Category Archives: food

Modernist pork tenderloin Wellington for Xmas dinner

For Christmas dinner, I decided to do a modernist pork tenderloin Wellington. Two things make it “modernist”

  • Meat glue to form the tenderloin into the desired shape
  • Sous vide precook so the pork won’t be too rare inside the pastry

We bought a 1.5 lb pork tenderloin. Like all tenderloins, this comes in an inconvenient shape for a cylindrical Wellington. My friend John Richardson had sent me some transglutaminase last year to play with. I’d been storing it in the freezer and I thought it might be fun to play with it for Xmas.

IMG_1534Based on this website, I used 1g of Transglutaminase (Activa RM) to make a slurry with 6 ml of water (I was aiming for 4 ml by weight, but overshot). I cut the tenderloin and painted the surface to be glued with the slurry and then wrapped the whole thing in saran wrap, tightened to make a cylinder, and put it back in the fridge at 1PM. I wasn’t actually sure the enzyme was still active, since I had stored it at room temp for a while before thinking to put it in the freezer.

Ideally I would have done this the night before, but we only decided to shop last night and I started reading recipes this morning. This lack of planning is not recommended, but it’s my normal mode of operation.

IMG_15354PM, put the whole wrapped thing in a bag and into a 138F bath. I left the wrappings on to not disturb the joint as the meat cooked. This trapped some air, so I used a spatula to hold it all underwater.

While the meat was in the sous vide, started the mushroom duxelle. I pulsed some mushrooms in the food processor and then cooked them in butter and olive oil with some dried thyme. I added about 100 ml of Chardonnay from the little six-pack bottles we keep around for cooking and then reduced until the liquid was pretty much gone.

IMG_1537 IMG_1538Here’s what it looked like before and after searing after coming out of the sous vide. When I took it out of the bag, the two pieces held together, indicating that the transglutaminase had done its job (but see below). I seared in a hot saute pan with oil and butter using tongs to rotate the meat and get all sides browned. Each face got about 30 seconds of browning.


IMG_1539I laid out some prosciutto on more saran wrap and spread the mushrooms on it. At this point I realized I probably should have started with more than one small package of mushrooms. I spread Dijon mustard on the meat, laid it on  and used the plastic wrap to wrap the loin tightly in the prosciutto and duxelle layers.

IMG_1540Laid this on the puff pastry. I used an old package that we had in the freezer. Best used by … July 2013!

 

Into a 400F oven at ~7PM CST. Took it out after 20 minutes


Here’s what it looked like after slicing. It was delicious. The approach definitely works with pork. Of course, there are improvements that could be made.

The doneness of the pork was what I wanted, but the two pieces had separated. I suspect that the meat glue bonding worked, but was not uniform enough. Twisting the saran wrap didn’t press the two pieces together tightly enough, especially since I didn’t cut them to make the surfaces really flat first (didn’t want to waste any meat).

I’m thinking that next time I try something like this I should tie the meat with string while the bonding is going on. That’s what is recommended here, if you don’t have a vacuum sealer (I don’t).

Another problem was that while the top puff pastry was crisp, the bottom crust was soggy. This wasn’t surprising, as there was a fair amount of fat that rendered out and leaked onto the pan (note to self: a rimmed pan is probably a better idea instead of the flat one I used). This probably came from the prosciutto. The classic recipe suggests using a crepe.  Kenji suggests using phyllo as a moisture barrier. NIgella Lawson’s team suggests blind baking a puff pastry foundation to be placed underneath the meat. They also comment about making sure the mushrooms are dry enough. That was probably a factor in mine, but the prosciutto would probably still render even if the mushrooms were drier. Others suggest bread. The absorbent carb layers are disliked by the Guardian’s Felicity Cloak.

Not only are the cooled pancakes more difficult to roll than I’d anticipated, causing my sous chef Richard to pause and watch in horrified fascination before I shoo him out of the kitchen, but the finished result is decidedly stodgy. “I just had a chunk of pancake,” my flatmate, on her third sample of wellington of the evening, declares, “and now I feel a bit sick.” They’re not crisp like the pastry (which seems just as moist on the bottom as any of the other recipes), or meaty like the beef – in fact, they’re just an extra layer of carb-laden work. Save that room for more meat.

I’m wondering if it would help to cook the whole thing on a rack, instead of just sitting on parchment.

