One of my foodie friends, The Restaurant Fairy, hosted a beautiful and delicious Indian brunch at her home and invited a bunch of us fellow foodies to come by.
They say that, in India, the best food is found either in the streets or in peoples’ homes. I can honestly say that I’ve never had better Indian food than I did at this homemade brunch. No restaurant in the city even comes close.
Puri, Indian street food snacks with chickpea spread filling:
Sweet potato and squash spread with Indian spices and flat bread:
Chaat (Indian savory snack food) consisting of chickpeas, avocado, yogurt and spicy sauces with crunchy puffs:
Chickpea and lentil slider:
Yogurt sauce for rice:
Daal (spiced lentils):
Cabbage slaw with curry leaves:
We also had some Chicken Tikka Masala toward the tail end but I didn’t shoot it. It was the best version of that dish I’ve ever had.
This is one of the simplest things to make, now that I have a sous vide machine at home. I honestly don’t think I will ever order a filet mignon out at a restaurant ever again, because this shit comes out so fucking perfect at home.
The only catch here: you need a sous vide machine (the vacuum sealer and Searzall are optional). They can be pricey, but if you have the balls, you can make one yourself like a real man (or have your cousin make you one, like I did) for a quarter of the cost of a store-bought machine.
Step 1: Buy filets
Step 2: Season filets however the fuck you want. I used salt, pepper, garlic powder, garlic oil and crushed red pepper.
Step 3: Place filets into vacuum seal bag and seal it the fuck up, with some butter and herbs inside (thyme and rosemary are always nice).
If you’re a poor bastard and can’t afford a vacuum sealer, you can use ziplock bags. Place your meat into the bag and begin to submerge the bag into the water bath. Once you are all the way close to the zipper, zip it shut. The water surrounding the outside of the bag will push out all the air from inside – poor man’s vacuum sealer. If you do this, you may want to put a smooth, clean rock in there too, just for good measure, to keep the meat from floating.
Step 4: Set your temperature to however the fuck you like your steak cooked. I put mine at 138º F for a nice medium rare / medium. I’m dealing with grocery store meat here, people. Don’t give me any bullshit about that being too well done.
Step 5: Wait. About an hour or two. Don’t panic, assholes! You can’t overcook your steak in a sous vide bath. That’s the whole point of it!
Step 6: Remove your steak from the water bath and re-season it a bit, if so desired.
Step 7: SEAR THE FUCK OUT OF IT. I used a Searzall, because I am a fucking badass with a massive bag dangling in the area between my asshole and my dick shaft. Listen to that fucking sizzle just before I flip it over:
But you can easily just toss this baby into a real hot cast iron pan with some more butter and herbs to get that brown and crispy coating. That’s how my cousin does it – see his results below:
As for mine? Check it out below… Seared to a fucking crisp on the outside, and pink as a snatch inside:
Step 8: Pour yourself a hefty glass of Scotch whisky.
Step 9: Drink it, then refill it, and then EAT while you drink that second glass of Scotch. Here: watch me devour one of the filets in under two minutes and then lick the damn plate.
Step 10: Jerk the fuck off and brag about how awesome you are, which I clearly did in the video above, shit the booze out of your system, and then fall asleep drunk and naked in the bathroom.
Feel free to use any cut that you want for this. I recently did the same thing with some Mosner grass-fed rib eyes, with some added duck fat to round them out. See below for the setup and results:
Recently my cousin sent me a text message with some pretty alarming and exciting photos and videos.
Yeah, that’s right… the motherfucker made his own sous vide machine, cooked up some filets to medium rare, and then seared them the fuck off in a cast iron skillet to get some texture on the edges.
What exactly is a sous vide machine, for you non-food nerds? The words translated from French mean “under vacuum.” It is essentially a hot tub for meat. How it works: you place vacuum sealed meats into the water bath and leave them there until the meat comes up to the proper temperature, which is set and regulated with a water heater and temperature controller. You can’t overcook the meat! You get perfect medium rare shit every time, evenly cooked through and through.
As you can imagine, I was flipping out at what my cousin had achieved. I browsed some DIY sous vide instructional websites a few years back when I was living in a house on Long Island, but it seemed like a ton of effort. I thought to myself, “I’ll just get a real-deal machine someday.” But once I saw these things from my cousin, I knew it was time to pull the trigger.
Lucky for me, my cousin is super handy and craftsmanlike when it comes to stuff like this, and he has access to a bunch of great tools like dremels and drill presses.
A flurry of texts immediately ensued. It’d be fun to build one together, I thought. THIS LINK is the instructional we worked from. My cousin ordered a bunch of the materials online…
I pulled my cooler out of the closet, which would serve as the main cooking vessel or “hot tub” (and it saved me some bucks for not having to buy a plastic tub).
and I ordered a vacuum sealer via Amazon Prime…
I also nabbed a blow torch, a can of propane, and a Searzall, because I want to flame that shit sometimes instead of finishing in a pan. Plus, this works great if I ever do fish – the skin… oh maaaaan it gets crispy…
I sent the dimensions of my cooler lid area to my cousin:
He used this to figure out how to cut the plexi down to size to serve as the top portion that suspends the water heater in position. He also built the temperature control housing, and wired the power supply for the temperature control unit and heater probe (thermometer).
I was initially concerned that the hinged top of my cooler wouldn’t close properly with the plexi in place. It turns out that closing the top tight isn’t too big of a problem when you’re using a nicely insulated vessel like a cooler. Also, we dropped the plexi to a lower lip within the cooler, so the thing closes nicely now:
Then you suction this to one of the walls. Essentially this is a water circulator. It keeps the water swirling around so that there are no warm or cold spots within the bath, which makes for a nice even cooking temperature.
BOOM! I can’t wait to fire this fucker up. I’m going to pick up some fish and beef right the fuck now.