What a week!

Sorry to be so late to post this week: in fact Wednesday in particular was the most important day in my recent cooking life that I can remember. I cooked duck breast sous vide (a first), with risotto and orange ice cream. For pudding I cooked a chocolate cream tart ( quite simple) BUT I made ice cream at the table with dry ice and also the aroma of a summer field (also using dry ice). It was very pleasant.

So, how to do sous vide without a fancy machine? Well it is very simple. Just wrap your meat (seasoned and, if you want with butter) in cling film, then in a sandwich/freezer bag. Try to squeeze out as much air as you can, but you only need to squeeze enough out so that it floats. Then, place in a large pan of water, and the water needs to be at 55-65 degrees for meat, and, I would suppose the same for fish. Leave it for two hours, and every 30 minutes I just move the bags around a bit and check the temperature. After two hours dry and season the meat and then place in a hot pan with some oil for a few minutes to caramelise it up. So simple, and yet we got the best duck ever: slightly blushing in the middle and very crispy skin. Heaven, in other words.

The ice creams? Well they were both made with dry ice. I ordered it from a local supplier, and if you order just follow these steps to success:
1. Order it as pellets.
2. Wrap the container in towels when not using.
3. Use heavy duty gloves to handle.
4. Use it within half a day of getting it.
Anyway; the orange ice cream/sorbet was simply made with the juice of six oranges, and I actually made it into orange “snow” in the end, by scraping the surface of it. The strawberry one for pudding was also very simple: about 600grams of strawberries with 600ml of double cream, and there will be videos up of me MAKING THE ICE CREAM, and the choccy tarts. On youtube hopefully by this evening.

However the best bit of supper for me was the aroma of a summer’s picnic. This was made by macerating a packet of raspberries, then squelching in some strawberries, some chopped mint and some elderflower. Then, at pudding time, I simply filled a bowl with dry ice, added some boiling water to the bowl, and amazed everyone. As the thick fog went over the table, it really was as if we were in a field in summer. True beauty in food then.

Anyway, hope some of that was interesting/useful!


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