There are also a bunch of deconstructed beef wellington recipes, which are essentially meat with a puff pastry square or mushroom tart on the side. These solve the crisp pastry problem, but in my view they miss the whole showpiece nature of a Wellington.

Procrastinators Thanksgiving Dinner part 3

I never got around to making the final post of this set. So, here, before doing a Xmas dinner post, is the last part of my procrastinator’s Thanksgiving.

Pie is done. Dressing is done. Cranberry relish is done. Spatchcock cooking time estimates are much faster than traditional, so I was able to take a bit of a break from cooking.

Spatchcocking the turkey

TIMG_1505he first question was what pan to use. I needed something that was big enough to hold the bird after it was butterflied. Usually we use our roasting pan, but that wouldn’t be large enough. We also have rimmed cookie sheets, but I didn’t have a suitable rack. Then I remembered the broiler pan that comes with most ovens.

IMG_1506The bird had been sprinkled with kosher salt the night before. The actual spatchcocking is pretty easy with a pair of poultry shears. Just cut along the spine on both sides and then crack the carcass to spread it out. It did come out slightly crooked, though.

Into the oven.

IMG_1507To be honest, since I forgot to write this in real time and didn’t keep a good lab notebook, I forget what temperature I used, but it was somewhere between 400 and 450 F. Here’s how it came out. This method is really fast; I overshot the time slightly cooking for just over an hour. It was just slightly saltier than I would like; I might skip or adjust the dry brine next time.

Mashed potatoes

While the turkey was cooking, I made mashed potatoes. I decided to try using our food mill. They were fine, but at least with our discs it is not true that the peels will be left behind in the food mill (which is part of why I wanted to try it).

Final notes

Despite not planning ahead, we had a nice Thanksgiving dinner, and overall the multitasking wasn’t too bad. I also had enough leftover pie dough to make an apple tart over the weekend.

On to Xmas dinner!

Procrastinators Thanksgiving Dinner part 2

Fortunately, we’re an evening dinner family, not an afternoon Thanksgiving family.

Apple Pie

As I start this post, I’ve been working on an apple pie. I’ve been using the Kenji easy pie crust recipe. Although experts seem to agree that Granny Smiths are not the best for pie, that’s what I use. Someday we may do an actual experiment to test alternatives. I used to just put the apples in the pie raw, but I’ve started pre-sauteeing them in the hope of reducing the tendency to get an empty dome under the top crust.

Into the oven around noon. Just in time to turn on the Ags vs Gonzaga in basketball from the Bahamas.

Cornbread dressing

This is where googling for recipes should really be done ahead of time. I had decided not to do oysters, but there are some nice sounding recipes that use things like sausage and apples. But I used all the apples in the pie and didn’t have sausage. And the store was completely out of sage. And the last bag of cornbread croutons is preseasoned with who knows what. But I improvised by sauteeing in butter and oil:

  • Mushrooms
  • Cajun trinity: Onion, Celery, and Green Bell Pepper + garlic

I added my own dried parsley, oregano, thyme., and a dash of chili flakes Tossed with the cornbread mix.  Moistened with stock with butter melted into it.

At this point the Ags and Zags are playing a very close second half.

Into a 350 F oven for about half an hour.


Ags upset #10 Zags!!! Whoop!

Cranberry Orange Relish

This is one of the easiest recipes ever. Checking the internet, there are lots of variations.

  • I bag cranberries
  • 1 or 2 unpeeled oranges, cut into segments. You want the peel.
  • 0.5 c sucrose. Many recipes use more than that, but we like it tart.
  • ~0.5 c pecans

Process.

Leftover relish is good on vanilla ice cream, btw.

More coming…

Procrastinator’s Thanksgiving Dinner part 1

Decided very late to do a semi-traditional Thanksgiving dinner, i.e. Turkey and sides instead of Spaghetti Carbonara. Starting to plan and shop on a Tuesday night before Thanksgiving is not ideal, but what the heck (I bought some pancetta just in case).

