Food Writing This Week: Sous Vide, Pastry, & More

Since I was named the editor of the Food & Drink Section at Chicagoist, I haven't had as much time to blog here. A lot my writing there isn't going to be particularly interesting unless you live in Chicago, but I have a scattering of pieces that might appeal to a broader audience I will highlight here from time to time with commentary. 

The first is my piece on trying a cooking technique known as sous vide. You might already be familiar with the technique though. It really entered the diet blogosphere and particularly the low carb/paleo blogosphere around 2009. That was when the Eades, the authors of popular diet book Protein Power, released The Sous Vide Supreme. It's a great way to cook meat and does definitely increase the yield of really tender meat from things like tough cuts of grass-fed meat. But I also highlight its dark side. It uses quite a bit of plastic bags, for example. In addition there has been some backlash from the diet blogosphere because of concerns about the plastic leaking potentially toxic chemicals. In all honesty though, I am pretty lazy and often just end up using my Nomiku for making eggs, which doesn't require cooking in plastic. Nom Nom Paleo points out that there are reusable silicone bags on the market that I might try next time I use it to cook meat. Amazon reviews are mixed though with many complaining they don't seal correctly, which could make a huge mess. I wonder if you can seal the silicone bags in a ziploc bag? But one of the other objections I pointed out in my article was that many chefs rightly assert you don't need it to cook good food. I ultimately have mixed feelings. 

Another is a short piece on Chicago pastry chef Dana Cree and her blog. 

And finally one on some of the amazing meat and seafood dishes at a restaurant here called Cicchetti. I guess that's not that interesting if you don't live here, but if you visit Chicago, it's worth checking out.