How To Wow Your Dinner Guests With Succulent Dishes
Invest in a sous vide cooker and transform the success of your dinner parties. Learn how to produce delicious meals with minimal effort.
We all know the feeling of hosting a dinner party and not being able to fully relax or commit to conversations for longer than a couple of minutes because you’re worried about checking on the food. The fear of serving overcooked, dry meat or soggy vegetables is enough to send any dinner party host into a tailspin. Yet, those in the know now use a style of cooking called sous vide to produce the most succulent food that is guaranteed to wow your guests and be the talk of the town. So, what is sous vide cooking and how is it going to transform your dinner parties?
Dinner Party Food In A Bag
Sous vide involves packing your food ingredients in vacuum-sealed bags and placing them in a hot water bath known as a sous vide cooker for a set duration. Unlike boiling methods, all the natural juices from the food are retained and absorbed back into the food during the cooking process which produces juicy, tender cuisine that is restaurant-standard. Indeed, top culinary establishments from all over the world use this style of meal preparation to create delectable results for their customers.
If you’re intrigued as to how you can achieve such gastronomic masterpieces, then be inspired by the following menu which serves 8 people.
Ingredients: 60g salt, 60g sugar, 5g powdered smoke and 24 x 75g salmon portions
- Preheat your sous vide cooker to 40C
- Cover your salmon pieces in the dry cure mix, leave them for 30 minutes, then rinse. Place your salmon into individual vacuum-sealed bags and submerge them in the water for 45-60 minutes.
- Chill the bags in an iced-water bath for 15 minutes.
- Serve with cream cheese and crackers as a starter.
Main Course: Garlic and Duck Breast with Asparagus
Ingredients: 8 large duck breasts, 4 garlic cloves, 16 tablespoons soy sauce, 32 asparagus spears, 20ml of olive oil, 60g unsalted butter and salt or pepper to taste.
- Pre-heat your sous vide cooker to 58C
- Score the duck breasts using a sharp knife and season generously. Place the meat in individual bags, adding finely chopped garlic and soy sauce divided equally between portions.
- Vacuum-seal the bag to remove most of the air and place in the sous vide cooker for 2 hours.
- Remove the duck breasts from the bag but retain the juices. Place the meat in a pan with the oil and butter and sear until the skin is crispy. Once they’re cooked, allow them to cool.
- Use the same pan to fry the asparagus in until golden.
- Serve alongside the duck on a plate drizzled with juices from the sous vide bags. Add white rice to complement your dish.
Dessert: Poached Pears
Ingredients: 8 small firm peeled pears, 160ml port wine, 240g sugar, 4 tablespoons of honey, 3 cinnamon sticks, 7 cloves, vanilla ice-cream to serve.
- Pre-heat your sous vide cooker to 85C
- Pour the port wine and cook with the sugar, honey and spices until the mixture dissolves.
- Remove the pan and light the alcohol until it burns off.
- Place the peeled pears, with the stem left on, into vacuum-sealed bags along with the cooled mixture from the saucepan.
- Remove the air from the bags and place in the sous vide cooker for 2 hours.
- Once removed, allow the pears to cool somewhat, then serve with vanilla ice-cream and some of the retained juices.
This is just a small selection of the type of meals you can make. If you want to achieve culinary excellence, then invest in a sous vide cooker and get practicing today!