Friday, January 9, 2009

Friday Night Food Porn

Sous Vide Diver Scallops on Roasted Corn Relish with Citrus Vinaigrette

Well, I broke out the immersion circulator this week. I've tested it without food and also did some reheating with it, but this is the first time I cooked something in it. I knew it would be seafood so I picked scallops. I love scallops; a fresh seared sea scallop is hard to beat. The first thing I needed to do was find some great ones. Whether I'm searing, deep frying, eating raw, or using sous vide, I'll try to get diver scallops that are dry packed. And that's exactly what these were. I removed the abductor muscle from each one and seasoned with grape seed oil, lemon, salt, and pepper. I vacuum sealed them and placed them back in the fridge while I got the thermal bath ready.

I like scallops raw-rare. But for this experiment I thought I would cook them closer to just over rare; 121 degrees to be exact. So I get the water up to temp and started to work on the roasted corn relish and citrus vinaigrette. The best thing about using sous vide cooking is you can't overcook anything. As long as your water is at the correct temp you could leave those scallops in there for hours. It's great for timing a dish.

When I was ready to assemble the first thing I noticed was the color of the scallops: milky white. Not exactly my idea of a good looking scallop. Everything I read got me ready for this, so I had my kitchen butane torch in hand. I seared up the scallops as good as I could for the first time. I've used my torch many times before on creme brulee but never on a piece of meat. I definitely burnt some and under seared others. Next time I'm using a pan with some butter...and that got me thinking. When I usually do scallops I use a pan with some butter, about 2 minutes a side and they're done. The process that I just did took a vacuum sealer, immersion circulator, and a butane torch. Don't get me wrong the scallops tasted great, but they also tasted great raw. So I'm not sure if cooking them sous vide added anything extra to the dish. I'm glad that I finally broke out the circulator, but maybe scallops were not the best choice for it. For the next time I'm thinking something a bit heartier, like duck or lamb.

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