Memorial weekend gastronomic extravaganza

This weekend has been a gastronomic extravaganza. My brother and his wife came down from Dallas and we have two daughters and one of their boyfriends here as well. My brother was the one who turned us onto sous vide by telling us about Thomas Keller at the French Laundry. I cooked just about every dish I've made in the sous vide for them.

Friday night: used the APC sous vide machine to cook chicken breasts and thighs (one daughter won't eat fish), scallops, and salmon, along with a silver lining salad (butter lettuce, avocado, green onions, and a tahini-based dressing with fish sauce), sauteed zucchini and squash, and poached pears for dessert. I made a lemon buerre blanc for the fish and chicken.

Saturday morning: yeast-rising waffles with bacon.

Saturday evening: added another couple to the crowd. We started off with a Spanish olive oil tasting with homemade bread (Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day) and champagne. Then salad with strawberries and avocado with chevre topped with a balsamic reduction. Then two kinds of steak cooked in the sous vide machine: NY strip and a chuck "steak" 2 inches thick that was cooked for twenty-four hours, with a shallot red wine reduction sauce, hasselback potatoes, sauteed asparagus. Everyone agreed the chuck was the better of the two steaks: very tender and flavorful. My sister-in-law had made a nice chocolate cake for dessert.

Sunday morning I made duxelles en cocotte.

No photos?! 

It all sounds amazing though - My kind of place to stay for a weekend, haha.
Aside from the chuck - what did they all think of the rest? Any huge favorites?

I’m curious about the chuck - did you put anything in the bag with it? What temperature did you have it on?

I’ve seen that artisan bread website before and been curious to give it a go, is it worth the (minimal) effort?

Sorry, no photos: too busy getting it all on the table!

Everything else was great.

I did all this in one 4 gallon Cambro container. At one point there were four bags: chicken breasts, thighs, scallops, and salmon.

Boneless, skinless, chicken breasts and thighs: I did these first at 149F in separate bags. Just salt and pepper in the bag. Then I lowered the temperature to 140F for the scallops, with water, apple cider vinegar, and salt in the bag – leaving the chicken bags in there as well to keep warm. Then I lowered the temperature to 122F for the salmon (used some ice to help drop the temp), again leaving the other bags in to keep warm. Only salt and pepper with the salmon as well. Then I seared the chicken and scallops (on a portable induction burner at the table) and served.

For the chuck, I dusted the surfaces with thyme, roasted garlic powder, salt, and pepper, and put it in the water after the salmon came out, and raised the temp to 135F. That cooked a full 24 hours. I did the same to the NY strip about 2 hours before dinner, into the same water. Seared these heavily when ready to eat – probably too much for the strip, as it was no longer medium rare. You have to use a really HOT pan and be quick about it.

The Artisan Bread cookbook is totally worth it if you like warm homemade bread and have a bit more than an hour for rising and baking time before dinner is to be served. Nothing beats fresh warm bread.