Although it has only really started to attract attention in the last three or four years, sous vide cooking has actually been around since the mid-1970s. Today, its popularity continues to grow as chefs look for new ways to stretch the boundaries in the kitchen and perfect their menus.
Sous vide differs from conventional cooking methods in two fundamental ways. First, the raw food is vacuum-sealed in plastic pouches and second, it is cooked in a water bath using precisely controlled heating.
Since sous vide is essentially a very controlled and precise poach, most food cooked this way has the appearance of being poached, so foods like fish, shellfish, eggs, and skinless poultry can be served as is.
Some foods will take a little longer to cook than if you were to sauté or roast them and although meats will look less well done than they really are and may require searing to finish, they will be very tender, possess an even colour throughout and the flavour will be more concentrated.
Product Zone has teamed up with Instanta to offer readers the chance to win a SV25 sous vide machine worth over £1,000.
The winner will receive an Instanta SV25 digital sous vide machine. Specifically designed for the purpose of sous vide cooking, this 25 litre machine features a 290mm-deep, energy-efficient, insulated tank with a built-in circulating pump for even temperature distribution - which can be set between room temperature and 99°C.
Pouches can be suspended from the removable stainless steel rack which comes with the unit, or it can be segmented using optional stainless steel dividers.
The machine is easy to drain for cleaning, and has an audible low-water warning signal, as well as boil-dry protection to safeguard the element.
Five digital timers display hours, minutes and seconds, while the actual water temperature is also prominently displayed. The units come complete with a hinged-glass safety lid and a two-year guarantee.
http://www.instanta.com" target="_blank" rel="noreferrer">www.instanta.com or call 01704 501114.
HOW TO ENTER
One lucky reader who can answer the question above correctly will win this prize. All entries must be submitted by 27 May 2011. Entrants can send a postcard stating their name, job title, company name and address, contact telephone number and eâ'mail address to Product Zone/Instanta Sous Vide Competition, Caterer and Hotelkeeper, Quadrant House, The Quadrant, Sutton, Surrey, SM2 5AS or enter simply enter online using the form below.
TERMS AND CONDITIONS
**1. This competition is not open to employees or agents of Reed Business Information, or Instanta.
2. We reserve the right to change the prize without notice and no cash alternative will be offered.
3. The winner will be selected at random from correct entries, and the publisher's decision is final.
4. By entering the competition you are agreeing for your contact details (including email) to be passed on to the sponsor Instanta.
5. Reed Business Information will use the contact information you provide to communicate with you on behalf of the Caterer Group. We may also use the information you have provided to send direct marketing material from ourselves relating to other products and services that may be of interest to you. Your information may also be disclosed to other companies who wish to send you information about their products and services. This could involve data transfer to countries outside the European Economic Area. For further information and choices please visit our data protection page at www.reedbusiness.co.uk/dataprotection or write to us at RBI, Freepost RCC2619, Haywards Heath, RH16 3BR, UK.
6.* The winner's name will appear in Caterer and Hotelkeeper* and on Caterersearch.com.