Archive | Paleo/Paleo-Friendly

You’ll Never Believe it’s Paleo – Sweet and Sour Pork

“You’ll never believe it’s paleo sweet and sour pork” began when I was reading Fuschia Dunlop’s book Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper: A Sweet-and-Sour Memoir of Eating in China, and she mentioned Cantonese cooking. It reminded me of Mediterranean cooking in that the ingredients are the star and do not feature complicated sauces or culinary techniques. It’s probably why most Americans’ introduction to Chinese cooking are dishes like sweet and sour pork or moo goo gai pan.

Sweet and Sour Pork

Sweet and Sour Pork

This made me wonder about cookbooks featuring Cantonese cuisine. Turns out, there aren’t many. But I did find a wonderful book by Kian Lam Kho called Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking. In it is a recipe for Sweet and Sour Pork that’s not only the best of what I remember of my own first forays into Chinese cooking, but it’s paleo friendly, too! With only a few minor modifications, I was able to make a delicious, fun and nutritious meal with crispy pork, juicy pineapple and fresh crispy bell peppers and oh! that yummy sauce!!

Sweet and Sour Pork Ingredients

Sweet and Sour Pork Ingredients

I was visiting the Cape last week and enjoying a lovely time with my parents, sister and sweet bunny, Allison. We went shopping for fabric pieces for my photos, cooked lots of nice things for my folks’ freezer and I asked her for a suggestion for a side dish. She immediately came up with cucumber noodles in the style of cold Chinese noodles in peanut sauce. I used crunchy almond butter in place of the peanuts and it was so good!

Cucumber Noodles with Spicy Almond Sauce

Cucumber Noodles with Spicy Almond Sauce

I can’t believe it’s Labor Day already! I know there are lots of happy/sad people enjoying the last of summer vacation and beautiful Cape Cod weather. Ten weeks go by so quickly! There are new tunes and best wishes for a great weekend. Enjoy!!

Pink Rose

Pink Rose

Sweet and Sour Pork
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You'll Never Believe it's Paleo Sweet and Sour Pork
Adapted from Kian Lam Kho's Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking. The real deal taste of your favorite Chinese take out. Fresh, delicious and paleo, too.
You'll Never Believe it's Paleo Sweet and Sour Pork
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Adapted from Kian Lam Kho's Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees: Essential Techniques of Authentic Chinese Cooking. The real deal taste of your favorite Chinese take out. Fresh, delicious and paleo, too.
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4servings
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4servings
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  1. In a large mixing bowl, mix together egg white, sake or Chinese rice wine, salt and white pepper. Add pork and mix thoroughly.
  2. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix chicken stock, tomato paste, honey, rice vinegar onion powder and crushed red pepper (if using). Taste for seasoning, increasing honey or vinegar to your taste. Add 2 tsp tapioca starch and whisk together.
  3. Place a colander in a large mixing bowl. Add 1/4 of the coated pork pieces. Sprinkle with 1/4 of the tapioca starch and toss, making sure the pieces are coated and excess starch is shaken off. Remove to another bowl. Repeat with remaining pork pieces, using starch from the bowl underneath the colander as needed.
  4. Heat coconut oil in 3-quart saucepan over medium high heat. Drop one pork piece into the oil to test. Oil should rapidly bubble around the meat otherwise it will be greasy. Add pork pieces to saucepan so there is plenty of space between them. Cook for approximately 2 minutes or until golden brown. Using tongs or slotted spoon, turn over remaining pieces and cook until second side is golden brown, approximately 2 more minutes. Remove cooked pork to paper-towel lined plate and cook remaining pork in batches, adjusting heat as necessary to maintain bubbles.
  5. In a 12-inch skillet, over medium high heat, add 3 tablespoons of coconut oil from saucepan used to cook pork. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until translucent but not brown. Add red and green pepper pieces and pineapple. Cook for about 2 minutes.
  6. Whisk sauce ingredients to recombine. Add to skillet with vegetables. Toss and cook until sauce thickens and is shiny. Add pork pieces and cook about 3 minutes or until pork is heated through. Serve immediately.
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Cucumber Noodles with Spicy Almond Sauce
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Cucumber Noodles with Spicy Almond Sauce
Cool and crunchy, nutty with a kick of heat and honey. These cucumber noodles will be a welcome side dish to an Asian entrée or grilled poultry, meat or fish.
Cucumber Noodles with Spicy Almond Sauce
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Cool and crunchy, nutty with a kick of heat and honey. These cucumber noodles will be a welcome side dish to an Asian entrée or grilled poultry, meat or fish.
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4servings
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4servings
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  1. In a salad bowl, mix together dressing ingredients. Add cucumber and mix gently. Taste for seasoning and adjust to desired sweetness, saltiness, and heat.
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Cracking The Skewered Lemon Chicken Code

