I didn’t take this photo today, but nevertheless, it gives the feeling you get when you walk out onto the balcony of our rental apartment. Quiet, peaceful, maybe you can’t tell, but also breezy. One thing I love about this place we’re living in is that you can open up 10 sky lights all at once and allow the sun and the wind to shine it. In the morning we get this amazing fresh breeze coming through. It’s possible to live on a top floor and not suffer, you just need to rent the apartment belonging to two architects. Hmmm…that’s actually what we did last time too. So maybe they have to be the right architects, willing to put enough money into the place.
Anyway, we can enjoy the fresh breeze for around 7 more weeks and then…it’s back to our apartment. Unfortunately, we will likely be living in chaos, as our place will still not be complete. We’re hoping it will only last a few further weeks. We’ll be eating a lot of take out food, I guess.
But…I do look forward to seeing my kitchen again, although it’ll take some time to get it back in. I can imagine unpacking all the boxes again and putting plates back into cupboards, silverware back into drawers. The kitchen here is not bad, however, and the space is beautiful. Thankfully it was more or less outfitted with most of the things I need to cook, and I brought over a bunch of things, and I received…way back at my birthday last year…a new device, which has been added to the ever-increasing roster of tools I cook with.
One of those fancy cooking wands called a “sous vide stick.” Looks like a giant…uh, well, use your imagination.
This is not the brand I have, but no matter, mine works the same. The idea is that you clamp the wand into a pot and use it to bring the water inside to an exact temperature and hold it there. Then you put your food into a plastic bag, lower it into the water and let it sit there for x number of hours until it has reached that temperature. I think most recipes take about 4 hours or so. Some of them take 3 days, but I will never be doing those.
I haven’t used this present as much as I would like, and last weekend I was determined to try something out. We just got back from Sicily a few weeks ago, so seafood was still on my mind. I found a recipe for octopus, which I love when it is cooked right. So I went out and gathered the ingredients on Saturday, prepped a bit (you need to blanch the octopus in a broth for a few seconds and then sous vide it), and on Sunday afternoon and evening, pulled everything together.
Blanching the octopus
cool it down in an ice bath briefly.
Vacuum it up into a plastic bag.
Cook for four hours at 81 degrees C.
While all this was happening, I made the bean salad that went with the octopus. Giant corona beans that I had soaked overnight and then also cooked for about two hours to get them creamy and soft. Tossed with a vinaigrette and some chorizo sausage and mini corn cobs. The octopus comes out of the bathtub and gets briefly cooked either on a grill or in a pan, to give the outside some texture and crunch.
Results? Good, but not great, unfortunately. The octopus was tender and tasty, but the salad maybe a bit too strong in flavor.
Next try…maybe this weekend…a sous vide steak. 🙂