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The Week In Yum March 19-17 The Green Living Show, The One of a Kind Show, Let's Be Frank

Detour Coffee has brought out the camper to the the Green Living Show

The Green Living Show

Highlights of the food variety at this years Green Living Show:

What's Cooking at This Year's Spring One of a Kind Show- My Ten Favourite Food Treats

I have always loved The One of a Kind Show, both as a visitor and even as a vendor back in another life when I did a line of kid's glass art called Buster Boy. These days, I am just there as a shopper and I rarely miss a show if I can help it.

Spaghetti and Meatballs at Last

If you read this blog, or know us personally, you will know that there are only a handful of ways to eat pasta in this house. Shack, who loves pasta above all other things, really just means spaghetti/rotini with tomato sauce and meatballs OR with meat sauce, which is just really tomato sauce with meatballs smashed up in it. The only two exceptions are, of course, lasagna which is just a shape shifting pan of spaghetti and meat sauce and carbonara but that has lots of bacon in it and, well, BACON. I, on the other hand, love all forms of pasta with all kinds of sauces - olive oil sauces, cream sauces, fettuccine, farfalle, orecchiette - you put a bowl of some sort of carby goodness in front of me and I will be happy but if I say I'm cooking "pasta" for dinner, I mean meatballs/meat sauce/marinara with spaghetti or rotini, maybe penne if he is feeling adventurous.

The Week In Yum March 13-19 The Green Living Show is Coming, Lentil Love and Some Interesting Food Events Coming Up

featured wine and beer and lots of great food will there for the tasting

The Green Living Show

The Green Living Show is almost up on us so this week I stopped in at Hawthorne Food and Drink on Adelaide and Church to check out some of the food and drink that you will be able to sample at the show.

Sous Vide Recap - What I've Done Up Until Now

Okay, time for a sous vide recap:

Again, what is sous vide and what the hell is an immersion heater/circulator/cooker?

Sous Vide Miso Pork Meatballs

This is my first attempt at using one of my own recipes for the sous vide cooker and I am kind of going rogue with the technique which is probably why it was a mix of mainly success with some bumps in the road. I have been wanting to make another asian flavoured meatball like my Vietnamese meatballs but with a nod to Japan for a long time now. We LOVE our little Vietnamese meatballs made with chicken or pork but it's really easy to bake them just a smidge too long and dry them out. Now, with sous vide, they never overcook so, like the sausages, all they require is a little kiss with a hot pan afterwards to brown them up.

Spicy Gochujang Beef Stew

After two weeks of doing almost nothing that doesn't involve sous vide, I felt like it was time to step off, go back to basics and make something that I would have loved before I discovered sous vide. I think I will have to start using the term BSV and ASV from now on.

The Week In Yum March 6-12 Dr Laffa, Ka Chi

Finally, the temperatures have risen about 0C for the first time in what feels like years! It was a glorious week for that reason and I, for one, have ditched the socks and started wearing my favourite metallic Vans again in celebration.

Final Thoughts on Sous Vide Steaks and A Lobster Attempt

Okay, so, for me, the two reasons for owning a sous vide are the ability to make the perfect steak and also the perfect egg. With a couple of weeks under my belt, I kind of feel like I have a handle on those two things and I am ready to move on.

The Week In Yum Feb 27-March Restaurants Canada Show, Mexican Beef and a Podcast

I wish I was a Mariachi. At least I wish I had Mariachi pants.

Making Sous Vide Sausages and Turning Them Into Risotto

I love sausages. The only thing I DON'T love about sausages is that they can be a bugger to cook. When you grill them, you can end up with half of them burnt on the outside but still underdone on the inside and then the other ones are overcooked and dried out. Don't even get me started about them busting open before they are done and losing all of their delicious juices. In the winter, I poach them, which works well, but I couldn't help but think that sous vide might be the answer to all of my sausage dreams.

As always, I read a hundred articles about sous vide pork sausages before I started and the general consensus was to cook them at 60C or 140F for anywhere from 1 to 2 hours. I had three types of pork sausage and, as you can see down there, I sealed some of them in my Food Saver bags and I left the two Italian sweet sausages for the zip lock bag. I used my Anova Precision Cooker with my polycarbonate bin and I watched House of Cards while they cooked. I was wearing yoga pants.

