What you see in the photo above is the result of a bit of playfulness. Or silliness. It is salmon and sea bass, glued together, and then cooked sous-vide as if it is some kind of mutant fish with layers … Continue reading Salmon and Sea Bass Glued Together
It was my lucky day at the market. Because not only did I find the nice box of wild mushrooms for a bargain, the turbot was on sale as well. The turbot was on the small side (which for turbot … Continue reading Turbot with Morels, Wild Mushrooms, and Celeriac Puree
This was the secondo of our Christmas dinner — yes I am running behind a little in posting as I also still have to post the primo — loin of hare with a sauce of port and amarena cherries and brussel sprouts with … Continue reading Hare Loin with Brussels Sprouts
Tenderloin, prized for its tenderness, is an expensive cut of beef. A tenderloin tapers towards one end, and the ‘tip’ of the tenderloin is not suitable for tournedos or châteaubriand. Tenderloin tips are therefore available at about half the regular … Continue reading How to Save 50% on Beef Tenderloin
Beef shoulder, also known as the top blade roast, has great marbling (intramuscular fat) and therefore great flavor. It has a drawback, which is a thick central muscle sheath that is very tough. If that sheath is removed then the … Continue reading Blade Steak Sous-Vide
When I saw venison short ribs available, I couldn’t resist buying some as I really like beef short ribs cooked sous-vide and was curious what venison short ribs sous-vide would be like. It is important to note that these were … Continue reading Venison Short Ribs Sous-Vide Roulade with Fava Beans and Mushrooms
That fillet of sole looks thick, doesn’t it? That is because the two fillets have been ‘glued’ together with transglutaminase, a natural enzyme sold as Activa RM (USA) or Activa EB (Europe). This way the sole has its original shape … Continue reading Reconstructed Sole à la Meunière
For the main course of our Christmas dinner I wanted to prepare iberico pork, as I had liked it so much when I tried it for the first time. Because REMCooks’ pork with pomegranate sauce had looked so Christmas-like with the red and green colors when I first saw it, I thought it would be nice to do a pomegranate sauce for this pork as well. I prepared a very simple sauce: reduced pomegranate juice mixed with pork demi-glace, garnished with fresh pomegranate arils. It worked very well with the pork. Continue reading “Iberico Secreto Sous-Vide with Pomegranate and Chervil Root”
Usually I first pick a dish and then the wine, but for the antipasto for this year’s Christmas dinner I did it the other way around. A friend of ours had brought a sparkling red from the Loire region, made from cabernet franc. I thought it would be great with the ham of lamb that I made last year, when paired with some salt-roasted beetroot. This way of preparing beetroot concentrates the flavor without making the beets too salty. Continue reading “Ham of Lamb with Salt-Roasted Beetroot”
After yesterday’s post about duck stock, it won’t come as a surprise that today’s post features duck. I love duck meat and this duck breast with a demi-glace sauce made from duck stock and red wine was particularly nice. It also won’t be a surprise what my next post will be about, as the side dish (a butternut squash tartlet) will have a post of its own.
Now there is more to this dish than just the use of duck stock to make a demi glace (which in the modern form is just duck stock reduced until it is thick and syrupy and loaded with duck flavor). You see, I took a bit of a risk when I cooked the duck breast and duck skin separately and glued them together with Activa, and then called this ‘Perfect’ duck breast. Grant from An American Baker in London left a comment saying that he had seen something similar on Masterchef, but with the duck skin cooked sous-vide rather than in the oven to render the fat out of it before gluing it to the duck breast. The advantage of cooking the duck skin sous-vide would be avoiding shrinkage. Cooking the skin sous-vide sounded like music to my ears, and I quickly forgot that my previous version was perhaps not as perfect as I had thought it was. Continue reading “Duck Breast Sous-Vide with Duck Red Wine Demi-Glace”
Octopus cooked sous-vide is very flavorful and tender, and sliced thinly as carpaccio is a great way of serving it. Last year I prepared octopus carpaccio, but the slices fell apart. I tried adding gelatin and that didn’t help. Then I decided next time I would try to use a ‘meat glue’ enzyme called transglutaminase. I didn’t get around to doing that, and then I forgot about it until the succesful experiment I performed with Activa and duck breast. I prepared it exactly the same way, except that I added 2% transglutaminase by weight. And guess what? It worked! Perfect slices that didn’t fall apart. Continue reading “Improved Octopus Carpaccio using Transglutaminase”
I always thought it was impossible to prepare a perfect duck breast. Duck breast consists of two parts: the skin and the meat. To be perfect, the skin should be crispy with most of the fat rendered out of it, and the meat should be medium rare. Both at the same time seemed to be impossible, as the meat overcooks while you are rendering the fat from the skin. Even experimenting didn’t help to solve this conundrum.
But then I thought of Transglutaminase, an enzyme that is sold mixed with maltodextrin and sodium caseinate under the name of Activa RM and is also known as ‘meat glue’. Why not take the skin off the meat, cook skin and meat separately, and then glue them back together again? Teun had some Activa and so I went over to his place to try this. And guess what? It worked! Crispy skin and meat that was uniformly medium rare all the way up to the skin. (Unfortunately I only took photos with my iPhone in bad lighting conditions. I will prepare duck breast this way again and then take good photos and post a proper recipe.) Continue reading “Perfect Duck Breast Using Transglutaminase”