Have you been on the fence about sous vide cookery? Well, get off that fence, and welcome to everything it can do—faster, better, and more deliciously. Here are 10 of our favorite recipes in which the technique knocks it out of the park. (And here, of course, is where to get your own.)
Cooking the custard base that makes ice cream so delicious can be slightly tetchy work. (Too hot, and you have scrambled egg ice cream!) Sous vide eliminates fussiness from the process in this genius Mexican Chocolate ice cream recipe. Featuring a whole vanilla bean, whole milk, heavy cream, Dutch-process cocoa, cinnamon, and a smattering of cayenne, the chocolatey custard is smooth as silk, making the resulting ice cream a blissful daydream.
Sous vide… risotto? Yes, you can, and it’s delicious. Getting the rice to its ideal texture is all about cooking each grain as easily and gently as possible. Since sous vide cookery is the definition of “sure and steady wins the race,” it’s ideal for the classic Italian recipe. It’s particularly marvelous thanks to a savory pesto of kale, basil, pine nuts, and Parmesan. A bright, juicy garnish of cherry tomatoes puts it over the top.
Fish can be tricky to get right, and it’s painful when you overcook it. (The stuff isn’t cheap!) For restaurant-quality halibut, consider sous vide. It’s just the thing to achieve evenly cooked, super-moist fillets, and it’s a way to keep the oven off when the weather is warm. This recipe involves kaffir lime leaves, rosemary, and milk to keep the fish super-moist. If you’d like, finish the fillet with a sear in olive oil or butter for golden, crisp skin.
Chefs routinely cook steaks in immersion circulators, then sear them on the stovetop. If it’s good enough for the pros, why not give it a whirl? High-end cuts of beef emerge from the sous vide process remarkably juicy and evenly cooked. This recipe employs classic, simple flavors—garlic, rosemary, and butter—to wonderful effect.
Sometimes when you’re hosting—a big birthday; a massive anniversary—you need a dessert that will knock everyone’s socks off. This recipe delivers. A basil-spiked bourbon syrup infuses fresh peaches. Then you ladle homemade crème anglaise over the whole thing. It is a remarkable dish made foolproof by sous vide technology.
Lamb becomes almost a “set it and forget it” meal with the aid of sous vide. Oregano, lemon and garlic mingle in a simple mixture sealed in a bag with lamb rib chops. A super-simple minted yogurt and a tomato-cucumber salad come together in minutes. When the lamb is cooked, finish it in sizzling butter stovetop, and serve to oohs and aahs.
Yet another meat that benefits from the expert touch of this machine, chicken becomes so tender in this recipe it’s nearly luxe. And there’s a lot to love about the fact that its garlicky chipotle marinade becomes an instant, delicious sauce. The hands-on time in this one is truly minimal; all you need to do is get rid of the skin and bones, warm a few tortillas in the microwave or on the stovetop, set out a bucket of sour cream and a few cilantro leaves, and let people make their own tacos.
There’s pretty much no better way to cook salmon than to sous-vide it. The fat that characterizes the fish liquifies and lends each fillet the texture of velvet. This recipe is an excellent way to experiment with salmon at its most sultry. It cooks with vegetable stock for just 30 minutes, after which it’s plated on a bed of sautéed fava beans, fennel, olive oil, lemon, and olives. Seared in olive oil and garnished with fennel fronds, it’s just divine.
Even the leanest pork chops become moist and tender when seasoned with salt, pepper and cumin and cooked in a water bath. We love the unusual salsa that goes alongside, bursting with chiles, onions, cilantro, parsley, sherry vinegar, olive oil and agave, in this recipe. It’s a snap to pull together and serve alongside the seared chops.
Eggs Benedict fans, have you had eggs poached the sous vide way yet? You may have without knowing it, since chefs are such fans of the technique, but let today be the day you cook the best poached eggs ever. Sous vide’s exacting temperature results are ideal for egg cookery, so enjoy the oozing yolks and perfectly set whites of one cooked to its Platonic ideal.