Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Best Christmas gift ever

Bit by bit, I'm getting back into my routine. My daughter returned to school yesterday, my son goes today, and I am back to writing. I took the holidays off for the most part, so I could spend time with my family. That means, of course, that now, I'm rushing to get caught up.

I don't regret it for a second. It was quiet and cozy, and with my daughter a freshman in high school now, I'm relishing these holidays for as long as I can. Plus, I got a new toy for Christmas! I love to cook, and my husband surprised me by getting me a sous vide circulator. Don't know what it is? Well, sous vide cooking is about sealing food in vacuum bags and cooking it in a temperature-controlled water bath. It cooks more slowly and evenly, only up to the desired temperature, so in theory it's impossible for food to get overcooked. It's been used in the restaurant industry for ages, and we'd been dying to try it.

And now we have! Its most practical non-professional application is for meat, so since we were having beef tenderloin for Christmas dinner, it was agreed we would try it out on that. It was a risk, sure, but oh, so worth it. Instead of roasting, we cut the meat into 1" slices, sealed them in bags, and put it in the bath with the circulator for an hour. When I took them out, I gave them a quick sear on the stovetop with just salt and pepper.

Best. Beef. Ever. Seriously. We were able to cut them with butter knives, and for this gal who likes her beef on the rare side and usually gets screwed over with pieces more medium, it was perfect. We've tried it with ribs, which turned out very tender as well, and this week, I'm trying bratwurst.

What was your favorite Christmas gift this year? Was Santa generous?