I’ve been putting my sous vide equipment through extensive testing lately, trying to see how it will do with different ingredients from meat, eggs, fish, to vegetables. . . and it continues to amaze me with every single task.
We’re doing a simple broccoli here. Start by cutting them into florets and giving them a quick rinse i cold running water.
Get the broccoli florets in the sous vide bag. No need for any seasoning at this point. If you’re not making the mornay sauce included in this recipe, you may add some butter into the bag at this point for some flavor.
Cook the broccoli for 20 minutes at 182F. Then get it into an ice bath to stop any further cooking. You may refrigerate of freeze the broccoli at this point if you wish.The broccoli came out really crisp and evenly cooked.
The broccoli came out really crisp and evenly cooked.
What amazed me is the absence of any residual juices in the bag. Unlike when typically boiling or steaming broccoli where you’re left with a pot of green tinted liquid that clearly shows that some juices have leeched out. Does this mean that the broccoli kept all of its juices in as it cooked? I’m not sure, but if so then this may yet be the healthiest way to cook your veggies, similar to steaming. Be sure and check out my post about the best immersion circulators if you want to get started with sous vide in your own home, or upgrade your current device. They are relatively inexpensive these days compared to just a few years ago!
Now for the sauce. We’re making a mornay which basically is a bechamel with cheese added in.
Okay, let’s break that down and begin with the bechamel. A bechamel is a white based sauce that starts with a roux(fat plus flour). Then milk is whisked in.
Instead of starting this bechamel with the typical choice of butter for the fat component, we’ll be rendering some bacon fat. This will add a smoky flavor to our sauce.
Cook the bacon until fat is rendered off and the bits are crisp. Set aside most of the bacon bits for adding texture to our dish later. Drain it out of the pot and set it on paper towels.
Dust flour directly into the bacon fat. Roast it for a good minute or two to get rid of that floury taste. Be careful not to give the flour too much color as we’re making a white sauce. Roasting the flour to a darker brown would work great when making darker colored sauces such as meat gravies.
Whisk in the milk. Make sure that your milk is cold to avoid the formation of lumps in your sauce.
Simmer the resulting sauce for about 10 minutes. Add more milk if it turns out too thick, or reduce it further if you like it thicker.
Finally, whisk in the blue cheese just until it has fully melted.
Get the idea? Play with a new variation to your mornay sauce next time. Make a cheddar-jalapeno mornay, a manchego-chorizo mornay, a boursin-pancetta mornay. . . any cheese will work.
See how vibrant these vegetables are? I can’t believe how they came out either. I must confess, I am a sous vide fan.