Cracking the Skewered Lemon Chicken Code is here to share with you. It’s honestly the best grilled chicken I know. I hope you agree.

When my daughter was born, we were living in Brockton, Mass. There was (and still is) a fabulous Italian food shop, International Food Gourmet,  where I could buy all the best ingredients for making exotic and delicious meals: aged provolone, Amaretti di Saronno, and marinating chicken breasts that cooked up deliciously juicy and bursting with bright lemon flavor.

For years I tried to reproduce the flavor and texture. I came across a recipe and have tweaked it over the years.

Skewered Lemon Chicken

Skewered Lemon Chicken

Don’t let the deceptively simple photo fool you. And since we’re paleo and not at all afraid of butter, drizzling lemon butter all over the chicken and vegetables makes for heaven on a plate.

Skewered Lemon Chicken Ingredients

Skewered Lemon Chicken Ingredients

I was struck by the red of the background cloth and flowers of the first photo. I used one of my daughter’s porcelain “tin cans” as a vase. (She’s a RISD-trained ceramist with a lovely artistic soul, and I decided to do a portrait. What do you think? Pretty cool! Know what? So is she!!

Alli's Tin Can and Flowers

Alli’s Tin Can and Flowers

For an additional course, I found some gorgeous figs at my local Whole Foods. The season is nearly over in south Louisiana, but there are fresh, local figs elsewhere. If you happen upon some, this salad is as yummy as it looks. And super simple to make. Sweet, juicy, crunchy, green and salty: what more could you asked for in a salad? Nothing, I say!!

Fig, Prosciutto and Pecan Salad

Fig, Prosciutto and Pecan Salad

We have a new toy to play with and it’s a gem. It’s an Australian grill called a Cobb Cooker. Based on a stove used in Africa where access to electricity is scarce, it’s perfect for 2-4 servings. We’ve cooked all sorts of things on it. Using only 8-10 pieces of charcoal, it’s easy to light, cooks for up to two hours without adding more briquets, and versatile. There’s a griddle, wok pan, frying pan, roasting rack and grill pan. Roast chicken is amazing on this cooker, as is stir-fried shrimp and vegetables, even breakfast.

Cobb Cooker

Cobb Cooker

We’ve done so many delectable meals, we were inspired to get a dozen large blue crabs and grill them, too. Turned out we needed the Weber for the amount of crabs we had, but we definitely got the idea from the Cobb meals we’d been making.

Harris blanched the crabs in boiling water, then cleaned and seasoned them. He cooked them to perfection with his signature touch: adding small pieces of oak and pecan wood to the fire. They were insanely good. I roasted some artichokes and we had a feast!

Grilled Blue Crabs

Grilled Blue Crabs

The playlist is a smattering of tunes I liked this week. Crank up the music and get cracking the skewered lemon chicken code, y’all.

Skewered Lemon Chicken
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Skewered Lemon Chicken
Skewered Lemon Chicken
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  1. Note: Marinating times are specific. Longer time than recommended can yield mushy textures in the chicken and vegetables.
  2. In a gallon zip top bag, add zest and juice from 2 lemons, salt, honey, vinegar, garlic and cayenne. Add the chicken breast meat and marinate for two hours.
  3. Add mushrooms and zucchini, mixing up all ingredients thoroughly. Marinate additional 2 hours.
  4. Melt butter, add remaining lemon zest and juice. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste.
  5. Skewer the chicken and vegetables, alternating ingredients. Heat grill pan or charcoal or gas grill to medium high. Cook skewers, basting with lemon butter until cooked through about 10-12 minutes. (I like to remove a piece of chicken and check to see that it is cooked, but not dry.)
  6. While chicken skewers are cooking, steam cauliflower, 6-8 minutes. Add broccolini and continue steaming until both are tender and the broccolini is still bright green. Set aside and keep warm. Season with salt pepper and lemon butter.
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Fig, Prosciutto and Pecan Salad
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Fig, Prosciutto, Pecan Salad
Sweet, salty, crunchy and delicious. Easy to make and so pretty to serve!
Fig, Prosciutto, Pecan Salad
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Sweet, salty, crunchy and delicious. Easy to make and so pretty to serve!
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4servings
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4servings
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  1. Heat a dry, 12-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add figs, cut side down. Cook for 3-4 minutes to release sugars and flavor. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Place salad greens on individual plates or serving platter. Add figs, pecans, prosciutto and goat cheese (if using). Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
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Shrimp Burgers Two Ways

