Monday, June 29, 2015

Sous Vide Cooking: Swordfish with Olive Gremolata

For comments, please post below or email to cookingwithlarue@gmail.com

The Art and Ease of Sous Vide Cooking:
Swordfish with Olive Gremolata
Serves: 4
Difficulty: Easy
Sous vide temp: 130 degree F; Time: 30 minutes
Traditional cooking method also included
Swordfish with Olive Gremolata 

Sous vide is a French phrase that is translated as “under vacuum.” However, the defining feature of the method is not packaging or vacuum sealing; it is accurate temperature control. A heating element can warm a water bath to any low to moderate temperature you set, and keep it there for hours – or even days. For more information on the how’s and whys of sous vide, please see post: All About Sous Vide at http://cookingwithlarue.blogspot.com/2015/06/all-about-sous-vide.html.

Sous vide is especially useful for cooking seafood, for which the window of proper doneness is often vanishingly small when traditional methods are used. When you fry a piece of fish, the flesh is most succulent and tender within a very narrow temperature range. Because the cooking temperature of the pan is considerably hotter than the ideal core temperature of the fish, the edges will inevitably be far more cooked than the center when pan-fried. Traditional cooking with a range, oven, or grill uses high and fluctuating temperatures, so you must time the cooking exactly; there is little margin for error. With just a moment’s inattention, conventional cooking can quickly overshoot perfection. This is particularly problematic with fish…especially lean fish, which can dry out quickly. Sous vide cooking is ideal for such fish, in this case swordfish, but also albacore.

Swordfish was taboo for a while, but now many varieties, especially domestic ones, are sustainable. In particular, the North Atlantic swordfish have really rebounded thanks to a 1999 international plan that rebuilt this stock several years ahead of schedule.

Friday, June 26, 2015

All About Sous Vide

All About Sous Vide
 
Modern Sous Vide is inexpensive and simple!
In the next few weeks, I will begin posting some fabulous recipes that use the "sous vide" method of cooking! But fear not....I will start now with a short primer on the technique. Trust me, it is amazingly delicious and soooo easy!

Sous vide is a French term that is literally translated as “under vacuum” and refers to a technique that is associated with more experimental chefs. In fact it is now used by chefs in all kinds of restaurants and now by the home cook. It is not complicated; it involves slowly cooking food sealed in plastic bags immersed in water at precisely controlled, steady temperatures. The defining feature of the method is not packaging or vacuum sealing; it is accurate temperature control. A computer-controlled heater can warm a water bath to any low temperature you set, and keep it there for hours – or even days, if needed. People think that cooking sous vide is only about precision, but its convenience and cost efficiency lend it beautifully to making many dishes.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Spinach Salad Extraordinaire


For comments, please post below or email to cookingwithlarue@gmail.com

WE'RE BAAAAACK!!! Spinach Salad Extraordinaire
Serves 4 (appetizer); 2 (entrée)
Difficulty: Easy
 
Spinach Salad Extraordinaire
Have you been looking for the perfect spinach salad with a slightly warm dressing, oodles of bacon, a few onions and some sliced eggs?  I was.  Not the new age spinach salads with raspberry vinaigrette to honey-drenched walnuts better suited for an ice cream topping.  Nope, I was looking for the established, CLASSIC spinach salad. You know, the one you might find on a steakhouse menu.  Imagine a bright pile of baby spinach leaves scattered with slivers of red onion, thinly sliced white mushrooms, perfect rounds of hard-cooked eggs and then, the piece de resistance, tiny bits (or bigger bits) of bacon rendered in a pan to crispy, salty perfection. Yup, that one. 

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

SPRING HIATUS!! Duck with Apple & Mushroom Risotto

Hi all! As you gathered from the title, we are going on a brief hiatus. The reason? First, our house is being re-piped, which has essentially demolished my kitchen. Second, I am busy helping our daughter and future son-in-law plan their wedding (Hurray!!!!). Don't worry....we will be back soon. :-) 
For comments, please post below or email to cookingwithlarue@gmail.com

Duck with Apple & Mushroom Risotto 
Serves 6-8 
Difficulty: Gourmet
Duck with Apple & Mushroom Risotto 
This is an elegant risotto featuring sweet apples, salty bacon, wild mushrooms, duck and creamy Arborio rice.  It is truly a meal in one dish – elegant for guests or for that special night for two. The food blogosphere has been full of spring risotto recipes for weeks now: risotto with ramps, risotto with peas, and risotto with asparagus. And they all sound delicious. However, it appears that spring has not sprung everywhere and much of the country is still under the last vestiges of winter. While spring peas and asparagus may not have shown at your neighborhood market, produce boxes have steadily included apples. Apples that retain a touch of firmness are best here, such as Baldwin, Greening apples, Granny Smith, Pippin and Northern spy. If it is a thick-skinned variety, you might peel it.  You can do this recipe without the mushrooms, the duck or the bacon, and its still very good. However, I love the layered flavorful mix. I think you will too!

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Charred Cauliflower Quesadilla with Cumin-Lime Crema

For comments, please post below or email to cookingwithlarue@gmail.com

Charred Cauliflower Quesadilla with Cumin-Lime Crema
Serves: 6
Difficulty: Easy
Charred Cauliflower Quesadilla with Cumin-Lime Crema 
There are many reasons to share this recipe – yes, its fabulous to eat – appetizer, lunch, even dinner with a great side dish or salad. But, it also gives me a chance to rave once again about this great kitchen tool = The Santa Fe Cooking School Grill! Whether your stove is gas or electric, this no-smoke dry roasting is perfect for chilies, sweet peppers, tomatoes, garlic, onions, and other vegetables. It is made of cast iron with stainless steel mesh and wooden handles. Love it!
 
Charred Cauliflower Quesadilla with Cumin-Lime Crema
This veggie recipe is one that even dedicated carnivores can enjoy. The combination of kick from the peppers and plenty of cheese hide the healthy bites!