We’ve been meaning to try the spatchcock (butterflied) method. Kenji at Serious Eats seems to have mixed advice on brining between the website and the book he consistently is opposed to wet brining, but after that, the choices are:

  • Don’t bother. There’s also a question of whether Butterball brand (which is what I found in an appropriate size late Tues night) is pre-brined. Since Butterball provides instructions on brining, I’m thinking that’s not really the case.
  • Dry brine under the skin. That’s described in the book.
  • Dry brine over the skin – the salt will penetrate. This is easier and similar to what I’ve done before when roasting chickens, and the famous Zuni cafe recipe doesn’t bother to go under the skin. The current website dry brine method recommends doping the salt with baking powder to raise the pH for improved browning of the skin.

The plan is to dry brine overnight before spatchcocking because the spread out bird would take up too much room in the fridge. I’m hoping my pans and racks are big enough come tomorrow. I thawed the bird still in the bag submerged in cold water using the Cambro container I bought for sous vide. Then I mixed a 1/2x recipe of the dry brine (since it’s a ~10 lb small bird). 3 T Kosher salt + 1 T baking powder. I’m surprised the recipe doesn’t give this by weight.

Sprinkle all over except the back where the backbone will be excised. Leave overnight uncovered in the fridge.

The baking powder makes it kind of weird to sprinkle on, and even 0.5 x is way too much. I’m also wondering if there is a typo and this is too much baking powder. We shall see…

Also, Debby found this for one of the sides!

to be continued.

Chocolate-cayenne cake with raspberry filling

The pseudo Black Forest Cake was a success a couple of weeks ago (yes, posting here is very sporadic) and I was talking about it with one of the grad students as part of a broader conversation about cooking. This inspired her to make Colombian empanadas, and I found one at my desk on Friday. Yum!

To reciprocate, I thought I’d make another cake and bring her a slice. I did the chocolate genois again using the sous vide water bath. But not being content with making the same thing twice, I decided to play with the flavors. I like the Lindt dark chocolate bars with chili, so I went for a little spice in the chocolate.

Chocolate-cayenne genoise

Dry stuff

3/4 cup cake flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper

Sifted together.

Wet stuff

6 eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Beat this together over the 115F water bath until peaks form.

1/2 stick butter, melted

Notes

  • I avoided the microwave exploding butter this time, but I did make two butter-related mistakes: I didn’t take it out of the freezer early enough and it wasn’t fully melted by the time I needed it. Then I overmixed the 1 c aliquot of the foam with the melted butter… note to self: do this by hand, not with the stick blender whisk! So I lost some volume. It was thinner than last time (compare the pic from the last post; that’s after it’s was cut in half!), which made cutting it it half a little bit harder.
  • Last time I only put parchment on the bottom of the springform. This time I decided to put parchment on the sides too. I was puzzled about how to get the parchment strips to hold up until I realized I could stick them to sides of the pan with softened butter.

 

Cake Syrup and Raspberry filling

The Framboise based cake syrup was good last time, but there was way too much of it. The recipe called for 8 oz of sugar and water and then an equal volume of liqueur. Way, way too much. The problem, of course, is being able to heat and dissolve a small volume. I decided to use a measuring cup as my cooking vessel.

1 oz sugar
1 oz water

I put the whole measuring cup in water in a small saucepan and heated it to dissolve the sugar. I added an equal volume of Framboise. Part of this was used to dampen the bottom layer of the cake.

I decided to modify this recipe for a raspberry cake filling. Instead of just frozen berries, sugar, and cornstarch, I used some of the syrup and some raspberry preserves.

1 cup frozen raspberries
2 tsp cornstarch (reduced from the 1T in the recipe)
~50 ml of the framboise cake syrup from above
1/4 cup raspberry preserves.

 

Non-dairy chocolate ganache

Recipes like this one suggest replacing the heavy cream with coconut milk. The first problem I had was using Martha Stewart, who suggests 8 oz chocolate with 1.5 c heavy cream. That’s about 12.5 g by weight. In hindsight, other sites suggest closer to a 1:1 ratio. I ended up making a way too think ganache and thickening it by mixing in pieces of Lindt 90% over a 110F sous vide bath. The final result may have been a bit too thick and possibly could have been used a a higher temperature for pouring over the cake. But the final result looked pretty nice.

 

The irregularity around the edges could be improved. I wonder if I should have trimmed it or primed it with something before pouring the ganache icing over it.

The bigger problem is that the loss of volume was not uniform. Once we sliced into it and ate it, there was maybe a 1/4 inch tough and eggy layer where the batter must have separated and settled out. Presumably this was due to the overmixing when I incorporated the butter.

