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Sun Feb 2, 2020, 12:07 PM

Sous vide breakfast for the masses

The part of this I don't do sous vide is some kind of starch. I like to change this up so I'm not doing the same thing every single time. I might make scratch biscuits, pancakes, hash browns, or roasted potatoes. Easier things include just toast, market croissants, some banana bread made the night before, or just a salad of various diced fruits.

Ingredients:

1 dozen eggs
1 ham steak
12oz bacon or approximately 2 slices per person vacuum packaged
Cream (optional)
Salt/pepper or other seasonings

The night before:

Heat water bath to 147F(64C)

Drop entire package of bacon into water bath. It will float at some point so you'll need to figure out some way to keep it submerged.

Into a large bowl crack the entire dozen eggs and whisk with a fork. Add 1-2 Tbs of cream or half-n-half (optional) and seasonings. Continue whisking until well combined. Saffron works really great for this. If you've never used it before a little goes a very long ways so always use a lot less than you think you'll need. A tiny pinch will do it. You could also do truffles, truffle oil, curry powder, or just keep it simple with salt/pepper.

Empty the egg mixture in a plastic bag. I use vacuum bags and seal them while removing as much air as possible, but a 1 gal ziplock will work great. Refrigerate overnight.

In the morning:

Preheat oven to 400F(205C)
Preheat 12" skillet or 2 qt saucepan over medium-low heat
Prepare 1/2 sheet pan with rack
Preheat covered casserole dish (microwave for 1 minute with damp tea towel inside)

Remove the bacon from the water bath. Place bag of eggs into the water bath, displacing air and sealing bag as necessary.

Place bacon on rack in sheet pan. Place into preheated oven for ~18 minutes depending on how crispy you like your bacon.

Dice ham steak and gently saute in preheated pan with a pad of butter until it just starts to brown, approximately 2-3 minutes. Remove egg mixture from water bath and add to pan, stirring constantly. It will cook very quickly in about 2 minutes. Remove from heat before it's done as carryover cooking will finish the eggs. Place in preheated casserole dish.

So the question might be, why use the sous vide at all as you could just skip that step entirely? The answer is you certainly can, but sous vide does a few things for you.

Cooking bacon in the oven without sous vide works fine, but it creates a couple of problems. One is it makes an absolute mess of your oven and really your entire kitchen. As the lard renders it evaporates, then coats the inside of your oven and also condenses outside of the oven all over your kitchen just like when you cook bacon in a skillet. Pre-cooking the bacon sous vide overnight renders most of the lard out of the bacon into the bag instead of all over your kitchen. I like to save the lard in the refrigerator for use with other things. You still get some rendering in the oven after sous vide, but it doesn't create nearly as much mess.

As many already know, slow cooking scrambled eggs is a great way to do it, but you're constantly stirring on the stove for 10-15 minutes which prevents you from doing much else. I've found preheating in the water bath to 147F works brilliantly. Less time stirring, more time to do other things. The finished product also tends to come out more uniform with a better texture because there's less evaporation during the cooking process.

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Reply Sous vide breakfast for the masses (Original post)
Major Nikon Feb 2020 OP
brokephibroke Feb 2020 #1
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2020 #2
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #3
PoindexterOglethorpe Feb 2020 #4
trof Feb 2020 #5
Major Nikon Feb 2020 #6

Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Sun Feb 2, 2020, 12:13 PM

1. Sous vide is a great tool

Use it a lot...

The very creative recipe you presented is not one I will run out a make.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Mon Feb 3, 2020, 05:43 AM

2. I've never done sous vide, but it seems as though the time involved might be a problem.

My brother-in-law (alas, no longer with us) grew up in a family that had restaurants, so he was a great cook. He always did bacon in the oven and I don't think it ever was a problem with making a mess in the oven. I'd need to check with my sister about that.

And even basic frying the bacon on the stove top does not get lard or grease all over the kitchen. If that happens for you, I really wonder about how you actually cook the bacon.

And it really does not take 10-15 minutes to scramble eggs. Three or four minutes, tops. What I like about breakfast is that all the foods take almost no time to cook, and so it's truly the most efficient meal to make.

Note that you never did say just how long your breakfast would take.

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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 3, 2020, 10:50 AM

3. Bacon has a high water content

As you cook bacon fat renders out as the water evaporates. That evaporation carries some of the lipids along for the ride which will eventually condense somewhere. Another problem is the water tends to splatter when small bubbles burst which throws bacon grease in all directions. If youíve ever cooked bacon on the stove nekkid, you quickly learn why this is not nearly as good of an idea as it sounds. The same thing happens in the oven. The fat that spatters onto the walls of the oven will burn and polymerize making it difficult to clean. So rendering most of the fat through souls vide greatly reduces, but does not eliminate those issues.

As far as the eggs go, yes you can cook scrambled eggs from start to finish in 3-4 minutes, but many people prefer not to. Egg proteins denature differently at different temperatures. If you think of a hard boiled egg, the whites are rubbery while the yolks are dry and chalky. The same thing can happen with scrambled eggs. Some people prefer them this way, and just about every restaurant in America cooks them this way. Another way to cook them is slower without allowing the temperature of the eggs to exceed about 185F. The result is softer curds and a creamier texture. By using sous vide to pre-cook them to 147F, the thermal journey to done is much shorter than from refrigerator temps of around 40F. So itís an easier and faster way to control the temperature to achieve the same result.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 3, 2020, 02:04 PM

4. It seems to me as though cooking anything at high temperatures

with no clothes on is a very bad idea.

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Response to Major Nikon (Original post)

Wed Feb 5, 2020, 07:56 PM

5. Check out 'cornstarch eggs' for really creamy scrambled eggs.

It would work fine with sous vide.

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Response to trof (Reply #5)

Wed Feb 5, 2020, 08:58 PM

6. I have made scrambled eggs entirely sous vide before

You have to periodically remove the bag and agitate with a set of tongs to break up the curds. The result is already very creamy. The reason scrambled eggs dry out is because temperatures exceed the point at which the egg proteins squeeze out the moisture. Sous vide cooks at lower temps and solves that problem.

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