Cookbook Review: Sous Vide by Hugh Acheson

Ok, listen. I bought this book because I’ve loved Hugh Acheson ever since he made a Black Flag joke with a trio of tofu on his Instagram account. I also bought it because I was gifted a sous vide machine and had no idea what in the hell to do with it. It was like the perfect storm of food.

Here I am, a month later, and I’m a sous vide addict. It seemed like the kind of kitchen tool that you’ll use a few times at first because it seems so novel, but then you’ll stick it back in a cupboard and never touch it again. Honestly, except for a few specific uses, I was skeptical about the whole method of cooking. And maybe I would have tossed out my circulator after a few more months in a Marie Kondo-feng shui attack if I didn’t have this book, but now I’m a sous vide convert.

So, the book. It starts out with a good intro to the cooking method and a layout of the tools you’ll need, so it starts you off with the basics. Then it tosses some recipes at you that cover the gamut from pickled oysters to poached plums.

I’ve made several recipes now and not a dud in the bunch. Everything is accessible to the newbie and everything tastes like restaurant quality yum.

For instance, the Korean short ribs are hands-down a new regular in my repretoire. They were far better than my local Korean joint, were easy to whip up, They had a crispy exterior and a buttery middle that I could eat with a spoon, all drizzled in this sweet, savory sauce. If it sounds like I’m raving, I am. It was stunning.

I find myself looking at this book to find a recipe, rather than trying to find a recipe for an ingredient that I already have, which is my usual process, just because it’s that good.

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