Black Forest Cake part 2: Everything else


Once the Genoise was cooled, I made cake syrup and chocolate shavings (sort of). Cake syrup is just 50% sucrose plus flavorings. The recipe calls for 50% syrup an 50% Kirsch. We didn’t have Kirsch and Texas doesn’t sell anything over 17% alcohol on Sundays, so I used some Frambois we had around.

The recipe calls for a half recipe of his 8 oz water version… and that is still way too much. In the end, probably half a cup is more than enough.

I managed to bisect the cake with a serrated knife. Then, due to lactose intolerance, I used Cool Whip instead of real whipped cream (sacrilege, I know). It turns out that Kraft started adding milk and cream to Cool Whip a while ago, so eating this will still require lactaid tablets, but the cream is less than 2% of the total, based on the ingredients. In other words < 2% is cream, casein, plus other stuff.

I forgot to take a pic of the middle layer of Cool Whip plus frozen sour cherries in a hexagonal array. First we brushed on some of the Frambois/Syrup solution, then a later of Cool Whip. Cherries were embedded. Then we put on the top layer put on and moistened it further. Leaving a lot of leftover syrup. Cool Whip all over the outside and then decorate. I don’t have a cake wheel, so we just balanced the cake (still on the springform bottom) on an inverted bowl.

We tried to make the chocolate shavings using this method. But we probably overcooled the chocolate and also didn’t make it thin enough. When I went to scrape it into curls, the whole sheet came off in one piece. So I broke it up into pieces for the central chocolate “forest”. Maraschino cherries around the rim. Not as fancy as Joe’s, but not bad looking for someone who rarely makes cakes. Into the fridge at about 7PM.

We had it for dessert. Pretty good… needed more sour cherries in the middle layer.

Black Forest Cake part 1: Chocolate Génoise

Debby’s father’s birthday is coming up and one of her sisters is visiting. We decided to be overly ambitious and make a chocolate cake. Not content with just making a cake (I’m usually more of a pie person), I decided that Joe Pastry’s Black Forest Cake looked good. It starts with his Chocolate Génoise

2 ounces (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter
3.5 ounces (3/4 cup) cake flour
0.75 ounces (1/4 cup) Dutch-process cocoa
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 eggs, room temperature
5.25 ounces (3/4 cup) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

The basic idea is to make an egg foam and fold in the dry ingredients. Note that there is no other leavening! The first problem is figuring out how to do the eggs. There are two issues from using Joe’s recipe.

  • I don’t have a stand mixer, which is not a big deal. But I need to figure out the appropriate volume container to use. It seems like typical stand mixer bowls are 4.5-5 quarts. On the other hand, the whole thing is going to fit into a 9″ springform pan. First discovery: the springform pan is not watertight enough to empirically measure its volume. So let’s calculate: 2.8 in h x 3.14 x 4.5 in ^2 =  178 in^3 = 12.3 cups, which is sort of consistent with this site, which gives 12 cups as the volume for 2 regular 9 in cake pans. But I assume we’re not going to fill the pan to the rim.
  • The related problem is how to heat the mixture without cooking it. This depends on what the container will fit in! Joe puts his mixing bowl over a pan of boiling water to heat the eggs, and monitors the temperature while whipping.

I’ve been looking for an excuse to buy a stick blender, so I used this as a chance to get the Cuisinart Smart Stick with a whisk attachment.

Note to self: melting butter in the microwave is not a good idea.

My solution to the egg beating was to use my Anova Precision Cooker to  hold a water bath at 115°F. The Anova is nice for this compared to my older Nomiku because it can work in a shallower water bath.

The pic shows the setup about halfway through the beating of the egg-sugar mixture. It ended up increasing in volume another inch or so… if I do this again I need a larger bowl.

I mixed about a cup of the egg foam with the melted butter and then transferred the whole thing to a larger bowl. I gently whisked in the flour and cocoa, leaving a few irregularities.

After pouring the batter into the pan (another new purchase!), I noticed that I had not put parchment on the sides. Hmm… too late to fix, and it’s a nonstick pan. Baked for 30 min at 375. Toothpick came out clean. Done at about 5PM on Sunday afternoon.

I did the double flip with parchment onto the cooling rack as described in Joe’s post, but I’m not sure why I needed to get the lower parchment out… his photo looks like the cake is back onto the lower panel of the springform pan.

