~ This post is sponsored by Joule Sous Vide machine by ChefSteps ~
If you’ve been following me for a while then you’ll already know that I have a soft spot for clever technology, particularly when it makes life easier at home (smart lights, heating, smoke alarms, doorbells…I really went to town when I renovated the Khoollect studio). But when it comes to the kitchen I’m a bit of a snob – simple is always best and I only cherry pick items that I think are really worth having (there’s nothing worse than kitchen clutter). And of course, every item has to look good.
So when ChefSteps approached me to try out their Joule Sous Vide machine I didn’t immediately agree, but instead I grilled them (excuse the pun) about its design and functionality. I’ve worked in my fair share of professional kitchens with bulky ugly sous vide machines that take up a huge chunk of the work surface and I didn’t want a machine like that cluttering up my beautiful Khoollect kitchen. However, the sleek design of the Joule Sous Vide machine – it’s not much bigger than the handle of a stick blender – and the rave reviews I had read online certainly had me curious. So, I quickly came around to the idea and am now the proud owner of one very slick, and handy, new gadget.
Setting up the Joule Sous Vide machine was an absolute doddle, and it can all be done through an easy-to-use smart phone app. There are lots of recipes on the app to try out, but of course I had to go off piste and give it a thorough workout myself. I cooked a tough lamb neck and the result was tender and melt-in-the-mouth, I was able to perfectly poach eggs, and cook fish to flaky and moist perfection (see my recipe below). I was even able to set up the sous vide with the ingredients ready to go and switch it on remotely – a nifty trick for lazy chefs like me or when you’re planning a dinner party.
Joule Sous Vide by ChefSteps is available to purchase on Amazon UK.
For more information and recipes using Joule Sous Vide by ChefSteps, head to their website.
Cod Fillet with Citron Confit and Raw Ratatouille
I’ve eaten my fair share of tough overcooked fish fillets over the years and I must admit it’s something I’d rather avoid. Cooking fish properly is one of the trickiest skills to master – with just a matter of seconds between a perfectly cooked piece or an utterly bone-dry inedible one. Needless to say, using the Joule Sous Vide machine will transform the way you cook, ensuring you have perfectly cooked fish for yourself, friends and family every single time.
A delicate piece of sparklingly fresh fish is my favourite thing to cook with the Joule. Take the fear out of ruining your fish by sealing the fillets in a bag with some fragrant seasonings – in this case herbs and shaved garlic – then cooking at a very low temperature. The fish will flake to perfection making the perfect topping for my colourful and crunchy raw ratatouille. This dish has been on repeat at my house this summer, and I think you’ll find it equally as easy to make for one, or for entertaining with maximum visual impact.
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes
Preparation time: 10 minutes
For the citron confit
1 organic unwaxed lemon, sliced into 3mm thick rounds
2 tbsp icing sugar
1 tbsp water
For the fish
180g/6oz (x 4) pieces of cod, skinned
A few sprigs of fresh herbs (I use a mix of chives and thyme)
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and thinly sliced
4 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
For the raw ratatouille
2 small courgettes
1 romano pepper
300g /10 oz cherry tomatoes (a mix of colours works well)
1 small red onion, peeled
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
A splash red wine vinegar, to taste
A pinch of sugar (optional)
Set the Joule to 85c/185F. Put the lemon slices, sugar and water in a sandwich bag, pressing out as much air as possible. Seal and lower into the pan of preheated water. Cook for 30 minutes. Lower the temperature of the Joule to 55c/131F, but leave the lemon in the water to continue cooking.
Put the fish fillets into four individual sandwich bags. Add one tablespoon of olive to each bag and distribute the sliced garlic and herbs between them evenly and season generously with salt and pepper. Lightly rub the seasonings into the fish (I do this through the bag) and press out as much air as you can. Set aside until the Joule is at 55c/131F.
In the meantime, cut the courgette and romano pepper into 5mm dice. Cut the cherry tomatoes into similar sized pieces. Do the same with the red onion. Put them into a medium bowl and drizzle with the oil, a splash of the vinegar and season liberally. I taste it at this point and add a pinch of sugar or a little more vinegar for acidity if necessary, if your tomatoes are sweet enough you might not need to.
Cook the fish for 15-20 minutes (see tips below).
When the fish is done, remove from the bag. Divide the raw ratatouille between plates or bowls and place the fish on top. Add a few slices of the citron confit and season the top of the fish with a little salt and pepper and a few extra herbs.
Tips / Use a really fresh piece of fish for the best results, it will have a firmer flesh and hold together better.
The thickness of your fish fillet will affect the cooking time slightly. If you are using a thinner piece closer to the tail, you might want to reduce the cooking time by about 5 minutes. I like to use the thicker part of the fillet.
I use icing sugar as it dissolves quickly, but caster sugar will also work.