a pouch with bacon fat, then places the package in a controlled water bath until the pork has reached a specific temperature. He shocks the tenderloins in ice water, and then refrigerates them up to five days.
“Because it’s already cooked, Whaley needs only to open the package and reheat the meat quickly on the stove. The result is pork with a velvety texture all the way through, infused with the smoky essence of bacon.”