Joe Takes the Plunge

For several months now I’ve been saving the half- and quarter-pennies from my ad banner clicks with the goal of buying a sous vide cooker. I’ve wanted one for quite a long time now because, well, I’m a nerd. And let me tell you, there’s no nerdier way to cook than by vacuum-packing food in plastic bags and immersing it in a bath of warm water, the temperature of which has been calibrated to the half-degree. It’s a beautifully ridiculous way to prepare food.

Of course it takes forever. Saturday morning Mrs. Pastry rejoiced that modern technology has advanced to the point where we can now prepare a two-minute egg in just an hour and a half. (Sarcasm aside, it was a darn good egg, let me tell you).

Sadly there isn’t a whole lot you can do with pastry in a water oven. Oh sure, custards. Those would be a snap. Pastry cream in a plastic bag would be an easy one. Flourless chocolate cake as well, but that’s minor magic compared to what people like Thomas Keller have been able to achieve with sous vide cookery (I bought Under Pressure with the last of my mad money, and my head was spinning by page three).

Truth be told, there are some interesting things that can be done cooking fruits sous vide, so, I may experiment with that a bit in the future. Perhaps I’ll put up a post or two about it as I go along, just for those folks out there who might be curious, but that’ll be about it. Despite my new toy, the orientation of the site will continue to be low-tech cooking, albeit with some high-tech blabber mixed in from time to time.

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