Comparing my cake to his pictures, mine looks a bit more like the bottom of a cone. The sides came away from the walls of the pan, making the cake a bit narrower at the top than at the bottom. I wonder if this is related to the lack of wall parchment.

But I’m happy with how it came out – i.e. not collapsed – and it smells amazing.

Serious Eats pie crust

Lately I’ve been using Kenji Alt-Lopez’ Easy Pie Crust recipe from Serious Eats. Posting here will help find the link and preserve the very minor modifications I’ve made.  The original calls for using 2/3 of the 12.5 oz of flour in the first step. This is ridiculously precise, so I’m just doing the weighing of the flour in two steps instead of one. That’s the only modification.

  • Weigh 8 oz flour into the food processor. Add 2 T sugar and 1 t NaCl. Pulse to mix
  • Add 2.5 sticks of cold butter cut into chunks. Pulse in thoroughly (about 25 pulses)
  • Transfer to a bowl. Add 4.5 oz flour. Cut in with a pastry cutter or silicon spatula
  • Mix in 0.375 c ice water (6 T)

 

Sous vide brunch

Sunday brunch:

Food processor hollandaise

  • melt half a stick of butter. While melting, in the processor bowl
    • 2 egg yolks
    • dash of dijon
    • salt
    • pepper
    • juice of a lemon
  • pulse
  • add the melted butter

After processing, I suspect that the butter was not hot enough to cook the egg yolks, and the sauce was too thin. So I tranferred the sauce to a stainless bowl and used the 170F sous vide that was cooking the eggs as a double boiler bath and whisked the hollandaise until it thickened.

Soft boiled eggs

IMG_1261.JPG

Two circulators going at once! The Nomiku is working on some short ribs while the Anova did the eggs.

The basic problem with sous vide eggs is that the kind of long-term thermal equilibrium that works for meat is not ideal for eggs. The reason is that the yolks set at a lower temperature than the whites. So what people do is use the sous vide as a way to boil eggs below actual boiling. I tried 170F for 15 minutes. The result had the yolks set a bit more than I wanted, and the whites were better but still a bit runny.

Assembly

Didn’t have Canadian bacon, so I used some pan-fried bacon to make a pseudo eggs Benedict.

IMG_1262.JPG

Thanksgiving dinner

We decided to be antisocial this year and are doing Thanksgiving at home. Since there are only three of us, a whole bird is too much, so I went for a Sous Vide turkey breast with some sides to be determined.

Classic Cranberry-Orange Relish

IMG_1234.JPG

before -pecans

IMG_1235.JPG

after

The first thing I’m going to make is the cranberry relish, so the flavors can mature while other things are going on.  This is also the most ridiculously easy recipe of the day: mix cranberries, unpeeled orange pieces, and sugar in the food processor and blast it to the appropriate texture. After doing this, Debby reminded me that we add nuts sometimes, so we added pecans

  • I bag cranberries
  • 1 orange cut into pieces
  • 1/2 cup sugar (less than the traditional recipe, which calls for 3/4-1 c)
  • 1 cup pecans

Processed, transferred to a stainless bowl and into the fridge.

Sous-vide turkey breast

After we decided yesterday to be antisocial, Debby went out and looked for a small turkey. She bought a turkey breast by mistake: the label said “Fresh young turkey” but the tag showed that it was a bone-in breast. So I went with a Serious Eats recipe for Sous Vide Turkey breast.

Prep:

IMG_1236.JPGStarted with a 6.13 lb bone-in turkey breast from HEB.

  • IMG_1239.JPGFirst you remove the skin.  Turkey skin is harder to just rip off the flesh than chicken skin, but with some coaxing with a knife I got it all off and set it aside.
  • The recipe at Serious Eats talks about using a boning knife, which we don’t own, to debone the breast. When getting boneless breast filets off of a chicken, my friend Tad Simons showed me many decades ago to use the wings as handles to pull the breast meat off the ribcage. There aren’t any wings on the bone-in breast we bought, so I used a combination of fingers and a chef’s knife to get the breast filets off the carcass. The top picture shows the nice side of the filets. The other side is a lot messier, and I also ended up with chunks of meat that I cut off the carcass. I set these aside  to cook separately.
  • To get a more or less cylindrical piece of breast meat, you put season the inner surfaces with salt and pepper, align them head to tail, and then tie it up with twine. This got transferred to a 1 gal ziploc bag and put away for later.
  • I browned the carcass a bit and made stock. I omitted carrots, onions, and celery for now so I could give some scraps to the very attentive audience:

