Sous vide, in the grip of an online translator, comes out “under empty.” Who craves a cooking contraption that promises less than zero?
Not me. I snubbed sous vide. Vacuum-sealing a steak and letting it wallow in warm water sounded less than good. Plus, the prospect of another rotund appliance made my shelves ache. Let some fancy restaurant chef invest in an immersion circulator. Too futuristic for me.
Then I read an update. In the years I’d been ignoring sous vide, the hardware had shrunk. Once a $500 bathtub, sous vide has been reformatted as a $200 (or less) stick. Prop it in a pot of water. Drop the ingredients in a zip-lock and (using a clever under-water trick) squeeze out the air. Fits in a drawer, calls for DIY ingenuity: count me in.
Susie and I made lamb chops that glowed medium-rare, end to end. We calibrated the creaminess of crème brulee. We poached eggs right in the shell. Sous vide, I learned, offers old-school low-and-slow cooking, with precision.
Plus, it’s a time machine. Once the sealed-and-poached dish reaches temperature, it can usually hold – without overcooking – for hours. In other words, sous vide pinpoints the crux of dinner-party anxiety and cranks it down below zero. That’s my kind of future.