Synopses & Reviews
, writes Harold McGee in his introduction to this, the first book written in English on cooking sous vide, "introduces cooks to one of the most important culinary innovations of modern times."
An uncommonly grand claim coming from so precise a scientist and writer, but such is the power of this controversial method. "Thomas Keller and his chefs," McGee continues, "illustrate the powers of precision heating with dozens of dishes that wouldn't be as fine, or even conceivable, without it."
Sous vide method comprises a group of techniques that allows the cook to realize flavors and textures that no other cooking method can. By sealing food in plastic and submerging it at exact temperatures for minutes or for days--food that is traditionally braised, sautéed, roasted, or poached--we can attain astonishing results. The tough cuts of meat we once braised in simmering stock can now be cooked sous vide to a medium-rare pink, juicy and meltingly tender. Lamb loin, veal tenderloin, and other larger cuts of meat, difficult to cook evenly, emerge uniform throughout. Delicate fish is enhanced and the margin of error reduced. Vegetables and fruits, cooked in an oxygen-free environment, remain vividly colored. And, because the food is sealed in plastic, its flavor is never lost to the cooking water or the atmosphere. Carrots taste more like carrots, apples more like apples. Small amounts of herbs and other aromatics can have dramatic effects. Cold techniques are valuable as well. Marinades used with meats en sous vide are powerfully effective. Various fruits and vegetables, such as melons, cucumbers, and pineapple, become new when compressed.
Under Pressure: Cooking Sous Vide is an invaluable contribution to our culinary world at a time of unprecedented interest in food and cooking, both in the restaurant kitchen and at home. The most critical aspect of sous vide lies in discovering what combination of time and temperature achieves the most sublime results. The answers, as discovered and practiced during the past decade by the chefs of The French Laundry and per se, two of the most respected restaurants in the world, are all here, within the innovative recipes from Keller's landmark restaurants.
Under Pressure is a source of instruction, technique, and recipes for anyone who wants to experience the new ideas sous vide makes possible, inspiration for what is possible and what might be.
"The origins of sous vide cooking, or vacuum-packing foods and cooking them at precise, relatively low temperatures for long periods, may have been largely in frozen convenience foods, but it has become standard in top kitchens worldwide, notably Keller's own. Now, Keller aims to demonstrate the technique to a wider swath of cooks not the masses, but at least those who can afford this lavish volume and the sous vide equipment. One need not cook the exact recipes (which are unaltered from the restaurant's) to be inspired by Keller's careful yet whimsical creations, such as a cuttlefish 'tagliatelle' with palm hearts and nectarine or squab with piquillo peppers, marcona almonds, fennel and date sauce. And Keller, with several of his chefs as well as 'curious cook' Harold McGee, takes pains in the introduction to explain sous vide fundamentals, arguing persuasively that it is not a fad but an important technique that allows unparalleled control over how ingredients are heated and what flavors and textures result. Still, at least until the equipment is more affordable, most readers will admire this gorgeous book on their coffee tables, from the simple beauty of photos of ingredients in their natural states to plates with a course's elements so artfully arranged they would not be out of place in a modern art museum." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
A revolution in cooking
Sous vide is the culinary innovation that has everyone in the food world talking. In this revolutionary new cookbook, Thomas Keller, America's most respected chef, explains why this foolproof technique, which involves cooking at precise temperatures below simmering, yields results that other culinary methods cannot. For the first time, one can achieve short ribs that are meltingly tender even when cooked medium rare. Fish, which has a small window of doneness, is easier to finesse, and shellfish stays succulent no matter how long it's been on the stove. Fruit and vegetables benefit, too, retaining color and flavor while undergoing remarkable transformations in texture.
The secret to sous vide is in discovering the precise amount of heat required to achieve the most sublime results. Through years of trial and error, Keller and his chefs de cuisine have blazed the trail to perfection—and they show the way in this collection of never-before-published recipes from his landmark restaurants—The French Laundry in Napa Valley and per se in New York. With an introduction by the eminent food-science writer Harold McGee, and artful photography by Deborah Jones, who photographed Keller's best-selling The French Laundry Cookbook, this book will be a must for every culinary professional and anyone who wants to up the ante and experience food at the highest level.
In this revolutionary new cookbook, Keller explains why the culinary innovation known as "sous vide," which involves cooking at precise temperatures below simmering, yields results that other culinary methods cannot. Illustrated.
About the Author
Thomas Keller, author of The French Laundry Cookbook, Bouchon, Under Pressure, Ad Hoc at Home, and Bouchon Bakery, has thirteen restaurants and bakeries in the United States. He is the first and only American chef to have two Michelin Guide three-star-rated restaurants, The French Laundry and per se, both of which continue to rank among the best restaurants in America and the world. In 2011 he was designated a Chevalier of The French Legion of Honor, the first American male chef to be so honored.
Table of Contents
Forward by Bruno Goussault
Introduction: A Powerful New Cooking Tool by Harold McGee
Precision of Execution
Why Sous Vide?
My Path to Sous Vide
Vegetables and Fruits
Fish and Shellfish
Poultry and Meat
Cheese and Desserts
Product, Temperature, and Time