A beef burger without a bun is somewhat lacking. It tastes great, but it seems like the fun is missing. So I decided to experiment with other burger flavors and since they’re not traditional, the missing bun isn’t missed. In fact, a bun would mute the flavors. I’ve made chicken and sausage gumbo burgers, and Italian meat and sauce burgers (a plate of meatballs and sauce also seems so-so, but patty-sized meat with sauce is just right!) The first seafood burger I made was a combination of halibut and crawfish left over from a visit to Hawks. It was a hit!

Thai Green Curry Crawfish Burger

Thai Green Curry Crawfish Burger

Halibut is expensive and boiled crawfish aren’t in season, so I came up with two new shrimp versions: Thai Green Curry and Louisiana. Depending on your mood, one or the other will make a lovely weeknight meal or something amazing to serve to guests.

Shrimp Burger Ingredients - Two Ways

Shrimp Burger Ingredients – Two Ways

On the left are the ingredients for the Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burgers and on the right are the ingredients for the Louisiana Shrimp Burgers. In the final version of the Thai, I decided to skip the sriracha — the patty and sauce are plenty spicy without it.

Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burger

Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burger

The sauce requires a few ingredients, but comes together in minutes. And those flavors are repeated in the patties to amp up the flavor. I chose crisp cucumbers and mellow mango to accompany the burgers and Harris agreed that the two worked nicely with the shrimp and green curry. One ingredient might be hard to find; they’re kaffir lime leaves. But I got them frozen, on Amazon and they last months and months in the freezer. If you’re looking for an ingredient that will send your green curry to the moon and back, this is it.

But the patties are delicious without them, too. All the bright, spicy flavors in Thai Green Curry always make me feel so good. Once I was coming down with a nasty bug and couldn’t lose time at work. I stopped at our favorite Thai restaurant, Pimon Thai and got an order of green curry chicken on my way home. By morning the bug had been blasted to smithereens and I’ve been a fan ever since. Whenever the girls are coming down with something, they know I’ll always suggest green curry for their ills. Don’t wait until you’re feeling unwell for some though, and who knows? Maybe it’ll keep in the pink!

Louisiana Shrimp Burger

Louisiana Shrimp Burger

Not everybody’s down with these pungent flavors. I won’t judge. So I’ve included a variation featuring all the beloved flavors of Louisiana. As I was “shopping” in Harris’s garden for onion tops and a few peppers, I noticed a green eggplant ripe for the picking. This my very most favorite variety, and it was a welcome addition to the Louisiana party. A ripe heirloom tomato completed the dish.

Louisiana Shrimp Burger

Louisiana Shrimp Burger

I hope you’ll try one of these recipes and let me know what you think! There are more summer tunes this week. Have a great Watermelon Day! August 3rd is also National IPA Day. So whether your thirst runs to fruit or to beer, you’re covered!!

Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burger
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Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burgers
Fresh, light and summery, Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burgers are a unique alternative to the usual beef.
Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burgers
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Fresh, light and summery, Thai Green Curry Shrimp Burgers are a unique alternative to the usual beef.
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 10minutes 7minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
7minutes
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  1. Make the sauce. In a medium saucepan, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot, ginger, curry paste, garlic, kaffir lime leaves (if using), salt and pepper to taste. Sauté for 2 minutes or until fragrant and shallot is softened. Do not brown.
  2. Add coconut cream and honey, stirring to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice, honey or other ingredient to taste. Set aside.
  3. Make the shrimp burgers. In a 12-inch skillet, add 1 tsp oil over medium heat. Add shallot, ginger, curry paste, garlic, Kaffir lime leaves (if using), salt and pepper. Remove to a bowl and set aside to cool. (Does not have to be cold.)
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, add half the shrimp, egg white and shallot mixture. Pulse six or seven times until combined. Add remaining shrimp and pulse 2-3 times. With spatula, combine ingredients thoroughly.
  5. In the skillet, add 1 tablespoon oil over medium heat. Using a large spoon, scoop 1/4 of the shrimp mixture and place in the skillet, smoothing it into a disc. Repeat with remaining shrimp mixture. There will be 4 burgers. Cook for 2-3 minutes until golden. Flip and continue cooking until cooked through, about 2 minutes.
  6. Place cucumber and mango slices on serving or individual plates. Drizzle with lime juice and olive oil. Place burgers on top and drizzle with green curry sauce.
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Louisiana Shrimp Burger
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Louisiana Shrimp Burgers
A nice change from beef burgers, Louisiana Shrimp Burgers are quick, easy and taste so good!
Louisiana Shrimp Burgers
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A nice change from beef burgers, Louisiana Shrimp Burgers are quick, easy and taste so good!
Servings Prep Time Cook Time
4servings 10minutes 7minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Cook Time
7minutes
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Servings: servings
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Instructions
  1. Make the sauce and refrigerate.
  2. Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.
  3. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil. When shimmering, add onion, celery, bell pepper, green onion and garlic. Sauté until translucent, but not brown. About 5 minutes. Add salt, pepper and cayenne to taste. Set aside to cool (does not have to be cold).
  4. In the bowl of a food processor, add half the shrimp. Pulse until there are no large pieces, about 6-7 pulses. Add egg white, onion mixture, and remaining shrimp. Pulse 2-3 times. Mix with spatula to distribute ingredients evenly. Add more seasoning if desired.
  5. In the 12-inch skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Sauté the eggplant until golden and cooked through. Season to taste. About 5 minutes. Remove to a plate and place in the oven to keep warm.
  6. If needed, add another tablespoon of olive oil to now empty skillet over medium heat. With a large spoon, scoop 1/4 of the shrimp mixture, drop it in the skillet and shape into flat disc. Do the same with the remaining shrimp mixture. There will be 4 burgers. Cook on the first side 2-3 minutes until golden. Flip and cook on the second side another 2 minutes or until cooked through.
  7. Plate the burgers with the eggplant and tomatoes and drizzle with sauce.
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Small Plates for Supper

 

Scallop Sashimi

Scallop Sashimi

When we go to a restaurant, we’d rather eat things we either don’t or can’t easily make at home. Why pay outrageous money for an okay steak and so-so salad when we can do much better ourselves? We go to Hawks for crawfish in Rayne and have sushi every couple of months at various places in Lafayette. We don’t do traditional slow-smoked barbecue, so that’s something we look for when dining out. Plus it’s one specialty that lends itself easily to low carb and paleo-friendly.

When we’re on the road for Harris’s work, if I can cook I’ll go along for the ride. I make suppers all but one night and then find an interesting place to try out nearby. Lately I’ve discovered if there’s pork belly on the menu, the restaurant is one we’ll enjoy. First because we love pork belly and two, a chef who features it, loves it as well and usually has a delicious take on the ingredient. Here’s where we’ve had some fabulous pork belly appetizers and some wonderful entrées, too:

The Spotted Horse at Evangeline Downs in Opelousas was the first place we saw it on a menu, and this version combines citrus and Asian flavorings for a sweetish and savory profile. The restaurant is upscale and urban and a great date spot. Even though it’s located next to the gaming floor, you can’t hear the slot machines.

The Spotted Horse at Evangeline Downs, Opelousas, LA

The Spotted Horse at Evangeline Downs, Opelousas, LA

We’ve been to two great restaurants in Jackson, Miss. recently. Saltine is in an old mid-century school. The dining area is retro stylish and through the big windows and across the hallway, you can see the kitchen. Here the pork belly is called PB & J—for pork belly and pepper jelly. It’s served with boiled peanuts and it’s so good. I’d never had boiled peanuts before … I know, I know they’re legumes and not paleo. And like the nuts that they are not, boiled peanuts are reminiscent of cooked beans. It’s not like we live nearby and will make a habit of the goobers, it’s a “when in Jackson,” kind of thing. And the rest of meal was easily made paleo.

