I have been taking a Hiatus from the kitchen for a while ( about 3 months to be precise). Himself has been cooking, under supervision, of course. However, I have a new gadget and I need to learn how to use it. It is a “Sous-Vide” device. Have not quiet worked out the “How and Why?”, ( am working on that aspect) but so far so good. Have cooked chicken breast, result moist and succulent. Ongelet, ( Hanger Steak) a cheaper, but full of flavour steak, and last night rack of lamb. All it requires is some forward planning, which in my case is sometimes difficult, as I tend to open the refrigerator or freezer and say, Ha yes, that is what we will have for dinner!
But with a sous vide machine, food is cooked vacuumed packed in a water bath for several hours, hence the need for advance planning. Chicken Breast only needs an hour, Rack of Lamb 2, Onglet 6-8 and Lamb Shank a whopping 48 hours!! however, once it is set up and on, it needs no attention ( only if there is a power cut ) and only needs finishing when the timer beeps at you. For example, flash fry or grill the Onglet. Himself on first experiencing Onglet, cooked Sous-Vide, thought he was eating a very large Filet Mignon!
Onto this Sunday, I decided that the menu, ( all of which was either fresh in the refrigerator or frozen) would be sautéed Scallops and Shrimp, with a Sauce Vierge, Rack of Lamb with Herb Butter and Parmesan and Wilted Baby Gem Lettuce, and followed by ( and desserts are not really my forté) a Satin Chocolate Mousse.
Very often shops sell scallops without the coral, I personally prefer them with the coral attached. When I lived in Normandy I could buy then quiet cheaply in the shells in the local supermarket, but today they tend to be much more expensive.
Allow a minimum of 3 scallops per person as a starter. brush them lightly with a little olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt and pepper. heat a dry pan until it is very hot and sear the scallops on each side for a couple of minutes. Finely chop together some green onions, some coriander, maybe a few basil leaves and a chopped tomato. Warm about 50 mls of olive oil in the pan and add the above along with the juice of a lemon, spoon over the scallops and serve.
This Rack of Lamb had been in the water bath at 134F for 2 hours. Then it was patted dry. A herb butter was made with soft unsalted butter, mixed with a clove of garlic, crushed and some chopped rosemary leaves and some herbes de Provence. The lamb then was seared on both sides in a hot pan, and then browned for about three minutes, fatty side down. Pour over the herb butter, whilst till in the pan, spoon over the butter onto the rack on the plate and top with grated parmesan. For the wilted baby gem, simply wash, pat dry, cut into halves, and sauté in unsalted butter, turning once until wilted.
This Chocolate mousse is called Satin, as it is very smooth and not so rich as a normal chocolate mousse as it only contains egg whites and not the yolks.
For this you will need
200 grams of 70% dark Chocolate broken into pieces.
a dash of vanilla essence
13/4 cups double cream ( about 400 mls)
3 egg whites stiffly beaten to stiff peak form
75 grams icing sugar. )
Pu the chocolate and cream into a pan and heat until just melted or can be melted in the microwave take care not to make it too hot, cool a little
Carefully stir the sugar into the egg whites, and then carefully stir the whites into the chocolate mix that has been cooled for a while. Fold in with a spatula and then once all incorporated spoon into glasses and chill until ready to serve. Can be decorated with chocolate bits, whipped cream, etc.