A Hot Tub For Food
We’re excited in the kitchen because we just got a new immersion circulator from Poly Science. We’ve been using a Fisher Scientific circulator for the past seven years, but it was more of a scientific model. Our new circulator has a better cooking design, it’s easier to use and comes with a nice cookbook that has lots of recipe ideas, as well as cooking times and temperatures.
Immersion circulators are used for the sous vide cooking method where food is vacuum sealed in plastic bags and then cooked at a gentle temperature in a precisely controlled water bath. Sous vide is used in fine dining restaurants all over the world because it is easier to ensure exact doneness of delicate foods and perfect results are almost always achieved. It is a really good way to control cooking temperatures, because water conducts heat more efficiently.
We like to use the circulator for re-heating lobster, cooking fish, pork, lamb, and we particularly like it for poaching fruit. It is also the ultimate cooking machine for eggs. You can cook what is often called “the perfect cooked egg” exactly to 63⁰C (145.4⁰F ) – where the white is soft and the egg yolk is creamy.
One of our favorite uses is for making bacon flavored almonds. These almonds are a great, salty, smoky treat and are awesome paired with a spicy Syrah, such as the Grand Reserve Syrah.
Below is our recipe for Bacon Almonds – if you don’t have an immersion circulator at home, you can place the almonds and bacon in a Food Saver bag, bring a pot of water to 150⁰F and carefully place a kitchen towel on the bottom of the pot (this will keep the bag from melting), add the bag with the bacon and almonds to the pot and cook for 1 hour.
- 1 cup blanched, raw almonds, skinless
- 3 slices triple-smoked bacon, cut into thick strips
- 2 Tbsp. Maldon smoked sea salt
- Cryovac the bacon and almonds and cook for 1 hour at 64⁰C (147.2⁰F) in an immersion circulator. Leave in bag and refrigerate overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 300⁰F.
- Place almonds and bacon on a baking sheet and cook for 25 minutes – stirring every 5 minutes – until almonds are browned, toasted and crunchy. Remove pan from oven.
- Reduce oven temperature to 200 ⁰F.
- Remove almonds from pan and place in a bowl. Place bacon back in the oven for 30 minutes or until crispy. Using a blender, grind dried bacon with smoked sea salt and toss almonds in the “bacon salt”.