P B & J: Pork belly with pepper jelly and boiled peanuts, Saltine, Jackson, MS

P B & J: Pork belly with pepper jelly and boiled peanuts, Saltine, Jackson, MS

Also in Jackson is Walker’s Drive-In. It’s right near Saltine. This landmark restaurant from the 1930s has become an upscale, farm to table restaurant that blew us away. Fabulous menu with so many great paleo-friendly choices, and the pork belly when we were there was called Ham and Eggs. Why it isn’t bacon and eggs, I’m not sure. Harris said it was probably his favorite pork belly app thus far. The chef mixes up his offerings, so if you have a chance to visit, that version might not be on the menu. The vintage dining room is really cool; you can tell the owners preserved and renovated the space rather than truck in artifacts to make it look nostalgic, and the food was superb.

Walker's Drive-In, Jackson, MS

Walker’s Drive-In, Jackson, MS

That got me to thinking about my own take on pork belly. To vary the usual entrée-plus-sides dinner, I added a scallop sashimi appetizer so we could have our own upscale, small plate, restaurant experience. The scallop sashimi couldn’t be easier. I used frozen scallops; the fruit and veg are raw, and the dressing was quick, easy and delicious. You could substitute large shrimp for the scallops. And while sashimi is often raw seafood, in this case it’s lightly poached.

Scallop Sashimi Ingredients

Scallop Sashimi Ingredients

This is adapted from Sous Vide at Home: The Modern Technique for Perfectly Cooked Meals by Lisa Q. Fetterman et al. I chose to poach the seafood in salted water for less than two minutes per side instead of using sous vide, but you can cook the scallops sous vide at 120 degrees F for 30 minutes. Chill it over ice or in the fridge while you prep the rest of the ingredients.

The unusual yuzu kosho is a spicy Japanese condiment, although minced hot chiles or sriracha can be used instead. Rather of an actual recipe, I’m suggesting guidelines. The remaining components are wash, slice and go. Choose something fruity like grapefruit, something crisp with a touch of bitterness like endive or radicchio and avocado for richness. Make the dressing from a squeeze of the grapefruit rinds, coconut aminos or tamari, some sweet—mirin or honey, a little olive or avocado oil and some form of chile. Simple.

Scallop Sashimi

Scallop Sashimi

The pork belly was just as good. I braised the belly, julienned some crispy vegetables, and served it with a tamari ( or you can use coconut aminos), ginger, scallion, and mirin or coconut sugar sauce that nicely enhanced the flavors of the other ingredients. Served in soft, butter lettuce, this dish was as paleo as it was yummy. I’ve cooked pork belly many ways in the past few months. If you season it with salt, pepper, some coconut sugar and togarashi (a Japanese spice mixture), and put it in a covered Dutch oven for three hours at 300 degrees F., you have a texture like the one in the photo below. Take off the cover and cook an additional hour and the belly will brown up and get firmer. Your choice. Slice it up. Julienne some cucumber, yellow or red bell pepper, carrot and some paper thin slice of japapeño. Wrap everything up in some soft lettuce like Bibb or Boston and drizzle on the sauce.

Butter Lettuce Wraps

Butter Lettuce Wraps

Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps

Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps

Pork Belly Wrap Garnishes

Pork Belly Wrap Garnishes

Pork Belly - Sous Vide

Braised Pork Belly

Pork Belly Wrap Sauce

Pork Belly Wrap Sauce

Cherries, Berries and Stars

Cherries, Berries and Stars

For dessert try this medley of cherries, blueberries, watermelon and piña colada jelly-shot stars. I found a cocktail recipe I liked, softened a package of gelatin in some of the pineapple juice, then warmed all the ingredients (coconut milk, rum, and honey) over low heat for about three minutes, until the gelatin was completely dissolved. I lined a loaf pan with plastic wrap, poured in the mixture and chilled it for a couple of hours. I found an inexpensive, small-star cookie cutter and punched out the cuties. The dressing was a simple combo of lime zest, lime juice and honey. Taste and adjust per your preference.

For music I’m mixing it up with some random tunes I like right now. Hope y’all are having an amazing summer!

