Sous Vide Cooking Give Away

Recently, I was asked, “What is the intent of my blog?” My response, “To share something that I love.”

For as long as I have been cooking and baking, I still get excited about food. It’s a continuous learning process that never gets boring. I still love creating new recipes. I still love to read cookbooks like novels. I still search the grocery store aisles for new products and it’s not unheard of for me to drive miles out of my way seeking the best, the freshest and the most exotic ingredients. People who know me understand that vacation time includes a stroll through a local market for foodie souvenirs and perhaps a cooking class to better understand the regional cuisine.

So, it was with great joy that I accepted an invitation to the International Sous Vide Association (ISVA) Summit last summer to learn a new cooking technique. This was exciting stuff with new food possibilities. To be honest, before the conference, I wasn’t at all familiar with cooking food under vacuum in a temperature-controlled water bath. In fact, I don’t think I ever even ate anything cooked that way. In my ignorance, I was pretty sure that only very high-end restaurants were serving sous vide. The French Laundry, Alinea and Per Se were not in my budget nor were the cost of the immersion circulator (sous vide machine) and accessories. I had a lot to learn.

And the conference delivered. In an ongoing flow over 2 ½ days I was immersed in a wonderful world of knowledgeable speakers and vendors. I was captivated by the enthusiasm of not only the professional chefs, but also that of the home cooks and even BBQ guys. The conference had something for everyone including sessions on sous vide science, history, cooking demos and food photography plus lots to eat and drink.

The overwhelming take-away from the conference is that this type of cooking has indeed trickled down to the home kitchen for a number of good reasons. First and foremost, it is affordable. I purchased a highly rated immersion circulator for under $115.00 at the conference. A large stockpot, some heavy-duty Ziploc bags and a clip (things I already had in my kitchen) complete the tools needed. Second, precision cooking insures whatever it is you are making comes out consistently great. I can guarantee that my sous vide steak will be cooked to my perfectly juicy 134 degrees or your perfect 130 degrees every time.

In addition, I can set it and forget it. There is no hovering over an immersion circulator like you would a stove. Big bonus is that the machine itself is compact and takes up little room in my already crowded cabinets. Further, it is great for batch cooking on the weekends for those who are working and want to come home and fix dinner in just a few minutes. Grab your sous vide steak from the fridge and give it a quick sear in a pan or on the grill and dinner is done. Finally, just about anything from entrees to desserts (maybe not popcorn) can be cooked sous vide. There are plenty of cookbooks and recipes on the subject available including a new book I happen to have a recipe in. Champions of Sous Vide (available on Amazon) is a collection of 75 delicious recipes including a mouth-watering photo of each plus the best tips and steps from 2 dozen sous vide enthusiasts. Would you like a copy? Lucky you! I am giving the book away on my Instagram page.

So, is sous vide cooking for everyone? I don’t know. Like my favorite knife or skillet, I look at it as one more option in my kitchen toolbox as well as a new way to think about and experiment with food. If you would like to learn more about sous vide cooking be sure to check out the ISVA web site and consider attending the 2020 conference in San Francisco. And if you are ready to give sous vide cooking a try shop around for an immersion circulator and read reviews. You can find a really nice one for the home cook or professional here.

This is NOT a sponsored post. All opinions are my own. I purchased the book to give away.

Now for the GIVE AWAY: Go to my Instagram page @goodgriefcook and look for the photo of the cookbook and follow the very simple instructions. Good luck. ❤

Remind Me & Red Miso Marinated Steak

Happy Valentine's Day

Happy Valentine’s Day

Losing you

Reminds me

Don’t wait

For a holiday

To tell someone

You love them

I love you always and forever

I love you always and forever

I will also remind you that you don’t need one more chocolate recipe this week. The truth is what your Valentine really wants is a delicious “sizzling hot” steak. Nothing says, “I love you” like a juicy piece of beef with beautiful grill marks. A porterhouse is the perfect steak for sharing with your sweetheart. It includes both a large t-bone (for him) and a smaller tenderloin filet(for her)…at least that’s how we do it.

