I love it when someone prepares one of my recipes, and I love it even more when someone lets me know how it turned out!
Recently I did a post on Fennel Sous-Vide Fondant. I bet some of you are curious about sous-vide after reading about it on this blog, but haven’t tried it yet because the equipment is pricey. Well, some recipes can be made without owning expensive equipment. One of my readers, Clayton from San Francisco, reacted as follows:
Fennel is a vegetable that I have always enjoyed eating. Its anise or liquorice flavor gives salads a subtle flavor-kick which I like. But I have never cooked with it. I don’t own an electric sous-vide water bath but I do own a large stock pot and Ziploc bags. So all that’s left to make this recipe are the ingredients.
Since most of my readers do not own sous-vide equipment either, I inquired whether Clayton would be willing to do a guest post to share his results with you all. And so here, with a big thank you to Clayton, is the first ever guest post on StefanGourmet.com!
How to cook fennel sous-vide without special equipment
I was able to make Stefan’s Fennel Sous-Vide Fondant recipe without a sous-vide cooker by using: a large 8Q/7.5L stockpot, a Ziploc bag, a candy thermometer, and a gas burner.
I filled the stockpot with cold water to within 2 inches of the rim. I placed the stockpot with the cold water on the kitchen table.
I placed the quartered fennel bulb into the Ziploc bag along with 1/4 cup of chicken stock and 1/2 tablespoon of butter. I did not seal the bag completely but left a small opening for the air to escape when I did the water displacement method.
Water displacement method: Keeping the unsealed portion of the bag above the water, push the rest of the bag below the surface of the water until the water in the pot has “squeezed” the air out of the bag through that small opening. Then completely seal the bag and removed it from the pot.
The bag floated a bit so I weighted it down with a heavy stainless steel skimmer. I monitored the temperature and adjusted the gas flame so that the temperature stayed around 85C/185F. After 45 minutes I finished the recipe following the Preparation section of Stefan’s recipe. It was delicious!