Shhhh … Listen! Do You Hear the Sound of Sous Vide?

Roast Beef

Roast Beef

No. You can’t hear the sound of sous vide because it’s silent. And powerful. And will transform the way you cook … especially proteins. Never again will you worry about what temperature is right for chicken, beef, pork or seafood. There’s no carry over cooking, so the temperature you prefer for your steak, for example, is guaranteed to be rare, medium rare, or even medium well if that’s the way you like it.

What’s this all about anyway? If you aren’t familiar with sous vide, I’ve had several weeks to use mine and it is a revelation. I’ll take you through the process using the humble chuck roast to produce two different dishes. The cut of meat is the same. The time and temperature varies between roast beef (a fraction of the cost of a rib roast) and a typical pot roast braised on the stovetop or in the oven (think luxurious and fabulous flavor).

Many months ago, the cool folks at ChefSteps.com announced a crowdfunding campaign to support their sous vide cooker, Joule. The video on the Joule link is super. As an early adopter, there was a deep discount on the unit and like many such projects getting off the ground, there were some considerable delays past the anticipated ship date. No matter. It’s part of the adventure of helping great products launch. Now you can order Joule here and here.

It used to be that sous vide was a strictly restaurant technique. The equipment was massively expensive and a rig costs in the plus $1,000 range. But sous vide (which is French for under vacuum) was actually invented for home cooks to make their dishes reliably delicious. It didn’t take off as a home appliance largely due to the high cost. But restaurant chefs love it because a steak can be sitting happily in medium-rare 130 degree F water, waiting for a patron to order it and the chef to sear and sauce it at the last minute. Faster service, exact degree of doneness and satisfaction all around.

Like many electronic devices from cell phones to smart TVs, early incarnations of inventions are massively expensive, but if you wait it out, the price plummets. Even a year ago, top-rated sous vide cookers like the Anova were $300. Now on Amazon.com, the price is around $150 and during Amazon Prime Day, it was $99! So the technology is at the point that it is practical for a cook whose kitchen is well-equipped. Makes a great present!

I have to give a shout out to Nomiku as well. This dynamic duo couple—chef and physics dude—toured the country teaching tekkies how to build a DIY sous vide cooker after the chef was dazzled by the ones in her professional kitchens. After time they decided to engineer a cooker that didn’t need a blueprint to construct. And their cookbook, is a gorgeous collection of restaurant-worthy dishes you can make even if you don’t have a degree from a cooking school.

This is the set-up you use for whatever brand of sous vide cooker you have:

Joule Sous Vide Set-up

Joule Sous Vide Set-up

A deep pot to submerge your cooker and your food.

While vacuum sealing your ingredients is ideal, you can also use a ZipLock freezer bag (but not the kind with a slider). The ZipLock freezer bag is safe to use with food in this application, and strong enough for the normal cooking times. If your roast is going to cook for more than 12 hours (I have a pastrami cooking away for 48 hours) then you really should use the vacuum sealer bags. I had a Food Saver on the shelf that I really didn’t use for its intended purpose (freezing food) but I use it now at least every other day. But you can simply add your ingredients to the sous vide bag, lower it into the water and secure the top to the side of the pot with clips, as shown in this video. I’ve made several versions of chuck roast over the last few weeks. The one below was not seared, and I didn’t remove the fat deposits. Not searing the roast didn’t markedly change the flavor, but the chunks of fat were unsightly, so I take them out now when I made roast beef. Because of the higher temperature for a pot roast, it isn’t as noticeable, so I don’t bother with the trimming.

 

Chuck Roast in Sous Vide Bag

Chuck Roast in Sous Vide Bag

For long cooking times, I found these ping pong balls on Amazon which cover the water surface and minimize evaporation. You could use aluminum foil over the top, too.

Sous Vide Joule with "cover"

Sous Vide Joule with “cover”

Once the roast is seasoned and bagged, choose your temperature. I set the sous vide for 135 degrees F for the roast beef and cooked it sous vide for 48 hours, and for the pot roast I used 160 degrees F. and 24 hours. I seared the pot roast in a skillet as well prior to sealing it up. The roast beef was company worthy and is rib roast quality at a fraction of the price. The pot roast was succulent and tender with loads of juice for gravy.

