What’s for dinner: January 5, 2015

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What’s for dinner tonight? What’s become one of my favorite meals to make sous vide: steak! Filet mignon, to be precise. I have found nothing is more perfect to make using sous vide at home than beautiful, lean filet steaks which otherwise can be easy to overcook or end up nearly raw inside even with a good outside sear.

sous vide filet mignon with eggplant fries

I don’t mess around too much with the seasoning on these. They are nice thick-cut filets I get from Monte the Meat Man (actually his brother Pat, who does the route in our area.) I vacuum packed them with just some crushed garlic, steak seasoning, salt and a little bit of olive oil. Did about three hours sous vide at 135F, then seared quickly in butter with a salt/pepper crust. It doesn’t get much better than this. I just served a little HP sauce on the side.

Those aren’t french fries on the side, by the way. They are eggplant fries, a recipe from Marc Vetri’s Rustic Italian Food. The book was one of my Christmas gifts this season from my sweetie and I am totally in love with it already (I have my bread starter in my refrigerator and plan this week to try one of his pizza recipes). The eggplant fries are super easy to make and honestly one of the most delicious ways I’ve ever made eggplant in my life! And all it takes is eggplant, milk, flour, salt, pepper and frying oil.

I also served this with a quick chopped salad with blue cheese dressing – admittedly from a bag, but I have fallen in love with Dole’s Chopped Salad Kits lately. I love the mix of greens, cabbage, kale and just enough fixing to make for a nice salad side with dinner. When I’ve been fussing over a main and at least one side already, it’s nice to have something to just through in a bowl and be done with!

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7 Responses to What’s for dinner: January 5, 2015

  1. Looks delicious, Nicole! With the sous vide process, how much control do you have over the final temperature of the steak?

    • That’s pretty much what makes sous vide cooking so great – you can pretty much control the final temperature to within a degree of doneness! So it’s much more consistent than just putting a roast in the oven and hoping you get it to the right degree of doneness/having to keep using a meat thermometer to check (if you’re really precise or worried about cooking something enough, you can get a thermocouple to check it without destroying the vacuum seal on the meat.) Longer cooking won’t overcook the meat, just make it increasingly tender — though if you do cook it seriously too long it can get overly soft.

      Now, some chefs dislike all-in-one units like the Sous Vide Supreme saying it’s not as completely even and consistent in temperature in the water bath as compared to using an immersion circulator in a plain old plastic tub. And there are good circulators that are comparable in price or even cheaper than the Sous Vide Supreme. But, I’ve found my unit just fine for the kind of cooking I’m doing at home at this point in time (the main thing I really need to upgrade is my vacuum sealer, I’d love to get a chamber vacuum unit instead of a table top but that’s…like $600-700 I don’t have to spend on kitchen gadgetry right now, lol!)

      If you’re interested in learning more, I have a whole article on Cooking Sous Vide at Home you might want to check out. Once you get into it, and just learn some of the basic safety rules, it’s really quite easy and pretty much the only way I cook roasts and steaks these days.

  2. Thanks, Nicole! I am off to check out your article on sous vide. I am amazed that you can control the final temp down to the degree.

  3. Thanks, Nicole! I am off to check out your article on sous vide. I am amazed that you can control the final temperature down to the *degree*. Wow!

    • I’ll ask Shola this Friday (when I’m at a StudioKitchen dinner) if he’s doing his sous vide class again any time soon. Because that’s how I really learned the basics in practical application and it was a great introduction to the technique.

  4. The steak and eggplant fries look great. I love Marc Vetri’s restaurants. Happy new year!

    • Happy New Year to you as well! I’m a big fan of Amis and the Osteria in Moorestown…my one time at the Osteria in Philly I wasn’t quite as blown away as I’d hoped to be. But, his cookbook is really wonderful, definitely full of interesting ideas that you don’t find in a lot of basic Italian cookbooks, that’s for sure.

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