Because I wasn't going to use them right away, I plunged them in an ice bath immediately upon removal from the water bath and then popped all of them into the fridge.

Over the next couple of days, I used them in various ways. One day I sliced one up, fried it and served it along side some scrambled eggs for breakfast. If you just throw them in a hot pan with a tiny bit of oil and brown them up, they are the perfect sausage - perfectly and evenly cooked inside but nicely browned on the outside. Another night, I grabbed a couple sausages and whipped up a quick batch of sausage and peppers to throw at The Kid for supper.

I had three sausages left and what I really wanted was a German style sausage and red cabbage dish but The Kid wanted risotto so I combined the two ideas and came up with a red cabbage and sausage risotto made with beer. It's not the prettiest, but it is really delicious. I held one sausage back and sliced it up , sautéed the sausage slices and put a few on top of each bowl of rice. BOOM, a new family favourite is born.

Okay, final thoughts on sous vide sausages?

All pros, no cons with this one. The sausages should be done after the first hour and are fine to leave in for another hour or so. It's easy, the sausages are all cooked perfectly, you can pre cook a bunch and then even freeze them right in their air tight bag to use later on.
This is the only way I will do sausages from now on - as soon as the temperature climbs above -45560C, I will try this out on the BBQ.

The zip lock bags work really well but the one thing I really love about the Food Saver bags is that they come out of the water bath air tight so they will last much longer if I am going to precook them and throw them in the freezer. If you are going to eat them right away or within a couple of days, the zip lock bags work just fine.

Beer Hall Risotto

serves 4-6

risotto doesn't require precise measurements so you can just eyeball most of the additions, so relax and just go with it

approx 1litre chicken stock
glug of olive oil
1 small onion or a couple of shallots, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 or 3 links of cooked pork sausage, sliced into coins (sous vide for 1.5 hrs at 60C/140F)
1 1/3 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup lager
1 small wedge of red cabbage, chopped (just a couple of handfuls)
2 or 3 tbls cold butter, cubed
about 1/4 cup grated fresh parmesan
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Heat your olive oil in a deep sided pan or large pot over medium high and saute the onion and the garlic for a minute before throwing in 2/3 of the sausage. Brown the sausage up a bit and then add in your rice and stir well, making sure that its totally coated with the fat in the pan. Stir that around for a couple of minutes before you pour in your beer.

This is where you must start to stir. I do a couple of turns around the outside of the pot and then a figure 8 and just keep repeating that configuration as I slowly add more stock, a ladle at a time until the rice is done - about 20 minutes will do it.

So, once the beer is absorbed, add your first ladle of stock, stir and when the liquid is almost totally absorbed, add more stock, stir and keep doing this. Throw in the cabbage after about five minutes of this and just keep going. If you run out of stock near the end, you can add water to the stock pot or even some more beer isn't going to hurt.

When the rice has absorbed all the liquid it can and the rice is nicely cooked - it should be al dente and still have a tiny bit of bite to it, take the pot off of the heat. Beat the cold butter and cheese into the pot with your wooden spoon until everything is melted into the rice, taste to see if needs any salt, add some black pepper, cover it and set it aside while you heat up a small frying pan. Saute the remaining 1/3 of the sausage slices until nicely browned.

Plate up your risotto into shallow bowls and top each with a few slices of sausage and serve.

Sous Vide Flank Steak Tacos

 So, here is the first important lesson that I just learned for you, you're welcome. We were out and about and decided to splurge on an expensive bit of meat at The Friendly Butcher on Yonge St. for our next sous vide dinner. Because we had made an amazing strip loin in an hour, we were excited to see what kind of results we would get with this cut, a favourite of ours for the grill. We get home, I prepare a mojo to marinate the steak in since we decided we would turn it into tacos and then I sat down to check on times and temps for flank steak.

A Journey to My Perfect Sous Vide Egg - Goal #1 CHECK!

the 13 minute at 75C egg was almost perfect but that white was still just a bit too runny for me

I'm a bit obsessed with poached eggs and, to be honest, for most of my life, I never made them at home. They are fussy, the white are always all over the place, I either undercook them or overcook them half the time and I always have to drain off the water from the bottom of the bowl before I eat them. Never mind the headache of trying to make them for more than one or two people, keeping them all hot, holding them over in a water bath, yadda yadda. It's just easier to order them in a restaurant that specializes in great breakfasts.

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