Friday, 15 February 2013
I seem to be hitting a rather gastronomic theme this week. Perhaps it's all that fine food I've been enjoying recently...
Anyway, I'm now getting seriously intrigued by all this Modernist Cuisine stuff. I appreciate that this is not exactly 'Jamie's 15 minute meals' but can you appreciate my absolute delight when I came across the instructions for making the perfect Modernist BLT sandwich? (That's Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato for you non-culinary plebs out there.)
This is no ordinary sandwich! The proper Modernist BLT takes no less than five and a half days to produce! The pork belly - not, please note, a rasher of Tesco finest bacon - should be brined for 24 hours before slow cooking in a water bath for 36 more amongst other things.
If you're wondering - which you're probably not by now - this is known as sous-vide. But you shouldn't worry if you're not stinking rich because it is possible to improvise a sous-vide machine by using a pot of water or even, we are told, the kitchen sink because this is capable of holding a constant temperature for a hour which is perfect for cooking fish. Not sure if it works with the BLT tho'
The idea with fish is that you place it in a plastic bag which from which you expel the air and then you place it in the water to cook. In pre-Modernis Cuisine days, this might have been confused with the concept of 'boil in the bag' or even 'poaching' but 'sous-vide' sounds so much nicer, don't you agree?
And if you don't own a sous-vide machine, then don't despair! We are told that you could improvise one by putting water in a pot and placing this over a low heat - a technique once known as 'boiling'.
But back the humble sandwich. Amongst all this pretentious horse shit (sorry, did I mention horses again?) we seem to have lost sight of the fact that the very essence of a sandwich is that it is a quick, convenient snack. The idea of planning your sandwich a week in advance would seem to fundamentality oppose this. But it does sell expensive books.
Mrs D gets the final word on this. As she so nicely put it : "Life's too short!"