IMG_1238.JPG

Sous vide

IMG_1245.JPGMoved the bag to a 145F water bath at 2:10. Actually the water bath was set to 145F at 2:10. Put the extra meat in a smaller bag and added it to the water bath later (4:30). This is how the turkey breast looked when it was pulled and sliced at about 6PM

 Turkey skin

Detail from Michaelangelo’s Last Judgement

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before

Cut parchment to fit a rimmed baking sheet and spread the skin onto it. Doing that reminded me of Michaelangelo’s Last Judgement.

Turned the oven to 400F. Covered the skin with a second piece of parchment and then a second matching cookie sheet.

Looked at it about 20 minutes later. I think I should have been more aggressive about removing the blobs of fat attached to the skin. There was a bunch of rendered turkey fat in the lower pan… poured this off to use for the gravy.

I put the skin back uncovered after pouring off the fat.  The skin comes out like a crackling. I liked it, but it’s different from the well-roasted skin on a whole bird.

IMG_1244.JPG

after

Gravy

Sautee’d a mirepoix of celery and onions (discovering on the way that we are out of carrots). Added the turkey stock from above with a bay leaf and a dash of soy. Meanwhile, used the turkey fat and some butter to make a roux by browning some flour. Strained the stock and then added it to the roux to make gravy.

Roasted purple sweet potatoes with yellow bell peppers

IMG_1240.JPG IMG_1241.JPGI had impulsively bought some Stokes Purple Sweet Potatoes at HEB, and the Ags are playing LSU tonight. So I decided to adapt this recipe to use purple potatoes and red peppers.

  • Preheat oven to 450
  • Peel and cut potatoes into chunks. These were smaller than the regular sweet potatoes, so I used  smaller chunks
  • Add strips of yellow bell pepper
  • Toss with cumin, red pepper flakes, a few cloves of minced garlic, and olive oil.
  • Transfer to a baking dish, add a some water

I think the idea is to get the water to do some initial steaming and then have the dry heat roast the potatoes and peppers. Got this into the oven at 2:40.  I figure I can reheat this later if necessary after making the dressing.

After 30 minutes, the sweet potatoes were nowhere near done and the liquid was not evaporated; if anything more had rendered from the veggies. Transferred to a cake pan to spread them out more and put it back in. Out about 15 minutes later and transferred back.

The dish tastes good, but the bright purple color is muted by the cumin and/or the cooking.

Corn bread dressing.

IMG_1243.JPGBased on scanning various recipes (plan ahead? Ha!), I think this will need 350F for about an hour. Using premade cornbread stuffing, I’m going to add:

  • Celery, onions. Sauteed and moved to a bowl
  • Mushrooms, Sage. Sliced mushrooms and cut the sage leaves as sort of a chiffonade. Sauteed in butter and added to the bowl
  • Granny smith apples. Chopped two into chunks
  • Tossed with cornbread stuffing from the bag. Added some thyme.

Some recipes call for adding eggs. Others don’t. So I tried both ways on two different aliquots. Into a 350F oven at 3:50 PM. Out at 3:45 to allow room for the  turkey skin. Should have been earlier and I should have used more stock. Ended up adding more afterward, so the experiment to see whether eggs matter was uninterpretable.

 Final result

IMG_1246.JPGThis is the third time I’ve done some kind of sous vide poultry, and while it was good, it’s still more like poached turkey than roasted turkey… which makes sense given how the meat is in a bag of its own juices by the end of the cooking time. With red meats the final sear and the fact that conventional braises are at higher temperatures obscures the difference, but with poultry and fish I think it’s more apparent. Some of the difference has to be the lack how the meat bastes itself with that fat that rendered from the skin.

As long as you are OK with that, Sous Vide for the turkey does have two big advantages:

  • Flexibility in the cook time. I ended up leaving the meat in the water bath longer than planned when Debby and her father took the dog for a pre-dinner walk.
  • Oven space. Instead of tying up the oven for several hours, the turkey only needed about half an hour for the crispy skin.

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving meal, whatever you had.