miso marinated porterhouse steak

miso marinated porterhouse steak

You will find red miso paste in the refrigerated section of your local Asian market or Whole Foods store. The miso penetrates the meat and gives it that luxurious “aged” quality usually found in high end steak houses. Hope you love it! It sure beats chocolate.

you know you want it

you know you want it

Red Miso Marinated Steak

¼ cup red miso paste

¼ cup mirin

3 tablespoons sake or dry sherry

2 tablespoons coconut sugar or brown sugar

2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated ginger

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Porterhouse steak is my favorite but any steak will work

Place steaks in a zippered plastic bag. In bowl, whisk miso, mirin, sugar, sake, soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame oil and pepper; pour the marinade over steaks. Seal bag and marinate steak at room temperature for 30 minutes or as long as 2 days in the refrigerator. Remove steaks from marinade; blot dry with paper towels. Grill or broil, turning, to desired doneness.

Summer View: Will’s Bench &Grilling Tips

Grilled Steak

juicy grilled steak

Will’s Bench at Lake Elise in Middlebury, CT  is a wonderful place to sit and watch the world go by. Peaceful and filled with wildlife, the area is perfect for bird watching or fishing for large mouth bass. Dogs sniff the banks and often dive in for a cool swim. I especially love sitting on the bench on a summer morning having coffee with old friends. The kind of friends that are tried and true, have been around through thick and thin and after all these years are still willing to sit in silence and shed a few a tears or laughs recalling the antics of our kids. The morning mist rises off the clear water flecked with lily pads as the warmth of the sun breaks through.

BFF's Bev & Carol

BFF’s Bev & Carol

Friends like Bev and Carol are priceless. Every griever needs at least one Bev or one Carol in their life, but preferably both. They are the kind of selfless people who know how to step outside themselves for the good of another. It comes natural to them. Their simple presence creates a safe and comforting atmosphere that invites the sharing of feelings and healing. So much healing has taken place on this now weathered wooden bench on the edge of a lake–even on the day that bird pooped on my hand.

summer view from the bench

summer view from the bench

Another summer view

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IMG_0211Let me know if you ever get to Lake Elise, but until then let’s get grilling. We all love a good steak, so it being summer let’s share a few grilling tips plus a delicious recipe that also includes grilled watermelon. That’s right-grilled watermelon.

  1. Take the chill off your steak by removing it from the fridge 30 minutes before grill time. It will cook more evenly.
  2. Pat the steak dry with paper towels to avoid steaming the meat.
  3. Crank your grill up to HIGH. Lightly grease the grate.
  4. For gorgeous grill marks and delicious caramelized flavor follow the 10-2 rule of grilling (see recipe for explanation).
  5. Let the meat rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Grilled Steakhouse Rib-Eye & Watermelon Wedge

1/2 cup dry red wine

2 tablespoons honey

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

½ cup blue cheese dressing

4 (1-inch thick) ribeye steaks

kosher salt

freshly ground black pepper

1/2 small, seedless watermelon, rind removed, cut into thick wedges

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese

2 green onions, thinly sliced on bias

8 fresh mint or basil leaves, thinly sliced plus additional sprigs for garnish

Heat grill to high. In small saucepan, over high heat, combine, wine, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Bring sauce mixture to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency; set aside. Season steaks on both sides with a generous amount of salt and pepper. Place steaks on hot, lightly greased grill rack pointing one edge towards 10:00. Grill 2 to 3 minutes creating well-browned grill marks. Rotate steak so that same edge now points toward 2:00. Grill 2 minutes. Now repeat process on other side of steak. Reduce heat to medium. Grill steaks, 3 to 4 minutes more or until medium-rare (125 degrees on an instant read thermometer). Transfer steaks to plate; cover with foil and let rest 5 to 10 minutes. Meanwhile, season watermelon with salt and pepper; place on lightly greased grill rack for 2 minutes per side or until charred grill marks begin to form. Arrange steaks and watermelon on serving plates. Drizzle dressing over watermelon. Drizzle wine sauce over steaks. Sprinkle with green onions, herbs and blue cheese. Garnish with fresh herb sprigs.

perfect grill marks following the 10-2 rule

perfect grill marks following the 10-2 rule