Flavorful and Tender Sous Vide Pot Roast

Flavorful and Tender Sous Vide Pot Roast

To accompany the roast, I’ve got a salad that was instantly dubbed Klaatu Burrata Nikto by Harris and Linds. #scifinerds I started out using the traditional caprese salad ingredients, but found the textures too similar. Over time I’ve added various items. Right now I like thinly shaved fennel, sliced green olives, cucumber as well as tomatoes. For lunch and this photo I also added some thin-sliced ham. Burrata is a mozzarella shell with creamy, soft stracciatella inside. Stracciatella used in this sense is a riff on traditional Italian ice creams or soup. Currently it’s Harris’s hands-down favorite salad. He prefers lettuce-free salads, I’ve recently discovered. While this recipe is not paleo, it is primal, so if you’re down with dairy, it’s all good.

Klaatu Burrata Nikto Salad

Klaatu Burrata Nikto Salad

The playlist features this year’s Grammy nominees and as usual, Louisiana is well represented. Enjoy!

Roast Beef
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Sous Vide Chuck Roast Two Ways
Sous Vide Chuck Roast Two Ways
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Servings Prep Time
8servings 10 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8servings 10 minutes
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For the roast beef
  1. Remove the large fat deposits from the roast. You'll have to cut into the roast here and there to do this, but don't cut pieces from the roast. You could leave the fat in, but the presentation at serving isn't as nice. Using twine, pack the meat into a roast shape and tie at intervals to maintain the shape. Continue to the searing.
For either roast
  1. For either roast, heat the oil or ghee in a 12-inch skillet over medium high heat. Add the seasoned roast and brown on all sides 3-4 minutes per side.
For the roast beef
  1. Fill a large stock pot 2/3 full and submerge sous vide cooker as directed by your cooker's directions. Set cooker temperature to 130 F for medium rare or 140 for medium. You can also set the temperature for higher or lower for your preferred doneness. Cook for 48 hours, checking periodically to be sure the water level hasn't decreased. Add water as necessary to maintain level. The temperature will quickly return to the temperature you've set.Joule Sous Vide Set-up
  2. Add roast to sous vide bag and seal or lower opened bag into the pot with the sous vide bag open. Secure top of bag with clips to the side of the pot to keep water from getting into the bag. Sealed bag can just be lowered into the water.
For the pot roast
  1. After searing the roast, lower heat to medium and add chopped onion. Sauté for 5-7 minutes. Add broth and wine and cook for 5 minutes, scraping up browned drippings. Add roast and onions to sous vide bag and seal or lower opened bag into the pot with the sous vide bag open. Secure top of bag with clips to the side of the pot to keep water from getting into the bag. Sealed bag can just be lowered into the water.
  2. Fill a large stock pot 2/3 full and submerge sous vide cooker as directed by your cooker's directions. Set cooker temperature to 160 F. Cook for 24 hours, checking periodically to be sure the water level hasn't decreased. Add water as necessary to maintain level. The temperature will quickly return to the temperature you've set.Flavorful and Tender Sous Vide Pot Roast
For either roast
  1. Remove roast from the sous vide bag, carefully retaining the juices. Pat the roast dry. If desired, heat 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and sear roast on all sides, about 1 minute per side. Remove to cutting board and cover with aluminum foil.
  2. Make gravy by adding juices to a small sauce pan over medium-high heat. Reduce the juices for 2-5 minutes, taste for seasoning and adjust to taste. Serve, slicing the roast against the grain. Pass the gravy separately.
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Klaatu Burrata Nikto Salad
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Klaatu Burrata Nikto Salad
Klaatu Burrata Nikto Salad This embellished variation on a caprese salad is a melange creamy, crisp, juicy textures and flavors. It may not make the earth stand still, but it sure is good.
Klaatu Burrata Nikto Salad
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
Klaatu Burrata Nikto Salad This embellished variation on a caprese salad is a melange creamy, crisp, juicy textures and flavors. It may not make the earth stand still, but it sure is good.
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Servings Prep Time
4servings 10minutes
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Ingredients
Servings: servings
Units:
Instructions
  1. Distribute vegetables and ham evenly among 4 servings dishes. Nestle burrata half on top of vegetables. Drizzle with olive oil and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Serve.
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