Thursday, October 18, 2012

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Living Sous-Vide-a Yolk-a

Morning Dish
2 Hard Boiled Eggs

Evening Dish
Hi...atus. Forgive me Blogger for I have not penned. It has been almost one year since my last composition. If you're familiar with my blog, you know I only update if I've had some sort of egg dish in the morning. That's not to say I update every time I have eggs, only that eating eggs is a requisite for me to update later that day. Well for the past couple of months, in an effort to eat well, I usually have a buff smoothie for breakfast. And no, I'm not using that as an excuse for not blogging, but yes, I somewhat am. Maybe with the delectable experience I had below, I'll treat myself to eggs a little more frequently in the morning and hence, blog a little more frequently as well.

For quite some time I've wanted to experiment with the cooking method known as sous-vide. There are three main components to sous-vide cooking:
  1. Vacuum sealing food
  2. Placing sealed food in a hot water bath
  3. Controlling the temperature of water bath to not exceed desired food temperature
I came across plenty of online articles that described the many approaches taken by home and professional cooks alike when cooking sous-vide and my decision basically boiled -- pun intended -- down to cost and convenience. Sure I could have went with the article or two that jerry-rigged the following cheaper contraption:
  1. Vacuum sealing food = sucking out air with a straw from a zip-top bag
  2. Placing sealed food in a hot water bath = pouring heated water in an ice chest
  3. Controlling the temperature of water bath to not exceed desired food temperature = constantly checking the water temperature with a digital thermometer and adding hot/cold water as fluctuations occur
Instead, I took care of component 1 by purchasing a Reynolds Handi-Vac and accompanying bags. For components 2 and 3, I seriously contemplated purchasing the Sous Vide Supreme, a nifty countertop gadget that would've have been extremely convenient, but also a bit pricey ($449.95). I opted for a rice cooker (free) to handle component 2, and a SousVideMagic PID temperature controller from Fresh Meals Solution ($159.50) for component 3. Basically, I hook my rice cooker's power cord to the temperature controller, the temperature controller's power cord to an A/C outlet, place the temperature controller's sensor in a rice pot filled with water, set the temperature controller to x degrees Fahrenheit/Celsius, let the temperature controller automatically power the rice cooker on and off as needed, and voila, I have a setup that looks like this:

The green LED lights display my desired water bath temperature.
The red LEDs display the current water bath temperature +/- 1 to 2 degrees.

My SousVideMagic temperature controller was delivered yesterday and my Handi-Vac has yet to arrive so what could I cook that's naturally vacuum sealed you ask? Eggs. I previously blogged on how one might go through a lot of trouble to cook the perfect egg. I previously blogged on my love for soft-boiled ones. I placed an egg in a 146F water bath for about an hour and well, the pictures below just don't do the description "perfectly, soft boiled" justice...

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


Morning Dish
Scrambled eggs and hash browns

Evening Dish
Sadly, my love for eggs is not all-encompassing. To many, balut is a delicacy, so don't knock it until you've tried it. And I know the perfect place if you care to (1:11 into the video):

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Morning Dish
Shredded chicken and egg breakfast taco

Evening Dish
Which came first, the chicken or the egg? Are we friends because we understand each other or was it because we understood each other that we became friends? All the same, I'm blessed to be surrounded by friends that understand me on so many levels. One of those levels is wit. I'd like to think if a video camera followed me and my group of friends around, the interactions captured would provide for some phenomenal sitcom material. Be it spoken (think HIMYM) or silent (think The Office), our actions, for the most part, are humorous, sharp, unpredictable. And when they are not, comments such as, "" and "Is this thing [microphone] on?" are plentiful, Jim Halpert glances go flying, and order is once again restored. Exchanges like the one I recently had with a friend, as exemplified below, happen more frequently than you may think. Feel free to interject with your very own "" as you see fit.

Note: Elements of the following chat transcript have been redacted to protect the anonymity of the other party.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Formula for Boiling Eggs

Morning Dish
Garlic fried rice with eggs

Evening Dish
Speaking of soft-boiled eggs, I stumbled across this how-to article via Lifehacker on cooking perfectly boiled eggs using science. The circumference of an high am I above sea level...really? Taking measurements may seem like overkill, but who said achieving perfection was easy?

Monday, April 6, 2009

Rotten Eggs

Morning Dish
Scrambled egg, ham, and mozzarella sandwich

Evening Dish
For the past year and a half up until two weeks ago, I never considered taking the highway home regularly after work. Outside of spring, summer, and winter breaks -- when school buses are off the roads and college students out of town -- I assumed the stretch of MoPac from campus on up to 183 was as packed as [insert clever simile here]. Lamar to 45th to Burnet to 183 was my afternoon commute until a coworker who lives farther north of me said, "It's not as bad as you think at 5 o'clock." And I leave work at 4:30. If x equals 7-10 minutes multiplied by most work days during this past year and a half, then x is a chunk of my life I'll never get back. Dare I take MoPac in the morning? To be continued...

Thursday, March 26, 2009


Morning Dish
2 potato, bacon, and egg breakfast tacos

Evening Dish
I ate soft-boiled eggs (2) for the first time in a long time last weekend. If ever the cliché, "Absence makes the heart grow fonder," could best be applied it was then, the very moment my teeth pierced the inner yolk. Of course I popped the entire egg in my mouth. (Any less and I ran the risk of having a mess on my chin and/or hands.) Not too many things scream glutton more than the sight of me wolfing down a glorified, compact version of an over-easy egg.

Over-easy. Soft-boiled. Suddenly, my thoughts rested squarely on egg nomenclature. When an egg is boiled, the doneness of the yolk ranges from soft to hard, and the egg is classified as such. However, when an egg is fried and flipped, the classification spectrum ranges from over-easy to over-hard. The doneness of the yolk implies...difficulty level (scratching head). Why does the naming convention differ between the two cooking methods? In my opinion, referring to the egg by its texture wins out. I rarely order eggs at a breakfast joint because I'd rather not pay for a dish I can make better at home. On the off chance I do however, you can bet I'll request my eggs "over-soft" rather than "easy-boiled" any day.