Saturday, January 7, 2012

63-Degree Eggs - playing with Sous Vide Supreme

Come meet my new friend Sous Vide Supreme! Ever since I got it in early December I have been experimenting and trying out dishes that I had difficulties making without this super machine that can keep temperature to 0.5 degrees (Celcius) accuracy.

I have been trying to cook a few things with this new kitchen yoy but particularly here's a simple dish I made over the new year for a vegetarian friend of mine - hearty lentils combined with fresh mushrooms that I got from the farmer's market, and eggs cooked at 63-degrees sound like a perfect winter appetizer dish to me in this occasion.

63-degree eggs with puy lentils and mushrooms

Ingredients: (Served 4)
  • 4 Eggs - get the best you can since the flavors of the eggs made all the difference. I used the Japanese eggs from Hiroshima.
  • 3/4 cup of puy lentils (the brown type)
  • 500g of fresh mushrooms (can use anything from portabella, button mushrooms, Japanese hon-shimeji, or better yet, a mixture! I found these beautiful local brown mushrooms at the Farmer's Market the day before I made the dish, so that's what I used. Cheaper and easily beat any packaged ones you found in the supermarket)
  • Handful of dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 minutes before use (optional)
  • 2 slices of bread, toasted with butter
  • Shaved parmesan cheese
  • Vegetable broth (optional)
  • Salt, pepper, olive oil

  1. If your eggs are stored in refrigerator, leave them out for at least a couple hours so it's back to room temperature before you start cooking.
  2. Fill the Sous Vide Supreme with water and set the temperature to be 63-63.5C.
  3. Put the eggs in the machine. The eggs should be cooked for at least 30 minutes after the water bath reaches the pre-set temperature. (I did mine for 75 minutes)
  4. In case you don't have a SVS machine, you can use your regular pot to make the water bath and use your thermometer to make sure the water stays at 63C for at least 30 minutes - it's more time-consuming, but it wouldn't make a big difference in terms of results
  5. Rince the puy lentils in running water. Place them in a pot with water (or vegetable broth, if you wish).
  6. Bring the water to the boil, turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30-40 minutes. Drain the water and season with salt. Cover with cling wrap and set aside.
  7. Meanwhile, brush clean the fresh mushrooms and combine with the porcini mushrooms. Dice them into small pieces. (I only uses the dried porcini to enhance the overall flavors - it's optional)
  8. Heat olive oil in a large frying pan, add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook over medium heat for 15 minutes, until they are tender. Stir often so they won't burn.
  9. Break the toasted bread into small croutons and set aside.
To assemble, place the warm puy lentils into the bottom of the plate, then layer with the sauteed mushrooms. Make a little "hole" in the middle of the plate and crack the egg into it. The egg white should still be quite runny while the yolk should be almost set. Sprinkle shaved parmesan cheese generously on top of the egg and then croutons.

The dish should be eaten with a spoon by breaking the egg and mix everything together. Lentils and mushrooms brought an earthy touch and unique "rustic" flavors to this dish; the egg yolks glue everything together, and the crunchiness of the croutons gave this dish some textures.

Most of the ingredients can be prepared in advance and just heat it back up before it's ready to serve - which makes this an ideal appetizer for a multi-course dinner gathering at home. It's good on its own (lentils can be quite filling, you know) or you can serve it with a garden salad on the side. Enjoy!

(In case you ask, I got my Sous Vide Supreme machine from a local distributor - google "Sous Vide Supreme Hong Kong" and you should find their contact. Alternatively for 220V model you can get it cheaper from UK, Australia or Singapore - I am just too lazy to arrange overseas delivery. The one I used is the smaller demi model - if space's no concern, get the bigger one)


Tom said...

I think one of these puppies will be my desperate shit I forgot to get anything birthday/ anniversary present to Jen sometime soon.

Looking forward to seeing you next week.

jm said...

great recipe! how much did get the sous vite for?